Republic of Moreland

February 18, 2007

What the …

Filed under: Coburg,music — Kath @ 11:17 pm

Not you. You wouldn’t order your CDs from Amazon, because you support lokal business.

But there ain’t no lokal record shop in Moreland as far as I know. Except for the bloke a couple of doors up from Melbourne Food Ingredient Depot in Lygon Street, who sells second-hand stuff.

So if I can’t be arsed going to down to Readings or Polyester or such, I get my CDs from Amazon, or at least from their second-hand suppliers. I love how you can sample as much music as you want without having to annoy the salesperson, and without having to queue for headphones that earwaxy unwashed hobo (that guy! He’s everywhere!) just used.

But what bugs me about Amazon is the data they collect. Just as Google monitors and logs every one of your searches and will probably one day sell your profile to ASIO, Amazon interprets your movements with as much accuracy as ASIO’s famously dodgy files. [With the accurate exception when their spook wrote this about Paddy McGuinness before he became a reactionary dobber:

McGuinness is an extremely intelligent and shrewd person and is an excellent tactician. He can also be described as a professional antagonist… [regarded with suspicion] due to his dirty appearance at all times.]

Forgive the digression. What I’m trying to say is: how the heck did I just get an email from Amazon suggesting that I might like the new CDs from Sting and from van morrison? How did they peg me as such a schmuk?

Work it out. Here are my last six months’ purchases from Amazon:

How did the Amazon machine feed these into its profile software and spew out van Morrison? And Sting? (I guess there must be some kind of ghost in their machine: <IF=vocal + foreign,//THEN= Dutchish surname OR Sting >.)

It’d be insulting if it weren’t so comforting. As I wrote here, the less they know about us, the better off we all are. 🙂



  1. That’s nothing. After I ordered “A concise history of Canberra”, they kept trying to sell me porn.

    When I bought David Flint’s autobiography they thought I might like the Village People and Shirley Bassey.

    Can’t think why.

    Comment by Neighbourhood Pervert — February 19, 2007 @ 12:29 am | Reply

  2. I buy porn, and they try to sell me porn. Go figure!

    Comment by Bane of Malakas — February 19, 2007 @ 4:17 pm | Reply

  3. GOTA is that Gillian Welch any good? I love her, but haven’t got the newest one yet. Saw her play at The Prince a couple of years back.

    I’m lucky enough to work 50metres from Missing Link so I can get just about everything I want. I don’t do much online buying at all.

    Does amazon allow you to “opt-out” from their spamlists? If not they are breaking the law.

    Comment by Marty — February 20, 2007 @ 1:14 pm | Reply

  4. It’s very, very good, Marty, except for a couple of icky tracks that sound like your standard commercial country crap. But the rest is just beautiful.

    I don’t actually know Missing Link! I’m very out of touch with Melbourne music stores.

    And I’m not sure if you can opt out from Amazon lists: since it’s kinda tailored, not sure if it qualifies as spam…

    Comment by Girl on The Avenue — February 20, 2007 @ 3:58 pm | Reply

  5. .

    Comment by Girl on The Avenue — February 29, 2008 @ 10:00 pm | Reply

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