An Internet Education

It is Thursday, the sun is in the air–real warmth, this time, not just a lot of light–and my Amazon recommendations are currently listing a wide variety of fire arms accessories. That’s my own fault. I had to go click on a link to find out what a brass catcher was, and now I know, and I’m also about to find out what a military crimp remover is. I’m pretty sure it’s what Marines use to de-crimp their hair back into regulation rectitude following a naughty weekend in Dubai.

I could be wrong.

The thing about the internet is that there’s information everywhere.

Those weird questions you really can’t just annoy a stranger with? A fraction of a second away with your favorite search engine, and from there, you’re onto the endless Columbo-style daisy chain of just one more question.

You know you’re onto something good, if Google comes up with no relevant results, or if a hotline of any type materializes before your eyes. And I’m more or less addicted to the “People who viewed this also viewed…” feature on Amazon.

For instance… the fact that people who viewed the uterus cookie cutter I’m looking at (don’t ask) also viewed Colosseum shaped salt and pepper shakers is a really weird juxtaposition. Back in the day… which was not so very long ago… people in my neck of the woods had to send all the way to Denver to get their uterus shaped candies and cookies. And yes, I know that for a fact. Now, you can order your sugary uteri from the comfort of your own Lazy Boy.

The information’s all just there for the taking.

I’m sure there are practical applications, of course. How do you make your book show up with the most popular uteri, for instance. Or just exactly what kind of people are reading my book? Can I use that to advertise to them, later on?

The advertising thing comes up as sort of a tangent from elsewhere on the internet, of course.

What kind of people do I want to advertise my book to?

Weirdly enough, I’m pretty sure the answer is not “People who buy books” any more than the answer is people with a pulse. But it might be people who buy their kids telescopes, or people who build model rockets.

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