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.   


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.