How do you manage your online privacy? Are there certain things you won’t post in certain places? Information you’ll never share online? Or do you assume information about you is accessible anyway?
Talking of privacy and remaining in the Grim Reaper sense of the word, where your soul could be harvested for a mere publicity gag, last week I received a newspaper as shown in the photo. Nothing dangerous or suspicious, just the Swiss Newspaper Weltwoche (Weekly world) trying to reap some new customers.
I was impressed, they really want me. Not only do I receive a copy free of charge, but it is embossed with my name, I-me-myself for no-one else. Mr. Swiss saw it first of all and with green eyes he told me I am one of the chosen few probably. Of course, there are probably many of us receiving personal edition of this special offer. Just feed a name into the entrails of your computer programme and the deed is done. Weltwoche love me and send me a personalized copy of their newspaper.
Not only this, but I get 25 copies (25 weeks) for only 99 Swiss francs - what a bargain. If I bite at the bait and tell them how pleased and honoured I am, and would prefer a years subscription, it would be a little more expensive of course, but what is 299 Swiss Francs for an annual subscription - a mere bagatelle. I would be amongst the honoured and always up to date with the latest news. There is a small disadvantage of course.
When I took this photo and posted it on my Flickr account, for usage on a blog, the first comment from a fellow Flickr member who happens to live in the same area as I do was “That is the last newspaper I would read”. You cannot blame him. This newspaper used to be OK, interesting and good. That was until it was taken over by a new editor who decided that the policy of this newspaper should be slightly changed. no not slightly but extreme.
It was a liberal newspaper, something for everyone. Of course, we do not have to agree to everything in a newspaper, we can form our own opinions, but it is now in the hands of the extreme right wing party, whose name will not be mentioned. I do not want to tell everyone what my political views are, but liberal, neutral is OK by me. I have no longing to discriminate others for their beliefs or nationality, I believe in tolerance. It seems that not everyone is happy with the new guidelines of this newspaper and I suspect that their membership numbers might be on a downward curve and so they have discovered Mrs. Angloswiss who has been honoured with a newspaper invitation showing her personal name (no secret here, most of you know who I am, otherwise just visit me in Facebook - in Facebook you see everything).
What shall I do? They love me, they want me, they have reserved a place on their computer files for me, everything is prepared. It says (in German) free example for Pat Gerber, yes that’s me. How did they find me? Probably where everyone else finds you today. Just a glimpse in a bought name and address file. You can get them everywhere. I am sure that guy that called me from Microsoft in China about going to my computer might have something to do with it, just because I insulted him on the phone. Or perhaps it was the bloke that wanted me to change my medical insurance who calls at least once a day. On the other hand Weltwoche might really be interested in my opinions, in my views. I am sure they have been reading my daily blogs in WordPress.
I will have to think it over, in the meanwhile my opinion is similar to my photo Flickr colleague - that is the last newspaper I would read.