Anil is on point here.
Back at the outset of the panoptic-paparazzi era I thought about writing a short story about a young-but-too-old-for-her-career starlet who was broke in the practical sense, but who subsisted because she got so much swag from the absurdly stuffed gift bags present at every event she was (still) invited to. Sure, sometimes these things would be like hot air balloon rides and “massage experiences” that involved pressure on a single toe on her right foot, but she got just enough food to survive and still be appealingly thin.
I kind of think I could conceivably switch up that concept so it was about a swagblogger. Mostly this is inspired by this one woman who I follow on Twitter who seems like a totally nice person but who every week is in a different place, tweeting about her experiences. Each 140-character missive has an awkward corporately designed hashtag appended to it. She “edits” a lifestyle site full of blandly written, mostly sponsored posts (and is also the a-and-e editor for a magazine offshoot of a chain breastaurant) (yes, really) and her followers outnumber her followees by ~100 people (10,400 to 10,294). I don’t really get how she can do this and make any sort of money that isn’t disbursed to her in the form of free shit—it doesn’t seem like enough people read her site (which, by the way, is branded very similarly to a site that employs a few of my Tumblr pals) to bring in ad revenue. Do a lot of people who don’t work at marketing firms or who follow her back after she starts keeping tabs on them (which is how I got sucked in) read her stuff and figure “hey, she’s up for it, might as well send her”? And do these sorts of tweeted-to-death junkets actually work as far as expanding recognition of brands? I don’t remember the brand names of any of the places she’s going—I just remember that she goes on all these trips and sorta wonder what my life would be like if I’d gone down that (only slightly divergent from mine) path.
I suspect my not knowing the answers to these questions is yet another sign of Why I’ll Never Make It In Business. My bullshit detector is always going to be my biggest impediment in life.
The smart shorterexcerpts has a theory about why stock-market types are super-into coupon sites right now:
A more serious, and distressing theory as to all the coupon sites’ popularity:
The recession is worse than most in the political media (and certainly most politicians) wish to admit, but retailers are struggling, big-time.
So anything that will get people to spend money is getting investment cash thrown at it.
I think there’s something to this! I don’t know how many readers of mine subscribe to retailers’ mailing lists, but I’ve noticed quite a surge in “deal of the day” emails from the likes of LOFT and the Gap this year—like, every day there’s either a “bunch of stuff for $10” or “25% off everything” email. It started seeming sorta desperate sometime around March, and now it’s just sad. But it also parallels the rise in dollar stores, discount stores, outlet malls, and the like. Do people now have to feel like they’re getting a bargain in order to part with their money? Will the increased volume of purchases make up for the lost markups from wholesale to retail? (My gut answer for that last question is “nuh-uh.”)
(And how does this speak to Kreayshawn’s “Gucci Gucci”? Is the assumption there that the “basic bitches” are either getting their brand-name items at a discount or buying those items that are the lowest-end branded offerings—glasses, keychains, etc?)
Since Feb. 1, the price of AOL shares has dropped from $23.85 to $20.89 at yesterday's close. With 106.7 million shares outstanding, that means AOL has shed $315 million in value over the last five trading days -- which happens to be exactly the same price AOL agreed to pay to acquire HuffPo. →
“Nobody noticed when the slow, low hiss started, but it became apparent that something was going on pretty quickly.”