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.