Someone stopped by the store yesterday and left me a brochure, in hopes that I would sign up for a new service. I took a quick look and read their rather lofty mission statement: "To advance engagement between businesses and consumers though social, local and mobile platforms in order to bridge their digital and social lives." (And I take it that in this context, one's social life is whatever one does when not connected to a device.) Reading further, I quickly figured out that what they want to do is broadcast targeted deals to consumers who happen to be walking by. As they put it - we currently lack up to date data tracking methods - they will track and "touch" our customers. This is a concept that manages to be both incredibly offensive and very amusing to us here. As someone who lives in the "social" more than the "digital" world, I can think of nothing worse than to have my telephone start announcing deals every time I walk by a store. And as a generalized retailer of Joie - it makes me wonder, what, exactly, would we be targeting here? Enticing a customer with a sale on the plastic wind up mouse? Magic Eight Balls - 20% off for the next three minutes? They also state that their company, Howler, "makes everyday life more convenient for both retailer and buyer." (And they give their announcements the unfortunate name of "howls.") Sorry - but we beg to differ. More annoying, more intrusive, more expensive (for the retailer anyway), more big-brother is watching you like -yes to all those, but more convenient? Do we really have to move toward a life where every device we own will be trying to get us to spend money all the time - life as one big non stop advertisement? Count us out. But, we'll just do a little mini targeting to you blog readers right now - come on in and see us anytime for a little joie de vivre!