Saturday, July 02, 2005

Forehead goes for $15,000 on e-bay.

I've been preaching about the ongoing decline of old school advertising. I've been on my pulpit calling for repentence followed by an innovative "born again" marketing and advertising paradigm. The old ways aren't working like they used to, which presents a wonderful opportunity for innovative thinkers to help redefine the business.

But lawdy, lawdy, say this ain't it.

A woman in Utah has been tattoed with name of a casino tattooed smack dab in the middle of her forehead in return for $15,000 to send her son to a private school. Apparently his grades were slipping in public school and Karolyne Smith offered her forehead on e-bay to be used as a walking billboard.

Crass commercialism has reached a new low. You must give her credit though. This is innnovative thinking. It strikes me as wrong, but I can't pinl down why it's so wrong.

  • It was her idea.
  • She was certainly being selfless.
  • The casino bought the space fair and square.
  • Her son will be able to attend a private school for at least one year.

It's ironic that just a few years ago, NPR's All Things Considered aired an April Fool's prank about a young man who had a logo tattooed somewhere prominently. It was a brilliant piece of social satire that at the time struck me as patently absurd..

We live in strange times.

Spam Blogging Comes Into Its Own

The friendly folks over at The Republic of Geektronica point out an interesting phenomena: the spam blog.

Blogspot, which hosts this blog, is 100% free to anyone, and spammers have learned they can play. A real live human has to set up the blog, but after that, a computer can automatically create and post links (usually for pharmaceuticals, p0rn and casino sites), that game the Google ranking system by artificially creating "linked-to" spidering data.

Google's algorithm is based on how many times a site is linked to. The more links, the higher the Google rank, ergo, the more blogs with links to some annoying purveyor, the more business likely to come their way. What's more, Geektronica says you usually can't even tell it's a phony blog until you try to leave a comment.

It's easy enough to cruise Blogspot by clicking "Next Blog" in the upper right hand corner of any Blogspot blog (including this one). It's a completely random internet experience that will take you places you'd never otherwise discover, including, apparently, drugs, dirty pictures and online gambling. It takes surfing to another level altogether.

Pretty clever, doncha think?