My Etsy Shop

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Technology and Advertising: Craftselling in the Age of the Machine...

I'm a bit annoyed, but resigned to, this need for every site you want to look at finding it nessessary to charge you for the privilege, or at least rob you of your privacy, by demanding that you answer deeply personal questions just to register for a pre-shrunk newspaper experience..aren't the ads, plentiful and extrememly distracting, enough revenue for these people...*sigh*?

I can remember, in the pre-cable TV days, we could get about 13 channels..and anything 'new' that came on was readily available, not to mention that new-fangled FM Radio, courageously and outrageously playing whatever they wanted, almost like, but not quite the same as, the Pirate stations offshore in the UK...then came Public Broadcasting, that was a wonderful thing, you saw the sort of programming not usually favoured by the commercial networks, and to pay for it there would be "telethons" where viewers would voluntarily send in 'subscriptions', a small and reasonable amount of money that almost everyone could return, you got a monthly Guide..
Suddenly, there was and the best part-no commercials! Wow! Who could resist? Well, I could..unless I moved into a place with free cable, I wasn't in a position to pay for it..
Then suddenly, there was very expensive cable, with over 600 possible stations..a friend of mine (back in the late 1980's) had it, and once, on a visit to his place, I went through several hundred stations to see 'what was on', assuming that it would be a fabulous experience since it cost him $60 a month (a huge sum for TV, back then)..there was nothing on, at least, nothing that I wanted to watch..I didn't stop chuckling for days when I thought about it..
I've always been a bit of a tree hugger, some call it a Luddite, not trusting technology, always arguing my folksy philosophy, that I got along without it up to that point, why did I need it?

No 8 track, no reel-to-reel (anyone under 50 reading this is is going "Wha...?) and it took me, I think, 9 years to accept the fact that I needed an answering machine...which I still think is mostly pointless, (except to encourage telemarketers to use up all the available 9 minutes of space to try and sell you something you don't want...)
Enter the computer age, late 80's for me, at the end of my University career..I was still in the library, tapping away on an IBM Selectric (was there ever a finer typewriter?) while the cool kids were in the Sciences Lab, doing their papers on the computer, and downloading them to floppy discs (bear with my ancient musings, kids!)and...the profs preferred it!
I actually lost grade points for turning in a paper, er.. paper.
Although I got an introduction to computers through various courses I took, or temporary jobs I had, I was terrified of it, a common-enough discomfort in those days..we alway fear what we don't understand..
When I finally decided to buy one of the damn things, I guess it was about 2007, I knew that things had deteriorated to the point where there were ads all over the place online, but figured I could ignore them..and have a wonderful experience acquiring knowledge by the simple expedient of turning on my $40 a month Internet connection, armchair learning and traveling all day or night, whenever, no closures here, folks, open 24/7!

Guess, like any other technology, the ads are here to stay - now they flash and have awful sound effects, screaming, look at me, look at me..I have made a silent pact with myself to never buy anything advertised in such an offensive manner..
I hear that Rupert Murdoch, who just can't seem to get rich enough to satisfy himself, is going to charge for all his online papers, and so far, it ain't working out too well..and advertisers are fleeing, too, since there is no audience for their screaming me-me ads...I've been chuckling for a few days now..
Yes, I too sell online (if you can call no sales since March, selling) but the difference is that people come to shopping sites for that purpose..I don't advertise to attract people to my shops, except for the 'minis' on my blog sides..but it makes me wonder, if I'm doing a very small version of what the corporate ads are doing on every imaginable site, how effective are they-has business dropped off for them too?
Am I inadvertently adding to the problem with my pie-in-the-sky notions of handmade as a desirable and desired commodity? It's enough to make me rub two sticks together, make a campfire, and for cell phones? Don't you even ask...


  1. I feel ya mizdarlin. If it weren't for my husband I wouldn't have cable myself. I don't like paying for it and I don't watch tv enough to want it.

    I just got a cell phone not too long ago and it has keypad and all that crap and I can't even use the thing except to make phone calls and then I had to use a landline to call someone to ask why my phone isn't working and they told me how to turn it on.

    I have a car stereo with so much stuff on it I don't know what half of it is, and my friend gets in every time pushing buttons and messes it up, and I have to haul out the manual to set it back right. My husband said tell her to keep her damn hands off my stereo.

    Most of our info can be found on the white pages of the internet-names, addresses, even of our relatives, and if that isn't good enough google will pinpoint your house on a map to make it easeir.

    And if you want to know the truth I think computers are evil. I was much happier before I got mine. It takes up too much of my time and I have spent too much money keeping it up and running so that I can waste more of my time.

    It's ridiculous.


  2. Hi MizDarlin,
    I am so with you on the cell phones! I am one of those unusual people who rarely uses one! And you should see my phone! It looks archaic compared to all of the fancy new phones out there. In fact, my hubby picked me up a new flip phone recently, and he is returning it to the store today! I hated it & it was so not user friendly! The two of us share 500 minutes a month, and I think I use a whole 3 minutes! Seriously! As for the hand created, I would much rather buy something from a crafts person rather than the usual "Made in China"! Now that really drives me crazy!