Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Blogging, Sponsored by ______ ?

So it looks like not posting yesterday set me back a bit, and now there's all this crap to talk about. As it seems like is often the case nowadays though, it was used very wisely with someone special, so all is well. Anyway, what I figured I'd make the headline today is this new form of advertising from Google called Pay-Per-Action (PPA) where you're not paid by the click, but rather by the user doing something at the site on click-through. Also, rather than the box on the side like how AdSense is, it can be incorporated directly into normal text (presumably, via automatic, smart searching of your text). This isn't a new concept, but other people who have tried it kind of do it in an obtrusive and irritating way. It looks like they're handling it a little better, though being JavaScript can prove to be less than ideal, especially for RSS aggregators. What you have to wonder though, is whether this lowers the credibility of bloggers utilizing the text link ad format, because maybe they'll try to speak in a certain way to divert readers to those sites so they can get money. Paying bloggers who solely say good stuff about your products or bribery aren't unheard of, just usually quickly found out and excommunicated from blog readers. So I guess theoretically then, such a problem would iron itself out. It still feels weird though. With AdSense, it's like having a banner ad: you're not imposing anything on the reader, it's just there for when their eyes wander. With text links though, you're definitely getting a better chance at targeting an audience, but you compromise their trust in your site, even if you're not purposely trying to direct promote such advertising. Given that this blog is for fun, I would never do something like that. I prefer for everyone to realize that my opinions truly are my own without any doubt, but it's just an interesting ethical issue to ponder.

Speaking of Google, Ars Technica got its hands on their new mobile search, and it definitely sounds much more intelligent than before. Their thoughts are almost too positive, and I was hoping to see some flaws in it, but maybe it is just that awesome? They do have a knack for usability, after all (much more so than attractive UIs, ugh). YouTube is actually going to be launching a mobile site of their own this summer (I guess Google has really turned its attention to mobile applications now, I wonder if it has anything to do with that non-existent Google Phone?). June is when their deal with VCast expires, so that's why they have to wait. I question how easily people will be able to find videos on YouTube on their phone, if they'll really want it, and if it'll be worth whatever it costs them to access the Internet at incredibly slow speeds on their phone?

Meanwhile, poor Yahoo is still kind of straggling. In what I consider an off color move, they've decided to Hell with their premium mail service and are now giving everyone unlimited storage. That's exciting and all, but I find it annoying that people still can't forward from Yahoo Mail, and it still doesn't support Pop3 access. Combine that with fact that its interface is little more than a tab-based version of Outlook Express, and you have an inferior product. Sorry Yahoo, more space just isn't enough. Why not work on making things faster and more robust? You have a decent UI, just run with it farther, and optimize.

I guess everyone has seen their fair share of lukewarm receptions of the Apple TV, but because Ars Technica put theirs up I just have to plug it. It's the most comprehensive look you'll see around, and balances the good with the bad very well. Some sites are even going so far as to recommend the Mac Mini instead. Just be forewarned that rigging that up will take extra effort, so in that case you might as well just get a Windows Media Center machine instead.

One more quick thing with Apple: even the New York Times is supporting that rumor we heard a long while back that they may subsidize the purchase of albums for which you've already bought songs from, just within a certain time period. Maybe we'll hear official word soon, then?

So Microsoft is releasing their Xbox 360 Elite thing tomorrow, and I just had to remark at how stupid this is. You're paying $480 for an Xbox 360 in black with an HDMI cable and a 120 GB hard drive. The best part is that the hard drive costs $180 separately. Why don't they just take your first born child? I'm glad I don't have time for video games so much anymore, or else I'd be totally broke by now.

Surprisingly enough, Robert Rodriguez has already started talking a little bit about Sin City 3 and how Johnny Depp may even be in it. That sounds like it'd be a freaking cool movie, especially around the "Hell and Black" storyline.

I'm a little ashamed to say that I actually laughed during the trailer for I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry. I'm afraid it'll be a movie full of flat jokes, but I do hope that it does end up being funnier than usual for a romantic comedy because I like Kevin James and Adam Sandler. On the opposite end of the genre spectrum is the trailer for 28 Weeks Later, which is much better than I would've expected, though I think it follows a more typical zombie movie storyline this time around. It probably won't be as fresh as the original was.

Lastly, there are pictures up from the premiere of Grind House of its leading ladies. It's weird to see them now all dressed up and outside the context of their characters in the trailers.

Before I close up, I'm going to leave you a picture from my scavenger hunt this weekend for the ACM scavenger hunt. Apparently, the girls were less than willing in publicly trying to pull me back by the shirt, so we decided on the next funniest thing for the word "Axe"

Click to enlarge

I know, scary....

So I can't mind hump this week because I don't own any cats, so let's go with Loaded Questions instead:

Hypotheticals: If you could be a character in any novel, who would you be?
Ok, that's extremely hard. The point of a lot of novels are to really deconstruct characters, and so there aren't often characters who you'd love to be. I guess if I had to be anyone though, I'd be the main character in The Dead Zone. He's sort of a tragic character, but he gives up his life for something noble, and I dig that.

Anything Goes: What outdoor activity do you consider the most dangerous?
Probably mountain climbing. Rock climbing is hard enough as it is, how the Hell do you safely scale a mountain?!

No-Brainers: What is your favorite genre of movies?
Probably dramas. I like dramas that incorporate a fair amount of dry/dark humor though (hence my obsessions for Kill Bill and Pulp Fiction).

Personals: How good is your long-term memory, on a scale of one to ten?
I'll go with a 6, maybe a 7 if I'm being generous. I'll remember random stuff, but not always the most important stuff.

Fair warning: I'm not going to be able to post tomorrow night because I will be going to Copa.

1 comment:

Lynda Walldez said...

Thanks for participating in the Loaded Questions Meme. Hope to see your answers next week as well. :D