Reduce Facebook Ads the Supai, Arizona Way

Soylent Facebook

I should note, days after this post, Facebook demanded I prove my identity. As my name is not Danakin Skyjacker, I was unable to satisfy their idiotic documentation criteria. They closed my account. I switched to one of my other fb accounts, with an even goofier name. The good news? Even less advertising. That fb profile has never had a hometown or a current city associated with it and it had “liked” almost nothing. Pure minimal-ad Facebook experience achieved. If you don’t want to open a new Facebook account, stick with the method below.

Original post follows:

I’ve been increasingly inundated with advertisements on Facebook, especially on their iOS app.

Cause 1: Facebook continually finds new ways to monetize its product. (You. You’re the product!) (Go on, click that link. It’s fun!)

Cause 2: Until today I’d told Facebook I lived in Honolulu, one of the most hip, expensive, and cosmopolitan cities in this hemisphere. (I don’t.)

Minimize Facebook Ads

So I changed my current city and hometown to Supai, Arizona, the most remote town in the United States. It’s not even accessible by car! Supai is the only place in the United States where mail is still carried out by mules.

RESULT: Fewer advertisements on fb. I am no longer ostensibly part of a cherished target demographic. (I never was.)

Sure, I might start seeing ads targeted to native Americans, and if Facebook advertising is on its game, I might even see ads related to sprucing up my imaginary new home in Supai. So far–worth it.

Concerned about your privacy? …Or just tired of ads?

Won’t you join me in Supai?

When not generously providing free table tennis lessons to hacks at the Triple Crown Pub, Dan Dreifort consults on SEO, user experience, and other aspects of digital marketing.

Looking for the best Hawaii digital marketing agency

I fired a Hawaii marketing agency a couple of months ago. I was not a client. I’d been providing usability and SEO services to their clients since 2007. (Does that mean I quit?) I grew online business for a few of their big-name clients and received decent money for it. Everybody at the agency was polite and skilled. So why did I fire them? Throughout the six-year engagement they paid several hundred invoices, but rarely on time. I fired them because they regularly forced me to act as an accountant and a collections agent.

Glutton For Digital Media Agency Punishment

Hawaii Destination Marketing SEO and a Beach
I heart Hawaii !

A few weeks later I was approached by another Hawaii digital marketing outfit. I’m not hungry for work now, but with so much SEO and usability experience in the Hawaii destination and hospitality verticals, part of me wants to put that knowledge to good use. So when this new agency reached out to me, I engaged.

I insist on signing a mutual non-disclosure agreement with all clients. The NDA serves to protect any private information and ostensibly allows us to discuss anything without worry of public eyes and ears. After a month of wasting my time, this new agency today tells me, “We can’t sign this.” I tried to identify and fix the perceived problem, but after receiving a couple more obtuse emails, I eventually jabbed, “I take my clients’ privacy very seriously. If [Agency] doesn’t respect that, we’re obviously not a good match.” I sent a friendly “goodbye” note to his partner.

I assure you I won’t be communicating with them again unless we agree about privacy.

What I’ve learned:

  • Fool me once, shame on, um… how does that go, George Bush? Fire clients more quickly if/when they’re late with payments.
  • Don’t invest too much speculative time with clients until they agree to protect privacy.
  • I’d again like to help a Hawaii company or agency with search engine optimization and user experience.
  • I *still* don’t like time-wasters.
Dan Dreifort‘s current clients include: Product recommendation SaaS company, Plastic container manufacturer/retailer, Adjustable air-mattress retailer/manufacturer, Memory foam mattress manufacturer/retailer, Specialty shipping company, Brazilian jiu jitsu franchises, Tourist magazine, Childcare franchises, Acting school, Real estate brokers, Lawyer, Fence manufacturer/retailer, Online drug rehab center and a couple more. Dan is busy and can’t accept new work until January, 2014.

Kauai Bicycling

So I blew my back out over a year ago. (It’s an extruded disc if you want to get technical.) My greatest lament has been my inability to lead a “normal” physically active life. I went so far as to purchase a stationary recumbent bicycle. That worked for a while until my back inexplicably worsened. I’m in that unlucky slot – gaining weight, back too shot to live a normal life, but not bad enough for those usually (allegedly) moneygrubbing cut-happy neurosurgeons to cut me and fix things.

I’ve been to Hawaii several times. Once to Maui and many cherished stops on Oahu. I’m a total sucker for Hawaii. I’ve heard great things about both the Big Island and Kauai. The former – a crazy volcanic pit of lava-tastic adventure, the latter the relatively undeveloped home to the wettest place this side of that other really wet place. (Is it really the wettest in the world?)

When visiting Maui, I really wanted to bike down Haleakala. Two things prevented me from doing this. 1. I was recovering from knee surgery. (Is my connective tissue made of glass?! Didn’t they make a movie about me?) 2. You have to wake up before I usually go to sleep to enjoy tearing down a volcano on two skinny wheels. That one-two punch kept me from biking that day, and might’ve saved my life.

As I type this, I realize that the built in spell checker isn’t working for whatever reason. I was really impressed that I’d spelled “Haleakala” correctly. I don’t think I did. But you know what I mean. (Please contact me if you find spelling errors!)

So as much as the huge volcano isle is tempting, I’m considering Kauai for my next trip. I hear Kauai bicycling opportunities are amazing. I poked around and found a place that rents recumbent bikes, so I might give Kauai bicycling a shot. It’s an older island/volcano, so it’s not as steep and rugged as the Big Island or Maui’s Halewhatever it’s called.

My biggest concern is riding a recumbent bike that actually has wheels. The last and only time I tried to ride one was in the 1980s in Put-in Bay, Ohio, coincidentally also an island. (But not a volcano.) Recumbent bikes were a new (to me) thing, but I was pretty young, so plenty was new to me. They were billed as “the Ferrari of bicycles”. The guy tooling around on one might’ve been the same guy who was renting them to Marks like me. Regardless, the younger and ostensibly more agile me couldn’t grok it. I spent a few minutes trying to get going… but couldn’t. No sale. Bad Mark!

Maybe it’s something that comes with age. I’ve since seen plenty of oldsters riding them. Perhaps it’s one of those necessity things.  “My damn back’s broken. This thing is my only option to not gain fifty pounds. I’ll fight it like Calvin fought his bike if I have to.” Kinda like that?

We’ll see. I doubt I’ll be biking here in Kauai. Doesn’t sound like a good Kauai biking trail.