Smart or Scandalous?

Can I get a feel on how bad people think this is?

For the last couple of days, a news programme here has been highlighting a database of voters.

The database is big – 5,000 Gigabytes – and is eerily accurate.

The political party recorded people’s main issues, and as a result put each voter into one of about eight categories. They had the extremes – definitely one of us or definitely not one of us, but it is the grey area where it gets interesting.

“People who might vote for us” were specifically targetted with things like Facebook ads extolling the virtues of their candidate.

“People who probably won’t vote for us” were sent different ads, encouraging them not to vote at all.

You can hopefully see that if these strategies paid off, they would both benefit that political party.

Where I’m not convinced is that our news programme seems to think it is a bad thing. I look at it and just think it is smart.

Surely, as a political party, you have limited resources – time and/or money – it makes sense to keep as comprehensive a database as possible? Surely it makes sense to understand what people’s issues are? Surely it makes sense to make sure that potential supporters vote for you? And that potential “not-supporters” do not vote for your opponents.

I don’t know, it just seems smart to do all these things, as far as I can tell. Every political party should be doing this, surely? Anybody have a view on this?

Close Call

for Fandango’s One Word Challenge (FOWC), ensconced.

Cheerily catching up with my blog,
Almost done, with no backlog.
Through my posts I lazily stumble,
I hear my neighbour’s bin go runble.

It’s not my fault, I was ensconced,
But action must be my response,
I’d clean forgotten that today’s the day,
They come and take our bin away!

I jolt alert. I pull away,
Because today is Garbage Day!
In a trice I’m up and on my feet,
I must get the bin onto the street!

You never saw me move so fast,
As the seconds, they go ticking past.
It’s a quarter to, I have some time,
And so begins the pantomime.

Today it is recycling waste,
As I reach the driveway in my haste,
In my dressing gown I come alive,
And wheel the bin along the drive.

As I finish up I start to wane,
But at least the bin is in the lane.
When at last the task is now complete,
I see the cart come up the street.


We’ve all been there.