Information vs Sales – SoCS

It is a hot Saturday in Connecticut. We are supposed to reach a high of 97°f (36°c). For some reason that is not at all clear to me, most of the customers will be outside on the patio. David and I will be inside, at the bar with Cheryl. While we sip some cool drinks, we will try to work in Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt:

“Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is ‘clear.’ Use it any way you’d like. Enjoy!”

If we were having a beer, you would be shaking your head.

“Good afternoon, David. Doing some shopping while you were waiting for me?”

“Huh? Oh, this catalog? No, I brought this for you. But first, I have a question.”

“About tools? You don’t use tools. Why do you even have this catalog?”

“They sell garden tools, too. I signed up for it years ago.”

“So, what page is the garden stuff you want to ask about on?”

“No, it’s not about the content, it’s about the catalog itself.”

“Well, before you guys start shopping, can I interest you in something to drink?”

“Yes indeed, Cheryl. I’m not sure what questions David has for me, but I sense a powerful thirst coming on.”

“What about you, David? John Howell dropped of some bourbon this morning – special delivery.”

“Special delivery? Then I’ll have a glass.”

“And cherries, and all the other stuff…I know.”

“It’s really a simple question, Dan. Here, look at this page. That’s a neat little item I might like to buy.”

“So, buy it.”

“How much is it? There’s no price.”

“Wow, you’re right. I guess you have to scan the QR code.”

“Scan the what?”

“The QR code – that weird looking barcode near the bottom of the ad.”

Scan here if you’re interested. They’re interested in you. Ho ahead, scan.

“And what to I scan it with?”

“Your phone. At least I think you can scan it with your phone. I know I can scan it with my iPhone, I’m not sure about Androids, but there must be an app.”

“No app needed here, boys. I’ll keep pouring and running a tab in the background. Here’s your beer Dan, lime wedge ‘shoved in’ as you say, and here’s your John Howell’s Bourbon, snifter of seltzer, glass of ice and two cherries, David.”

“Thanks Cheryl. Cheers, Dan. Now, tell me, why do they put this stupid sci-fi gibberish in my catalog instead of the price?”

“Because they want to know what you’re looking at.”

“I’m looking at their catalog. I signed up to receive them. I’ve been buying from this company for years. What more do they need to know about me?”

“Everything.”

“I’m glad I have this bourbon. Even though I know I’m going to regret this, please explain what you mean by ‘everything.’ But please don’t explain everything you know.”

“Good idea adding that caveat, David. You boys want anything to eat?”

“Not right now, Cheryl. Maybe if David doesn’t get too spun up, we’ll split a pizza later.”

“I’m already spun up, Dan.”

“I know. The point is, by forcing you to scan for the price, they know what items you looked at, in addition to the ones you ordered.”

“Why not just assume that I looked at the entire catalog? I mean, that’s what people do with catalogs they ask for…isn’t it?”

“Maybe those of us who remember when stores sent one out four times a year.”

“I still miss getting the Sears catalog, Dan. My brother and I would ‘shop’ there, to give our mom ideas.”

“Me too, Cheryl. Now you’d be giving Facebook and Google ideas.”

“I don’t get it, Dan. I ask them to send me a catalog so I can figure out what to order. That way, I spend as little time as possible on their website – which is a piece of crap, in my opinion.”

“I do get it, David. But when you’re browsing around on their website, they know what you look at. That helps them to target ads to you when you’re browsing other websites – perhaps even reading the blogs you follow.”

“You don’t have any ads on your blog.”

“That’s because I pay WordPress for an ‘ad-free’ experience for my readers.”

“That and he has eight-gazillion photos and ran out of room on the free plan. Sorry, Dan. You want that pizza now?”

“Touché, Cheryl. I think a large pepperoni pizza would be nice.”

“So how does this little doohickey work?”

“A QR code is a two-dimensional barcode. It includes a lot of information. It can link you to the product page, to a video and to the price – which can be changed whenever the company wants to change it.”

“So, this is a thing, now? We’re going to see more of these?”

“Here, maybe this will clear things up for you, David. It’s from an ad by the people that sell and support the technology.”

This is what QR Code technology vendors are saying to convince more stores to use the codes.

“That’s disturbing. Cheryl, can I have another glass of bourbon.”

“Already poured, David. I’ve been tracking your behavior long enough to know that was coming.”

78 comments

  1. Three bunny photos, and one a two-fer. Now that’s a good way to start the weekend, even though that rotten heat is rolling in up here as well.
    I hadn’t pondered that QR code fact, but it doesn’t surprise me. Someone somewhere is always tracking…ready to drop ball wash ads where I least expect them.
    🥴

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Plants are still looking good, and Maddie is going to need that cot in the shade this weekend for sure. Way too hot for mid May. QR codes are here to stay, and I get it except when it shows up on the TV screen. Have a good one day, and you’re going to need one of those cold Coronas to combat the heat.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I promised Maddie an early walk, but it’s raining. I’m sure it’s going to dry out later. I’m pretty sure the blossoms will fade this weekend, I just hope I don’t. Stay cool.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I like the Maddie Scan; the other type gives me the creeps. There is nothing on the computer any more that doesn’t give me the feeling that someone is watching everything I do. So the pictures of white lilacs and rhododendrons were all the more welcome. They lift my spirits every time. White is always something special in a garden. Thanks — and good luck getting through this weather; it’s yucky here too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Someone is watching everything we do – even Cheryl, but at least she’s just trying to make sure we don’t go home hungry or thirsty. The white lilacs are starting to fade. I will miss them. They are very fragrant today. We have a light rain before the heat rolls in. I hope you have a good weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. We’re all like specimens under a microscope when it comes to the internet. Creepy. WTH are all these privacy notices we get for everything?

    I cringe when sitting in a doctors waiting room. A place where everything should be private. A patient is at the receptionists desk answering questions….quietly. The receptionist, on the other hand, always has a booming voice and feels compelled to repeat the patients answers, Loudly. MRS, JONES. YOU’RE STILL AT 140 BLOSSOM LANE AND YOUR PHONE NUMBER IS 555-123-4567? Sigh….

    Raining lightly here too, and temperatures will be soaring later on today and tomorrow. Still, I’ll take this over winter any day.

    Really nice shot of Old Glory. I like the way the sun reflects the lifting fog against the trees. I like foggy pictures period. Smokey has found himself a unique perch to chow down his peanut!

    I was watering my garden the other day when all of a sudden three baby bunnies came flying out from under the spreading yew. Mama bunny always makes this home. I should’ve known better.

    Keep cool this weekend. I’m sure ice cold Corona is on the menu!
    Ginger

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh nooo, I hope the bunnies aren’t planning to turn your garden into a salad bar, Ginger.

      You made me laugh with the doctor’s office comment. I was sitting in a bar, once last year (I do that on occasion) when the woman next to me was ordering flowers. She gave the delivery address, then her name, her address, her phone number, her credit card number and the PIN. By the time she was done, I could have refurnished my house.

      I had a photo of the flag, after the fog burned off completely, but I really like this one.

      Maddie and I walked in the rain.

      Have a great weekend. Stay cool!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for making that QR thing so clear. There was no QR with those shoes I looked at two weeks ago, but they keep popping. “No app needed here, boys,” sounded comforting. It’s good that you saw the bunnies before mowing the grass. Hope they enjoyed the tulips.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you liked this JoAnna. Sometimes I drift into public service mode. The tracking these days is awful. The bunnies enjoyed every tulip except the yellow one. Maybe they don’t like yellow??? Oh well, they’re bulbs, so I guess the garden feast will rise again for them next year.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I added the QR code to my Andoid phone and after a few months, I received a notice to delete unused apps. QR was top of the list, so I deleted it. I’m guessing I used it for one thing and then stopped. I know there is no stopping the internet from watching my every move, but I try to keep a low profile. haha! Like that’s even possible.
    Your flowers are so pretty, and your photo of Smokey is great–beautiful lighting.
    Do you guys not see walker lady anymore? Have a great weekend, Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We have seen the walker lady. She was heading back into her apartment building as recent;y as three weeks ago. We’ve been walking at various times (much to Maddie’s dislike). That woman is on a tight schedule.

      No way to avoid tracking, but no need to give them more than you have to.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. This was great Dan. We always had a Sears and JC Penny’s catalogue but Sears was as fat as the Baton Rouge phone book. You remember those too, right? 😉 Our rhododendrons went on all Summer in Atlanta. I do miss the Camelia trees in our yard. They were deep reddish pink. Tall as the house! I do not like the ‘browsing inspector’ on my electronics devices. I see you laughing already but I swear they listen too. I can mention some random thing like needing to buy spinach and suddenly spinach ideas pop up in my Pinterest ‘suggestions’. It’s freaky.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Beautiful photos, Dan. I’m looking forward to visiting my kids in CT and NY at the beginning of July. It will probably be quite warm but beautiful, as your photos always remind me of. I hope you and yours have a wonderful weekend. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Dan, the East Coast is blazing today! So Cal in the 60s. Cloudy June Gloom started already. Learned something new about product barcodes. You are a tech wizard. Always love fog photos, bunnies, flowers & Maddie. Happy weekend. 📚🎶 Christine

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Christine. I’d take 60s over 90s any day. We had a little rain. I hope it’s enough to keep these plants from baking. I hope you have a great weekend.

      Like

  10. I don’t worry about the zombie apocalypse that might happen I am terrified of the microchip apocalypse that is happening now! I don’t carry a cell phone which just buggers everybody up. I’m fine with that. I prefer to keep it as a tool not a tether. Excellent post my friend. It’s a scary world out there all because of a chip.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. You can download and an app and put it on your cellphone. Then we can tell you when there is a seat at the bar. Ah no thanks. I left my cellphone at home so as not to be disturbed whist here at the bar. In fact I left my house phone at home too… QR – you want me to scan a QR ? Sounds like a medical procedure ! Quick give me a drink so I can sterilize me before I scan anything…

    Liked by 2 people

  12. The good old Sears catalog. Gotta scan the QR code now. Everything’s so complicated. What about the folks with out a phone ( I’m sure there’s someone). Loved the photos Dan, gorgeous as always and Maddie is always a delight. ⭐️

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Haha, clever Cheryl! I haven’t seen those QRCs in catalogs yet, but now I’ll be on the lookout. I imagine that tracking is one bonus but I can’t help but wonder if fungible pricing isn’t the main reason. Just like on a website, they can change it on a whim, based on how interested you seem to be. Sometimes I wonder if we will all just go along with all these new “conveniences” or will we push back at some point.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Have you ever read the book “The Power of Habit Why We Do What We Do In Life and Business” by Charles Duhigg? He writes about how they’ve been tracking human purchases for decades (or more). The QR codes just make it easier. Febreeze and toothpaste were interesting tests. Target is called Target for a solid reason ;-).
    I saw that your area was going through the heatwave – we’re the exact opposite waking up today to 34 F.
    The bunnies are adorable and the flag flying in the sun is beautiful. Stay cool, Dan!

    Like

    • I don’t recall reading that book, Shelley, but I remember learning about the “behavior of customers” in graduate school in 1976. It’s not new, but it’s getting insidious.

      We were in the high 90s, with 80% humidity this weekend. We are back in the 70s now. I hope you warm back up.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I agree, it’s getting insidious. I’m sure you know this, but our phones have at least 3 different tracking IDs – geofencing is happening. When we give permission by loading an ap on our phones, we’ve essentially added another tracking method. Ugh.
        Wow – that’s a tad too hot, too fast. We’re in the 40s this morning, maybe breaking 60 by noonish.

        Liked by 1 person

        • We are back down in the 70s. I was surprised how many apps asked for permission to track, after Apple made that a requirement. There are some where there is absolutely no reason for them to track me. I’ve denied all requests, but…

          Liked by 1 person

          • The temps in the 70s are my favorites especially for taking walks.
            I’ve done the same with denying those requests. I need to buy a new phone and I’m dreading it. I don’t want the face recognition, but I see that the latest update for my phone enables it regardless. My battery isn’t holding a charge, so one of these days, I’ll be forced to get a new one. I remember reading in one of your posts you weren’t a fan of the face recognition either. Did you ever get a new phone? If so what did you go with? 😔

            Liked by 1 person

  15. There’s far too much tracking going on en mon avis! I’m using more browsers that don’t track me these days.

    Your flowers look gorgeous! I’m not seeing many in bloom here yet, but things are budding so it should be soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Did you have snow last week? I read about parts of Colorado getting snow in May.

      The tracking is going crazy. I don’t know how much more they think they can learn about me.

      I hope you have a great week.

      Liked by 1 person

      • No, I’m in No. Nevada we had some chilly mornings but, no snow. I think we’re done with cold weather now. He-Man’s best buddy lives in CO and called him while we were at Baby Girl’s asking if we were getting snow too? We weren’t. There’s still a lot up in the mountains though. I won’t be going to hunt spring flowers up there for another month or so.

        Thank you! I hope your week is a good one too!

        Liked by 1 person

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