1 EAGLETON NOTES: Amazon Reads Minds

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Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Amazon Reads Minds

We all know that with cookies etc set Amazon knows every thing that we have ever looked at on the Amazon website and tailors our Amazon home page and any marketing emails accordingly.

This morning I looked at Facebook on my phone and what did I see?


Now I'm sure you are wondering why on earth that should surprise me. The answer is that when I was with my Goddaughter and her partner and their young son (aged 2½) at the weekend  I mentioned that I'd taken young Catriona (at that time not yet a teenager) in NZ to see a film a few years ago but that I couldn't recall it's name but that, nonetheless I had actually enjoyed it. (Partly, I think, because it was my first 3D film experience since the days of the red and green glasses).  They went on line and produced a list of family films from that year and I immediately recognised the film: The Croods. I've certainly never mentioned it to Amazon though.

My dear brother commented that the Amazon appearance was scary on two counts: that Amazon could read minds and, more weirdly, that it was able to read my mind. It's a good job I love my brother.

23 comments:

  1. I don't think I ever heard of that film before. (I suppose from now on I can expect it to turn up anywhere I go, though...) Amazon is certainly quick to pick up on anything I've ever shown the slightest interest in. For example, not long after I started learning a bit of Spanish (and bought one free book in Spanish + a Kindle dictionary), they now also sometimes email me in Spanish... Facebook on the other hand I usually find lousy at picking up what I like or not. (Especially the Not!)

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    1. Monica it's not the sort of film one would be likely to come across if children were not involved. Facebook's marketing does seem much more random: they presumably attempt profiling from our posts (in my case from my blog posts because that's about all I post on Facebook) and from whom we follow. As I very rarely ever click on one of their adverts they won't get any feedback.

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  2. That film has been on Netflix for ages, and I avoided it. Now, I'll have to give it a go. Unless Netflix has dropped it this month. Will let you know!

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    1. Marcheline I wouldn't go out of your way to watch it. Coincidentally I was looking at Anna's dvds last night and she has Withnail and I and thinks it's great.

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    2. Yes, but do YOU think it's great? Did you watch it yet? You know I'll keep on until you do!

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    3. Marcheline when I eventually settle down at home after my travels and re-decorating and more visitors I shall definitely settle down and watch it. However I wouldn't want to do it when I'm distracted!

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  3. I'll stay out of the brotherly love issue. It always surprises me what shows up on my computer. You don't have to search very far and some site sends you a message. I don't like it.

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    1. Red I have to admit that it doesn't worry me.

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  4. Always trash the cookies at the end of every day. Is my advice.

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    1. Heron for anything where I don't want a website to know what I'm doing I use a browser like Epic or remove the cookie settings. However many sites (eg Banks) won't acknowledge you if you don't have cookies set. Removing them at the end of the day is a good idea but it doesn't stop Amazon from knowing what you've looked at on their site if you have signed in. So one could browse it with cookies unset but not buy anything.

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    2. Always EAT cookies at the end of every day. Is my advice. *wink*

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  5. In my case it's Facebook that knows my inside leg measurement, preference in literature, and other desires. I find it all rather spooky.

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    1. As I mentioned in an earlier comment, Cro, I don't find that Facebook seems to know much about me for marketing purposes. Of course it could be that it knows me better than I know myself!

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  6. Thanks for putting my mind at rest. I was becoming paranoid about those pop-up Amazon ads, wondering why they always seem to concentrate on women's underwear!

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    1. EVERYBODY is into women's underwear, one way or another!

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  7. I find it to be quite annoying at best.
    It gets worse for me because if I log on to a website it immediately knows I'm logging in from Barbados and adjusts its settings immediately causing me much grief. This is especially when I'm placing an online order...none of my purchases are ever shipped to me in Barbados but are rerouted via the USA. It's annoying to have to fix the settings which take time and sometimes can cost me a winning bid on EBay!!!
    Big Brother is watching all of us.

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    1. Virginia I used to have similar problems when I lived in NZ for six months of the year. Everything that involved the computer got very confused.....twice a year.

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  8. That is seriously weird, Graham, and not in a particularly nice way. But I'm glad you love your brother.

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    1. Frances life's never dull and, yes, I'm glad I love my brother too.

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  9. It's quite scary really...just how much and how often Big Brother is watching us. I think he is watching us all the time these days (and nights)!

    You just have to look up something online...something you think you might order/purchase...and next minute the items are all over our sites!

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    1. Absolutely Lee and I expect that Google's conditions of use for blogging and emails and everything else give them permission to record and monitor and use every word we write or receive.

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  10. Privacy doesn't exist any more. I think we just have to get used to it.

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    1. Diane I've got to the stage in my life when I neither care no have any secrets worth worrying about!

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