Random Contrarian Comments — Part VI

PEOPLE MAGAZINE ANYONE? I suspect people magazine has been around for more than several decades – come to think of it, probably almost 40 years which might be considered a long time by readers when it comes to magazine longevity. Because the Internet has not been around that long, people.com is a much more recent People magazine channel.


When this magazine was first introduced, supposedly the magazine’s editors had said this weekly publication was going to highlight significant accomplishments by everyday people and not an obsession with celebrities? Am I the only one duped into that thinking? Did they originally call it People instead of Celebrity (or Celeb or Celebrities) because the latter name was already taken? On the other hand, perhaps it was a more inclusive title and would help with marketing? Mind you, over the years, I wish I had a Susan B. Anthony dollar coin for every celebrity picture was published on the cover of People.

I’m not saying they are celebrity obsessed but perhaps they don’t focus as much on ordinary people doing extraordinary things and sometimes are indeed obsessed with celebrities.

I’ll try to look on the bright side if I don’t have anything else to read and pick up the actual magazine – the magazine apparently attempts to focus on a 50/50 split between celebrities and human interest and http://www.people.com is exclusive celebrity related material.

CRUISE INDUSTRY MODEL FOR SUCCESS…I read that cruise lines make the majority of their money through five different channels. These five include gambling (casino), alcohol purchases on board, portrait photography, day cruises and spas. My family just took a cruise but I don’t drink or gamble and don’t feel compelled to pamper myself at a cruise spa. Yes, our family did purchase two family and children photographs for $20 each and went on one day cruise – about $75 per person which is about $300 for a family of four (excluding tip). Is it virtually impossible to avoid all their key money making channels?

My thinking: You gamble, enjoy some wine or drinks, pamper yourself, like being photographed dressed up, or have fun in the sun during your day trip. In other words, most people are doomed if they think you they can be somewhat frugal during a cruise – I guess success to some cruisers is limiting the damage. The cruise industry has stacked the deck against you. With all the food and desserts you can eat and generally good weather, people are generally in a good mood to party and have a good time. I suspect “having a good time” mean they will “live it up” and on several occasions do several of these lucrative activities for the cruise company.

For those who want to seriously limit their sailing expenses, stay away from booze, the photographer, the casino and spa and stay on board during day cruises and find something else to pass the time and on day at sea, spend the majority of time eating and exercising. However, how much fun would that be?

GIVE ME DIRECTION ON A WEBSITE…When I’m on a website, and for the most part, it doesn’t matter what website, please provide better guidance and direction to me when it comes to stories/links.  In other words, I’d like to know what links will bring me text, text with video, or video only. Could this be spelled out to me as a service? There are more than several websites that are mislabeled or lack the organizational quality so I certainly will not call out just one or two websites as common culprits. I can’t say this is necessarily intentional, but it’s certainly not user friendly.

This guidance is important as information is crucial when browsing. I may not want text with video or video only. On the other hand, I may not be in a position of viewing video only. As a service to me, please spell this out so it’s not a guessing game.

SOMETIMES BOYCOTT THE NEWS? Some people habitually watch the TV news and then complain about how negative it is ever realize they’re the problem? If half of these viewers boycotted this negative segment of TV and quit watching the news until the TV news model changed, wouldn’t that be much more effective than merely complaining to other TV viewers that the TV news is negative?

IS THE TERM ‘PRICKLY’ PRETTY SELF-EXPLANATORY? I was watching 60 minutes the other day and someone mentioned “prickly” and there was some confusion as to the definition. I didn’t immediately know the definition but that’s one of these words whose sound represents the definition.

WHEN SHOULD WE BE CHARGED FOR THE ARTWORK? We took a Royal Caribbean cruise and bought some artwork at the end of December ’12. At the time, we paid for several pieces of art with our credit card the transaction was executed around that time even though it was going to be 6-12 weeks until we received our artwork. Interesting model. It’s February 20, 2013, and has been over 50 days since the artwork was paid for even though still no artwork. I can understand executing the financial transaction at the time of shipping but to transfer the money out of our account even before the processing and overall transaction does not sit well with me.

The key thing here is the principle of paying for something many weeks before it’s even shipped. It’s interesting that this disconnect between the payment and shipment date was not mentioned to me at the time the artwork was purchased.