Thursday, June 03, 2010

some news is good news


My inbox could be filled with treasures.


At least that is what Alaska Airlines believes.


Years ago, when Alaska was a good airline, I would be excited whenever I could fly with them.*  Now that it is a not-so-good airline, I fly Alaska simply because it offers the sole direct flight from my home in Mexico to Oregon.


My excitement with Alaska these days is the constant stream of email I receive from them.  Newsletters filled with special deals.  Frequent flier statements.  Tips on where to eat.


This morning I received a fascinating offer.  If I would take some time to read marketing tools, I could earn frequent flier miles.


I value my time.  Specially, now that I have returned to my desk-oriented work life.  But I also value frequent flier miles.


Here is the shtick.  If you register with e-Miles, that company will send you advertisements customized just for you.  If you read them (or, at least, open the link and pretend to read the content), you will be awarded a few miles.  The range appears to be 5 through 15 miles a read.


The trick is the customization.  And you cannot customize content unless you know your reader.


E-Miles knows its readers because it requires participants to fill out more questionnaires than Elena Kagan will ever see.  I suspect e-Miles now knows far more about me than my mother does.


One of the questions was whether or not I subscribe to my local newspaper.


Nostalgia comes in many guises.  Today, it was a reverie about newspapers past.


Back in the late 1970s, when I was sitting up my private law practice, my law partner mentioned that he did not read the newspaper.  I thought it odd.  After all, I read three local newspapers each day.  One morning newspaper.  Two afternoon newspapers.


I checked with the rest of my friends.  About half still read newspapers.


That was then.  This is now.  According to a Rasmussen Reports survey I received today, 63% of the respondents said they prefer the print edition of newspapers over online content.


That sounded like the old me.


But, the survey went on to report only 27% of the respondents are regular newspaper readers and 40% are non-buyers.


That means that quite a few people prefer print versions of something they never buy.  Never will.


I am now with the majority of Americans -- and my former law partner.  I do not read newspapers.


Instead, I get my news through online news services and over the radio.


When I moved to Melaque, I quickly discovered there was no local newspaper.  That did not prove to be a problem.  With the internet, I could still listen to my news stations -- and all of the news services were right where right where they were when I lived in Salem.


With an online Mexico City newspaper and a local message board, I had all of the news I could use.


My answer to the survey was: No longer a newspaper reader.


I suspect, though, e-Miles is going to send me enough material to read that I will not miss my newspapers.


Even while flying on Alaska -- or not.
  

* Yes.  I know.  Alaska Airlines is a corporation.  According to American English, the corporation is a singular, neuter noun.  It is an "it," not a "them."  But we are artists on this page.  And I think of "it" as the flight attendants, counter clerks, and flight crews who shuttle my aging bones around this mortal coil.   

5 comments:

American Mommy in Mexico said...

Online books amigo?

Calypso said...

Don't do it - you will be signing your life away for a few flier miles - you will rue the day.

Joe S. said...

I still spend 30 mins with The Oregonian during my breakfast routine( oatmeal, coffee, fish oil capsule, & hctz. I read it to see what's local news & what The Oregonian deems worthy. I always disagree with the Editor's Opinion piece because its so mindlessly conservative, & most of the letters to the editor.The rest of the day I monitor the news online and everyone comments on the happenings throughout the day. Basically I hate the organization but love the feel of their product laid out before me.

Katie said...

There is no time to read the paper in the morning before I leave for work but it is part of my evening to sit down after dinner and read the paper. I keep up with the news during the day via the internet so by the time I read the paper it is old news but I look forward to reading the metro section which is local news. And doing the Times crossword in the classified section. And there is nothing like a Sunday morning reading the paper, drinking fresh brewed coffee and if we're lucky enjoying the sunshine! Okay, all those run-on sentences, I'm out of breath.

Steve Cotton said...

AMM -- I haven't taken that stepo yet. But I am thinking of taking an electronic reader with me when I return. Do you have one now?

Calypso -- But who said I had to answer as if my life was being surveyed?

Joe -- Some habits are simply hard to break. If you move to Mexico, it will be easy.

Katie -- Reading the Sunday newspaper was once a rirtual with me. I would walk the dog to the news stand and start reading it on my way back home. But I haven't read a Sunday newspaper in years now.