In the annals of corporate credibility, few initiatives stretch reality quite so much as the Restoration Hardware "Source" books, which arrived here at the house last week. I'd heard about these massive catalogs being delivered all over town for a month or so, and when I got mine, I realized it was probably the reason the cement was missing between the bricks that make up our front steps. I wouldn't want to drop the thing on my foot; let's put it that way.
It's pretty clear. What I should be doing this weekend -- hell, it shouldn't even take the whole weekend -- is thinking up a really silly social networking idea that will net me upwards of $1 million and a few headlines. Then, like the Flappy Bird guy, I'll pull the thing from the iOS and Apple app stores, and next thing you know, I'll be on the beach on Cape Cod, laughing at how I managed to pull one over on a bunch of gullible investors.
And now, at last, the Social Media Insider will stop discussing retargeting and social data and finally offer some comic relief. You see, it's a Friday in summer (well, close enough), so I'm devoting this column to something fun and simultaneously super-important, called ClickHole. What is ClickHole, you ask? According to its list of FAQs, it "is the latest and greatest online social experience filled with the most clickable, irresistibly shareable content anywhere on the internet." ClickHole is a parody, published by The Onion, that makes fun of Buzzfeed in particular, but its kin like Upworthy too, as well as …
As long-time readers of this column know, there are few things I detest more than retargeting. Though it's not quite up there with climate change denialists, my hatred of stalker ads is on a par with Bitcoin and reading about Maureen Dowd's close encounter with edible marijuana. That's still a relatively high bar. It's not a conceptual complaint, but an executional one. Make the mistake of going to a site of an advertiser that uses clumsy retargeting and you may find yourself doomed, for a month or two anyway.