Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Competition Time! Or is it?

My wife, rather sensibly, won't use Facebook. I use it as a means of syndicating content around for ReadItDaddy and it's also a useful way to keep up with my distant siblings and friends, but I fully understand her stance. 

I mean, take the average Facebook competition. We see quite a few of these syndicated through parent blogging networks and also through various manufacturers of children's items, book publishers, even art sellers. 

The upshot is this. The competition organisers want as much information on you as possible to turn into marketing information, then sell on to third parties (even if you tick the box telling them not to, they seem to phrase these in such a way that they often read like "Please untick the tick box if you wish to not let us acknowledge that you'd like us to send you more information and also acknowledge to let us sell your details to third parties" rather than just having an option labelled "Stop pestering me, you fools!")

So we don't often enter them. Some parents do and some parents show a dogged persistence in jumping through all the little hoops and avoiding all the little traps set for them by the competition organisers to ensure that they become the perfectly marketed mouse chasing through the corporate maze. 

Some of the pinterest-based competitions run by companies seem to suggest that the majority of parent bloggers have nothing to do all day except wander around like zombies, instagramming the living crap out of their surroundings in the vain hope that their photographic tableaux will somehow catch the eye of a marketing rep and win them a fantastic prize (usually something that really isn't worth the time and effort given up to complete the assigned task, where you could probably earn the money to pay for the prize on offer by working in your local chip shop part time for a couple of days). 

We (I mean you) only have ourselves (yourselves) to blame. We are so in love with our new connected world and our social networks and big business knows this, and will use every trick in the book to ensure that you pump up their social networking status and unwittingly spread the word about their products. It's the equivalent of wearing a T Shirt with a Tesco logo on one side and Marks and Spencers logo on the other. 

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