The email looked innocent enough.
And I know something about evil emails, having had my credit card hacked by a nasty email claiming to be from someone it wasn’t.
one was legit, so I clicked it.
love our members,” it said. Yeah, right. That right up there with your call is important to us.
came the deadly part, “50 per cent off site wide sale”
was willing to overlook the made up word. Site wide? After all, consider what
available to active members only, is not transferable and cannot be combined
with any other offer. The We Love Our Members Sale starts December 8, 2016 and
ends December 14.”
been a sucker for books since I was old enough to hold one. My mother swears it
started when I was an obnoxious kid, constantly getting into trouble when I got
threw a book at you one day,” she said. “I missed, but you picked it up and
started reading.” She swears the story is true. No worries about ‘triggering’ a
kid and setting off a trauma back then. And apparently few concerns about
never recovered from the addiction.
live in a home filled with books. My office is stuffed with them. And my
cellphone isn’t really a phone. It’s a stash of audiobooks, courtesy of iTunes
and Audible.com, the latter a one-year, free-book-a-month Christmas present
from my kids. Their version of throwing a book at me to shut me up.
offered me this friendly service. Not quite ready to buy that book with your
monthly free credit – or your credit card? No problem. Just click this little
box and put the title on your wish list.
list. Turns out, that’s code for those devilishly clever elves at Audible. Wish
list really means marketing gold mine.
of the most difficult things those trying to sell you and me anything is
clutter. The world is full of advertisements. They’re on TV, private radio, in
print and online. We can’t escape them. So we ignore them.
tool companies use to stand out in that clutter is finding those people who
really want to know about the product they’re selling.
once used things like focus groups to try to find those people. No longer. Now
they use keyboards. Ours. Every time we do a search on Google, the Internet
giant records it, and sells that information to advertisers.
believe me. Do a quick search for hotels in Hofn, Iceland, then see how long
before ads for hotels there start chasing you around the Internet.
does it one better. It delves into my wish list on a regular basis, picks one
or two books, and offers to sell me 10-12 hours of fascinating listening for
has worked. More than once.
Dead Mountain: The
Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident - unabridged, of
course, I hate abridged books - is on my phone because it was on sale.
this latest stunt is outrageous.
have 71 items on your wish list,” Audible says helpfully. And they’ll all on
sale, many at half price. Right before Christmas. I really shouldn’t. Really.
But, maybe just one. Where is that credit card?
- Rick MacLean is an instructor in the journalism
program at Holland College in Charlottetown