Sunday 4 December 2011

The Christmas Season - One Hundred Marketing Channels and Nothing On

With Christmas just around the corner (and down the hall a bit), I find myself a little overwhelmed by the vast array of ‘Must Have’ gadgets. Just looking for an eBook reader is an exercise in frustration. If I want to use eInk, then I have to go with one of the walled gardens like Kobo, Sony or Amazon. If I want something less restrictive, then I have to pay three times the price to get an android tablet and load the apps that I want.
I almost fell for the marketing and bought an android tablet from one of the walled gardens but found that it was no different than it’s eInk brethren. Sure, you can surf the web but if you think you can install any app you want just because it’s running android, you’re in for a shock.
Buyer beware.
DVD’s are even worse. The latest transformers release is a pared down, movie only disc with no special features. The marketing team doesn’t even bother to come up with a catchy name for this obvious double dipping anymore. You will buy this AND the special edition, or Michael Bay will be very unhappy with you.
Not wanting to fall for this, I have made my own version by mixing random NASCAR crashes with scenes from “Blow down” where various buildings are demolished.  I feel the character development is on par with the original and the environmental impact is reduced because I don’t intend to burn it onto a disc.
Speaking of environmental impact, anyone remember the “Earth Day” version of Avatar? How exactly is it environmentally friendly to release a bare bones DVD on Earth Day when you plan to dangle an extended version in front of everyone’s face a few weeks later? They even expected you to throw the extended version in a landfill and go buy the 3D version when it came out. I hear that it comes with a free lunch with the director who will lecture you about your carbon footprint (you have been buying too many copies of the same movie, after all…).
I'm trying to take my lead from the folks who read indie novels. They tend to ignore the endless marketing and self promotion and do their own research. They prefer to rely on word of mouth, review blogs and random chance to find good books.
Who knows, if you ask around, you might just find out what your friends and family really want, rather than just getting whatever the local tech store tells you to buy.