Death & Habit


The death of the click, as such, sounds dramatic:

For the past 10 years, we’ve operated on the premise that the most important digital metric is the click that refers a person to a website. That click usually comes from a social distribution channel, like Facebook or Twitter, or a search engine, like Google or Bing. But according to industry experts, the click referral is becoming an idea of the past, soon to be replaced by content exposure.

It would behoove us to pay attention. To the one, it is already happening. To the other … er … ah … well, yeah, there is, in fact, a point to wondering what the big deal is. But that’s the thing. As the Axios report explains:

Clicks look like a high-performing tactic, but a lot of work is done to get you to type something into a search bar to begin with,” AdRoll President Adam Berke tells Axios. Marketers are starting to attribute marketing success towards content exposure that drives you to click something, instead of the click itself. Two key formats increase content exposure: video and passive scrolling. Google and Facebook are investing heavily in products that embody these formats: YouTube and Instagram.

The bottom line is that your daily habit isn’t going to change for evolving necessity; rather, how you interact with the world will become more and more bound to theses of behavioral economics applied within a marketing context intended to backfill its justification post hoc―that is to say, your behavior will change to suit someone else’s business model.

And, yeah, that might sound a bit dramatic, but most people probably won’t notice, except to grumble a bit, like they did with Apple and … I don’t know, that dating app.

Meanwhile, for the business community the definition of success becomes even hazier. Good enough for government work, is better redefined as, Good enough for the tech sector. Then again, the definition of government work might well be unsettled for the momemt, as well, so … you know.



Fischer, Sara. “The death of the click”. Axios. 20 February 2017.

Distraction in Real Time

One of the things about necessity and the motherhood of invention is that such notions can be misogynistic.  Cramming for finals or writing a resarch paper on a last-chance all-nighter is what it is, but at some point the parenting metaphors invite questions of neglect.  Consider, for instance, the idea of displaying two blank spaces in HTML.  It can be done, but you must type or macro a particular markup.  And, well, eventually the marketplace did get around to certain aspects. Continue reading

It Almost Seems Deliberate


To: YouTube

re: Really? I thought this part was obvious

So … you know that little thing you have where we click for the option to say we don’t want you promoting this or that kind of video? Why does it not work? No, really, when I tell you to not show me this, don’t turn around and promote the same damn video again.

The Password Hole

Detail of frame from 'Darker Than Black: Gemini of the Meteor' episode 8, "Twinkling Sun on a Summer Day …"

A personal note: If someone feels they need technical assistance with their computer or network, then one of the things I will need in order to help is access.

Welcome to the password hole.

In the first place, I’m not much of a techie; perhaps help desk would appreciate me if they only understood how often I don’t call them. Still, though, as a user who knows how to start and operate a computer, and even do things like update my system without help, other people occasionally think I am some manner of expert.

Rule Number One: If it is a Windows system, I can’t help.

Rule Number Two: I can’t fix it if you can’t tell me what the problem is.

Rule Number Three: There is, by tradition, no Rule Three.

Rule Number Four: Remember your fucking passwords!

Continue reading

Memo to Google: Why You’re Horrible People

To: Google

re: Just admit you suck

As we go from computer to computer, resetting our passwords because you want us to, the question also arises why you won’t let us.

Yeah, we know you “weren’t hacked”, but you are being a bunch of incompetent, insulting assholes.

In the first place, don’t tell us it’s something suspicious about us. Until every last account is verified and you no longer feel the need to demand we jump through these hoops, the message should not be that there is something suspicious about your users. Just tell the truth: “Sorry, but we at Google really, really fucked everything up and we’re really, really sorry for putting you through all of this bullshit like asking to to reset your password on every computer you ever use to get your email, which in turn is why we still like to pretend that you’re suspicious. After all, we’re Google, and we just proved ourselves incompetent, and we recognize that it is really, really wrong of us to treat you like that just because we can’t do our jobs properly.”

And, you know, honesty might help your image. I mean, it’s not like this makes Google employees terrible people. No, that would be the candy-named, botched-up operating system on “smart” (ha!) phones.

Of course, that much you can blame on users; after all, the hideously mistaken decision to trade out an iPhone for an Android was my own, and I damn well should have known better.

But it’s true. Google’s inability to do its job as relates to account management does not make the company’s employees horrible people. Rather, the OS should do the trick. And, you know, in the end, so does the fact that they work for Google.

Your users would be considerably less annoyed with your fuckups if you would just be an honest, decent (corporate) person for once.

That, however, is something we recognize is beyond your faculties. Which, in turn, is why you suck.

Stats Report: Bigotry Edition

Stats ReportAh, the internet.

I don’t know, though. Maybe this one is hard to explain.

To start with, it’s been an unusual day with high traffic to the blog. Hardly the highest, but still, nearly thirty-fold surge compared to the usual trickle of readers.

Naturally, this interested me.

Among the stats available to me are the search terms used to access the blog. It’s generally an interesting survey; we might be surprised how many people, this many years later, search for “nancy amons porn”; we hate to disappoint them, but life is what it is.

Yesterday, though, we posted a note on anti-Islamic bigotry in Virginia. No real surprise there, of course; after all, it’s a country club in Virginia. But the post did draw some hits (something like twenty-nine, if we must be specific; yes, quite impressive).

And it’s the list of terms that brought people to the post that snatches my attention:

• dahlberg pikrallidas

• muslim beating and country club of fairfax

• ed dahlberg

• edward dahlberg fairfax

dahberg beat up stupid muslim [sic]

• ed dahlberg of clifton, va

• “ed dahlberg”

There are, of course, a couple others; there’s the people obsessed with one particular corrupt Washington State Patrol trooper, and the time I fretted about my liver after realizing the dosage of a painkiller.

But, yes, aside from those two, the rest of the search results had to do with Ed Dahlberg’s alleged assault against Mohammed Salim.

It’s one of those things that you wonder if someone is doing intentionally, for your benefit: “dahberg beat up stupid muslim”.

I mean, it even has the semi-literate typo.

Life goes on (for the living).

But, seriously, whether you’re a half-assed provocateur or a half-wit bigot, thank you for the chuckle. We appreciate it greatly.

Google = Idiots?

Some people just don’t appreciate subtlety. Still, though, it’s other people catching these little moments and posting them, so even though I would have done it without the big red letters mucking up the scene, my hat is off to a fellow named Jerry who forwarded this image along to one of his favorite columnists:

And that one came in response to this capture:

Continue reading