Internet is a great place for businesses and for marketing. We all know it. But why? Basically, because the internet makes it a lot easier to find the right audience for any product. Also, everybody is consuming a lot of content, which means that our behaviour makes it even easier for companies to reach us. So, advertisers will look for and find you on the internet. But, can you avoid them? And if so, how?
Yes, you can. That’s the short answer. But you’ll have to take action. And they’ll try to put you back on the ads consuming wagon at every turn.
You should be conscious that most services track you so they can get the right ad in front of you. Every time you accept the cookies of a new site, you should take a good look at which cookies are those. The most basic ones and the reason why most websites need to warn you is because of the social media cookies. That website that you are visiting may not be tracking you but as they use social media widgets and other third parties (and those do track all your activity) they must warn you. But I’ve found that many sites will even specify which services and companies work with them, which might actually be many more than we are used to and will share your data for a wider range of purposes and to far many companies. Unfortunately, there are some of these cases when it is actually not possible to deny accepting those cookies and to navigate the site.
How to remove ads (some at least)?
First of all, start by getting some tools. Aka:
Adblock (for your favourite browser)
Use a browser that doesn’t track you and blocks most ads
Then, accept that you’ll have to say no. Every time you say you consent to have ads better suited to your interests, you are accepting ads and trackers.
a gratuitous picture of my cat, depicting privacy 😆
How to get more privacy using google
First, check this(!) It freaks me out to see it. They just have too much information. Imagine you could access that info about any person. Or every person. You could know much more than where they work and live (which is not little).
Go to https://myaccount.google.com/data-and-personalization and pause all the services you don’t really need. I only keep the Youtube history to keep a record of which videos I saw, in case I want to rewatch any of them. Turn off ad personalisation (anyway, it is more fun to see new unrelated ads, and you won’t be seeing many either).
And now for the action that changes it all: go to these sites and turn off all the companies:
Last but not least, stay informed and keep trying to push off the ads. You may even find that you are not seeing ads on Youtube! I rarely see any and I can enjoy Youtube music for free without interruptions (most of the time).
And rest assured, the day you are actually on the internet looking for a product you want or need, you’ll be able to find it without the help of constant ads floating all over the sites.
Here comes what used to be my “links of the month” post. Although, because I don’t think I’ll be able to make it monthly, now it’s just things worth sharing #numbered. And because most of the following has little to do with surface design, design or my art practice, there’s no point on being more specific.
YOU CAN SKIP THIS PART
The year started 8 months ago and I didn’t get to publish any post. So embarrassing and shameful. But here we are. So, let me tell you REAL quick what my intentions were when 2019 started. I decided not to focus on a list of goals for the year. Instead, I want to focus on the bigger picture and work on it slowly and steadily. That’s my only goal. To move forward. To lower my expectations over myself and all the things I should be doing and achieving and to acknowledge that I’m already working hard on balancing all the things on my plate and giving priority to building habits that will help me achieve my big dreams. And I encourage you to do the same. I can’t jump to a future life without being here right now and doing the things that need to be done right now. Taking care of oneself is not as social media lays it out to be (pink baths and cute pyjamas) but about being brutally honest with the self and starting to learn what those activities are that do you well but that you deny because, in your mind, you are not that sort of person. (I feel so mature now that I’m 26 yo LOL) Let me put better: I tend to avoid people and sports, not because I dislike them (maybe some people and some sports, but not in general), but because I don’t see them as a priority. As it happens, though, I do feel a lot more alive if I spend a good chunk of my free time engaged in both of them. And that’s hard to listen to, as I usually think I need to stay in when I most need to go out. You may understand this better if your personality type is 5 too. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, check this. And you may also be interested in this (it seems I’m a logician). These are personality groups, with tests and information on every type. I’m not a fan of being put in a box like that but when it happens to be quite right and the texts become enlighting, I must admit it can be helpful. And I’m always up for some self-improvement.
NOW THE LIST
Here comes a mix of links I found on the interwebs with no connection:
– This video: ” In “Dream”—a harrowing video by Zombie Studio—critically endangered animals poignantly sing “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Misérables.”
– Ever wondered about the beaches in South Africa? I did and I want to keep this article close for the day I get to go. You know, even though I’m not the cliché surfer who gets every surf break they can, I do like to travel to places where it is possible, so if I get the chance to surf the better.
– If you are a designer too, you may like this. How important do you think typography is for science fiction movies that picture the future? Well, quite a bit actually. You can see some case studies on this page.
– Here is a short guide to Instagram basics (characters related) that comes handy.
I started doing so well with my reading this year… And rapidly went back to the old habits. I love reading but I have to do it squeezing the small chunks of time I have left in my day and that means being focused on reading, while I still want to be thinking about so many other things, my projects, designs, illustrations… Anyway, here’s a list of what I’ve been reading this year (yeah, there’s a theme around here – I’m always up for a business/ marketing/ self-improvement book):
– TheSlight Edgeby Jeff Olson – This book sets the tone for the start of the year. The idea behind it is simple but that makes it just more powerful. I totally recommend it to anyone but to explain it in a sentence: there lays a great power on every small action you take every day and it will change your future.
– This is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn To See by Seth Godin. You probably know Seth Godin as he’s a marketing guru on the internet and you have probably come across something he said already… Anyway, in this book he talks modern marketing in the era of online commerce and it’s a nice read, good to brush up on some ideas.
– Company of One: Why Staying Small Is the Next Big Thing for Business by Paul Jarvis. I love how he talks about building and keeping a small business small and how that’s important. I totally buy into the idea that small businesses have a real future and the idea of not trying to grow bigger and bigger as a business should be pursued more broadly.
–The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter–And How to Make the Most of Them Now by Meg Jay. This one’s a bit off-topic, but I really enjoyed it. Not in the way I would enjoy a novel, but as a book that knows how to clearly break down what it means to be a 20-something, the worries we have, the problems we face, how we feel about our lives. And it gives solutions or at least it shows us the path. How to grow up and keep going forward in the way that better suits and benefits us. I wish I had this book when I entered the twenties but at least I had it 4 years to go before entering the so cursed 30’s. Anyone else has noticed that all benefits of being “young” or “under x” end at 30? Is there something that they don’t tell us, like that we will be dead inside or something when we reach that age?
– As a man thinketh by James Allan. I had listened to/ watched videos with James Allen’s voice overs for a while and heard (actually read) about this book lots of times previously, so it was a matter of time I would read it eventually. It’s a short read and it teaches how to think, which is not a small feat.
– Rich dad, poor dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki. Did you miss having financial classes or some kind of guidance while growing up about money issues? Well, here you’ll find what you wanted and what you need to start progressing. I enjoyed it, was motivated by it and have to keep digging in that field (I have a full course on financial studies ready to study).
–When Coffee & Kale Compete: Become Great at Making Products People Will Buy by Alan Klement. How can you get a great idea for a business? How to prove it’s worth pursuing it? This book is full of good ideas, case studies and ideas on how to find a good idea, how we know it’s a good idea and how others have made it. Learn what you need to know to develop a good business idea – that what you can take from it. I loved the approaches taken in this.
I’ll tell you more when I’m finished. And probably the list will have grown longer, as my to-read list is endless (f***).
And here goes a video I enjoyed recently about this great surf artist and his path to it.
And lastly… A product that has saved me this year: glasses with a blue filter. I had my doubts they would actually work… But spending most of my day in front of a screen (retina screens and my Xiaomi’s) I had to try it, as I would have red eyes almost every day. And they do work. I still get red eyes from time to time and some days they even hurt, but it has now happened on occasion when it would be like this every day before. If you are thinking about taking the leap and trying them, go ahead!
Because I don’t want to feel like the drawing above, I end up looking like below. A bit too geeky for my taste.