What is remarketing? A not-so-scary answer. Probably.

Remarketing Defined

A few months ago I tried explaining remarketing to a group of somewhat social media savvy people. You know, people who like and use social media and know enough not to post photos they don’t want their kids to see.

Regular people.

Anyway, in attempting an explanation I ended up scaring everyone so I thought maybe, just maybe I could turn things around.


What is remarketing?

You know when you shop on Amazon and the boxes below show you what other people purchased? Well that’s kind of remarketing. Step one let’s say.

OK, so you’ve visited Amazon and you clicked on a couple things in the “other people purchased these products too” box. Maybe you even put something in your shopping cart. But then. You changed your mind.

Say it isn’t so!

So you move on. Bye bye Amazon, hello Facebook! Or Google, or whatever.You move on. While you’re browsing you happen to see…wait, what’s this? The same product you were just looking at on Amazon? Well it’s starting to look a bit more interesting now…hmm…

And you click on the link.

That, my friends, is remarketing.

So I understand why it’s scary. How did one website tell the other website what you were looking at? And what else does it know about you!?

I get it.

But the thing you have to keep in mind is you’re the one who told the Internet all it knows about you. No one else told the website anything. So if you don’t want websites to show you stuff you didn’t buy but might change your mind about, then you just need to give it a little less to go on.

Here are a couple quick tips to protect your privacy online

  • If you don’t want Facebook to know what you looked at on Amazon just clear your cache or turn on private browsing
  • Don’t fill in your social media profiles, especially your birthdate, address, phone number, etc.
  • Don’t put your social insurance number on online forms unless it’s your bank or for a credit check
  • Use a password safe to store your passwords—so they can be auto-generated and you don’t have to remember them. Of course this is awkward if you’re trying to log into apps on your phone…haven’t figured that one out yet
  • Don’t give your postal code when using your credit card…you might as well give the store your address, phone number, and middle name too

So, remarketing isn’t scary if you know what you’ve shared online. And if you think you’ve shared to much, time to do a profile purge! Have fun!

Something else to keep in mind is if you are successful in tricking the Internet you’re going to get a lot of non-relevant advertising. Like I do. For diaper coupons and hockey stat apps.


Not having the Internet sucks.

I may just do something about it soon. Probably.

PS. It is becoming very clear to me just how cheap I am—to the point of going without for fear of being broke.

Also, a phone update, since my week of prank calls from Telus, the phone hasn’t rang again, except for the door buzzer, which is a different ring. So, I suppose they’ve figured out I have had a free phone line, albeit without a dial tone.

Ahh well, should probably do something about that too.

Taking on broadband

I have plans for greatness.

These plans have been fermenting in my brain (half way between conscious and sub) for roughly three weeks now. Actual plans.

I have decided to bring broadband to my village.

I live in the North of England. This does not mean the middle of nowhere (although every English person I’ve met outside of Lincolnshire tells me it actually is the middle of nowhere), it is a historically rich place.

Heck, the DaVinci Code was filmed in Lincoln Cathedral and Lincoln was once a great Roman city on the main road to London (albeit FROM the North, which couldn’t have been as popular as the road from Rome to London…) and the village two miles east of me was preserved from the plague because they walled in the area and wouldn’t let anyone enter or exit for something like two years.

It is this same eastward village that fuels my quest.

For it is this same village that has access to broadband.

Something I, a mere two miles westward, am told cannot have access to.

Because it is in the middle of nowhere.

Taking on broadband

After several exhausting Internet searches of English Internet companies, I have concluded that not one company has plans to extend broadband to my area in the next 12 months.

So, I figure, I must change this fact.

Over the past three weeks I have plotted and planned and have now shortlisted my top five ways to get broadband into my bedroom.

Top Five ways to get broadband

  1. Approach the Queen. This would take quite a bit of pre-planning, a ticket to London, a meeting with the queen, a dress from Valentino (and shoes from Monolo Blahnik) and tedious study from How to Walk in High Heels, by Camilla Morton. I’d also have to prepare a speech or something.
  2. Attempt manual broadband connection. This is a three-fold plan:

    i) Make friends with the people who live in the house closest with broadband

    ii) Buy a two-mile long internet cable cord

    iii) Mathematically determine how long it takes to walk the two miles. Then factor how long it would take to walk two miles whilst carefully laying two miles of cable into the ditch. Using this equation, then figure out what time of day is least likely anyone would be driving by/working outside/walking/riding bicycles or horses etc.

    Using simple math and some mad skills, it should be walk, lay and bam! Internet! (This plan could really take off, I could then charter this Internet to the other 20 people in my village and make boatloads. I could be the next Sir Richard Branson, who really did the exact same thing except he chartered and airplane and sold $39 one-way tickets to Puerto Rico)

  3. Call each and every Internet company in England. Ask pointedly what it would take to get broadband out the extra two miles. If it is interest, canvas the village and find the interest. If it is money, throw another accordion dance-fest fundraiser and show up with a better attitude. If it is a lack of actual cable (one company seriously cited this as the reason)…throw a fit and demand to meet Princess Nikki. Hey, if she can get her own TV show, I can get broadband.
  4. Create a petition and canvas the village. Also, since the likelihood of there only being 50 people in this village is high, figure out what other villages in the area don’t have access to broadband and canvas them too. Then, send the petitions to the various internet companies. In the fabulous cover letter explain that the people on the petition would be willing to remain loyal to the company who acted first and gave the people what they needed!
  5. Meet a Sky employee at a pub in Manchester and convince him to connect your life to broadband out of the goodness of his heart.

I think I’m on to something.