BoingBoinging - the day after
So yesterday, yeah, I got BoingBoing'd for Pauly B and the Spizzle Bizzle Yo!, and it was pretty cool. I've been on the Internet's radar before, but not this decade, so it was a very ego-gratifying experience indeed, to have Cory say he liked my work, and Avedon Carol link to it, and Brad DeLong bookmark it.

But besides the emotional roller-coaster inherent in the essential BoingBoinging experience, I made two key discoveries. One is that when asked whether Cory Doctorow or Bruce Schneier would win a head-to-head, you can answer:


A link from Bruce Schneier's comments section compares favorably with Cory's whole front page mention. But this is to be expected, of course, because it's Bruce Schneier. And Cory probably forgot to wear the cape.

The second, and more serious point, though, is that default business plan we've all been using, to wit (1) place ads, (2) get traffic, (3) ???, (4) profit! I draw the court's attention to Exhibit A:

Uh ... what happened there? Yesterday, I had twenty times my normal traffic -- why didn't I have twenty times the clickthroughs? Well, Dearly Beloved, my usual traffic is all about workflow and forum despamming and GDBM, while yesterday's traffic was about Paul Bunyan. Let's look at the actual ads served up for "Paul Bunyan and the Spambot", and let's savor the ever-lovin' irony:

Notice anything? Remember that one episode of the Simpsons, where Krusty the Clown has a chain of summer camps, and they have a video of Krusty greeting the kids, and the name of the camp is in voiceover? And it's like "Hyuck-hyuck-hyuck, kids! I sure am glad to see you here with my good friend Vernon Smith! I couldn't make it, but Vernon Smith is my bestest friend!" Remember that?

These ads are spambot ads. They are, as follows:

  • [keyword] - Find [keyword] at Great Prices
  • [keyword] - Find Deals, Read Reviews from Real People. Get the Truth.
  • [keyword] - Trusted [keyword] Answers from Users.
  • [keyword] - Find practical business information on [keyword].

I suppose if the keyword were "soap" or "video games" or anything, you know, commercial in nature, these would work pretty well. But "short stories"? "Paul Bunyan?"

Anyway, I found this all richly bizarre when the topic in question was, in fact, the emulation of human judgment by mechanical means. We're living in the future.

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