Thursday, May 27, 2010


Geez, it's creepy to see some of the microniche ads placed next to my Gmail account. I don't go on FB much so I haven't focused heartily on those. Obviously some entity, whether it's supposed to be an inhuman algorithm or a handrubbing Peter Lorre type, is reading my gmail and selecting ads for me personally (O Joy!) based on what I sent to another individual. Is it supposed to make it less of an invasion by having the data collection and analysis done by something impersonal? (Of course, you don't know if it's impersonal. If the coin of the realm is information, then Google and FB have the Midas touch.)

So much of monetizing the Internet (in other words, selling ads) is based on the pretense that what citizens write is private. But of course it isn't. So the companies profiting pretend and give lip service to the notion of privacy and encourage their supplicants to believe in it when they know full well that all their thoughts and dreams are accessible, marketable and blackmailable. Knowledge that nothing is private is like knowledge that we're going to die. You push it into the back of your mind and try to forget the inevitable but sooner or later it's going to bite you on the ass.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


In Putting A Price On Words , Andrew Rice gives some good inside dope on what's considered valuable content on the web:

Henry Blodget, former felon and Editor-In-Chief of Business, “Perhaps it’s time to float a new theory: we’re already in the gutter. What we click on accurately reflects what we’re interested in, no matter how much we think and protest and hope to the contrary.”

A few days afterward, Blodget engaged in an entertaining multiplatform spat over the issue with the Reuters columnist Felix Salmon, producing the calculation that, in order to earn back a $60,000 annual salary, an online journalist needs to generate a whoppig 1.8 million page views a month.

There is, of course nothing wrong with giving readers what they secretly want every once in a while. The problem arises when you start producing articles solely for the id of the search engines, because some clicks are more valuable than others.

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.--Oscar Wilde

Jesus. If Oscar were alive today, he'd be digitalizing and uploading his Lord Alfred money shots instead of coming up with eternal witticisms. However did we arise from the primeval ooze, anyway?