Media Blog

A Confession of Weakness

Three related items:

First, I make it a point to lie like a politician on most online surveys and “Tell Us More About Yourself” forms. I just don’t like paying the personal-data tax for companies that don’t keep up their end of the bargain.
Which brings me to a second point: I have an embarrassing weakness for those awful little lifestyle and self-improvement stories that MSN is constantly pitching you. But, since MSN thinks that I am a 20-year-old woman in Beverly Hills, the stories it pitches me are not my usual thing. (Though being in the media business, I’m interested in all sorts of things and read all kinds of bizarre stuff, meaning that Mrs. W sometimes looks at me a little funny when I come home with a copy of Modern Bride or Countryside & Small Stock Journal.)
Third: Whoever edits MSN’s news site is either an insanely evil genius or has the IQ of a not especially bright clam. I’m not sure which, but I have noticed that the MSN headlines pitched to my account almost never match the stories you will be taken to if you click on that headline. So that personal finance story I was clicking on ends up being “Star of TV’s ‘Punky Brewster’ gives birth” or “Yamaguchi leads ladies’ night on ‘Dancing’” — and nobody needs that. Is this some kind of bizarre marketing scheme — “Bwaaaahaha, we’ll sneak up on them with the Punky Brewster story!” or are they just incompetent?
And I know you’re wondering: Punky’s new baby is Jagger Joseph Blue Goldberg. Her older daughter is Poet Sienna Rose Goldberg. No relation to those other Goldbergs, so far as I know.

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