If you follow technology and marketing news, I have to question your life decisions. But if you do, you probably notice that the tech and marketing worlds are in love with the promises of Big Data — and small data and your data. Every time they make an announcement about an awesome new advancement in tracking consumers’ behavior, purchasing habits or favorite color and targeting ads and sales pitches to them, they always make sure to point out that there’s nothing to worry about, though, in terms of privacy and security, because the data’s been anonymized.
My latest column in Ad Age tackles the topic:
Data anonymization is a load of horseshit. Data anonymization is also a clever bit of technical and verbal misdirection used by marketers and tech people to keep regulators at bay.
What data anonymization decidedly isn’t, by any meaningful definition that has to do with reality, is making consumers and/or their data truly anonymous to marketers and tech people.
Read the rest here.
Or go back to dumping tons of personal information into Facebook and then whining about your privacy later.
If my calculations are correct, this past weekend I ran my 16th half marathon, the New York City Half, put on by New York Road Runners. This is different from the Manhattan Half, also put on by NYRR, which I was signed up to run back in January or February or whenever. But I skipped that one this year because I only run it if the temperature is below 20 degrees.
Anyway, the NYC Half is a great race, if you can get in. It’s a lottery system. I got in because I ran all of NYRR’s other major races last year. NYC Half does a loop in Central Park, then down through Times Square (which is cool) over to the West Side Highway and ends down in the Financial District. All the hard part — Cat Hill (totally overrated as a hill) and Harlem Hill (FUCK YOU HARLEM HILL) — is in the first four miles and it’s down hill and flat from there.
Last week, Apple officially revealed its watch. As an employee at a publication that does some tech coverage, we were all herded into a dungeon where we were forced to pay attention to this nonsense.
I’m typing this on an Apple product. I have an iPhone and owned a bunch of iPods. I like Apple! But, as I wrote in the wake of this watch wave:
Watching an Apple promotional video is enough to make me want to take a hammer to my Apple products and beat on them until I no longer feel shame.
One of the watch things we watched — or in this case re-watched — was a video released last year by Apple. I’m glad we watched. It was one of the funniest things I watched all week — and I watch “Archer.” So I wrote about it. You can watch the video and
watch read the rest of what I wrote right here.
Location, location, location, they say. Well, some folks are currently located on my lawn and need to move.
Also, this week, I moved from the interior pages of Advertising Age, where I reviewed ad campaigns, to the primo real estate on the back page, where I can write about a broader range of topics. (I also got a cover line.) This is both exciting (for me) and frightening (for everyone else involved).
The back page! I’m a back-pager. When I do pick up print magazines these days (yes, I’m part of the problem), the back page is the first page I turn to. It tells me a lot of things about a magazine — and it’s often where they’ll put the funny or weird or interesting stuff. Outdoor Life, for example, had Pat McManus there for decades (maybe they still do). EW puts its bulls-eye there. Runners World has been putting “Why I run” interviews with celebrities and politicians and interesting professionals (but lately seems to have decided on random person that a staffer in New York thought was cool). The Atlantic had a funny word column for a long time, then a funny advice column. Now it’s got an unfunny and mostly ridiculous “One Question” (What was the most important book of all time?) answered by luminaries and academics.
Simon “The Media Guy” Dumenco was nailing down that Ad Age page for the last few years but he got promoted right out of the job and into meetings 24 hours a day. So I get it.
My first topic? Millennials. I didn’t plan on that. God knows the world doesn’t need one more word on the topic. But it was also our 40 Under 40 issue, so I figured I’d do something about the yewts. And I came up with a point of view that anyone who reads me regularly might find surprising.
Millennials are getting older. They’re getting married, having babies and moving out of mommy’s house. And it turns out they’re just people.
Read it! Don’t read it! See if I care!
1.How much did it take me to sell out and start pulling for the Hate-riots of Bill Bellicheat? $500, which I won in the office pool thanks to the final score.
2. Which Super Bowl ads did I think were best and worst? Find out here, my professional review of all the national ads that ran in the Super Bowl.
3. Here’s me flapping my gums about the advertising over on Yahoo Finance.
“This idea is so stupid, I can’t even look.”
The eye-roller. The stop sign. The “Pffft” person. The guy who refuses to say “Yes, but…” and instead says “Let me stop you right there.” Or just: “No.”
Every workplace has one. Every workplace needs one. In a world of yes men, kiss-asses, “we are family” types and the like, there has to be someone who stands athwart the bridge to doom, shouting, “YOU SHALL NOT PASS.”
Don’t want to wait for the audio book? Buy the real thing!
Louisiana words are hard, yall. Even if you grew up there, you still struggle with some of them. If you’re from Louisiana, remember how you felt after years of being tee-tiny and hearing people talk about Nack-uh-tish and then seeing the word for the first time: Nachitoches. CONFUSED! That’s how you felt. Like the world and the English language no longer had rules. Hooked on phonics LIED. (Of course, Nachitoches isn’t English, but you didn’t know that either.)
At any rate, it turns out that Open Road Media is turning Sweet as Cane, Salty as Tears into an audio book. Now you lazy bastards who are all like, “I don’t really read,” no longer have an excuse. You can LISTEN to the novel. Someone will read it TO you.