Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The ads that make your page beautiful

Maybe it's my humble page with links about situation in Japan, or my periodic scouting on japanese-language sites, I got myself a Persistent Sakura House syndrome. What is it ? It's an English-speaking advertisement about the nice rentals in Tokyo that is persistently following me all around the web.

I am seriously starting to check it out.

And closer to understanding how half of the world buys the junk they buy.

Anyway, this is not about Tokyo per se, nor it is about the persistent advertisements that program the minds of unsuspecting crowds.

It's about something else.

When I told my friends at Google this story we laughed, and the consensus was that with my chaotic behavior I made the algorithm believe I am very interested to go to Tokyo. Nonetheless, if I clear the cookies, the phenomenon will probably disappear (it does not show on the Firefox that I mostly do not use and which has different sets of cookies).

But I will never do it myself.

Because the ads I see make the sites look better.

Don't you agree that it is a pretty tasteful banner ?

A banner that does not sleazily try to sell something to me. A banner that (despite my general distaste with pink) is nice and calm to stare at. Maybe because of that, or maybe because of its calm layout, it makes the sites look better, in my opinion.

So, here's a million dollar idea.

Besides monetizing the additional value that the contextual advertising brings to the merchant, create and monetize the value that the website owners would get out of showing only nicer-looking advertisements on their websites.

How ? I don't know. That's why the ideas like this are dime a dozen.

Is this even something valid ? No clue. A serious amount of A/B testing should show.

I just noticed it, because this ad is persistently frequent - yet, it does not get annoying. More so, I've even gone to the site a couple of times and read the reviews - the folks seem to be pretty positive.

I am thinking of visiting Tokyo one day.

Can't say of anything else, but they make great looking ads for sure.

Monday, May 23, 2011


I am at St.Pancras, in the Eurostar lounge. Got a special friendly patdown treatment - maybe because I forgot some coins in the back pocket of the jeans. Never mind - I got used to "random checks" in my previous life.

But wait. I'm traveling. Without my habitual travel drink. Rewind the time. I need go to the Starbucks. I want my "Caramel Macchiato".

Strange. They changed the look of the menu, or they had it differently to begin with. No pseudoitalian size denominations. Seems like now you can build your own drinksfrom components - or it is just an avant-garde design. I can see "macchiato" separately, and "caramel" separately.

Too complicated. Just asked the same thing as usual. And, lo and behold, the person on the other side replied with the usual correction - "Venti ?", to which I reply "large" - as usual, in a futile attempt to abandon the adjectives that do not make much sense. So they still have it, and this will be keep me alive till I get home. The world's still going round.

There's a newspaper on the table - the first page tells how some poor orphan kid had hit a jackpot.

He is nineteen and he got a million pounds from the charity that is run by the newspaper. Good for him. If he is clever, he can make good use of this money. I hope the other hundreds or thousands of orphans both in London and elsewhere in the universe will wish him well. Or maybe they would not. The readers who gave money to him would certainly wish him well enough to give the money - but what about the other orphans ? No, they don't exist. They're just part of what we call 'the society', they do not visible out from the background of the crowd.

Try running in the middle of the crowd that is standing still. Or better, try stopping in the middle of the crowd that rushes ahead. You will be run over. Not because of anyone's evilness, just that for the others you are only a part of the crowd.

They all run towards their dreams. Those who have no dreams to run after, rush even faster to not think about that. They skip days, thinking this will get them faster to the destination. They exhaust themselves to blood while running.

Even if they do not know what the destination is, they will still have a shade of suspicion. An exhausted mind is a harbor for the suspicions, and there are enemies hiding in everything that is suspicious.

"Something strange ? Report to the police!" - says the plaque in big font.

By the way, I have something strange to report. There is free WiFi but I could not find a garbage bin to put the empty paper cup into.

Maybe the garbage bins are dangerous (I heard they can put cigarettes into them - and the smoke looks very scary! Be very afraid!).

Maybe they were just forgotten. Tiny details are easy to forget when you're making grand things.

Maybe I am just not seeing them - much like I did not see the cars when crossing the streets - looking wrong when I should be looking right.

I want to ask the policemen, but this can easily be considered a strange behavior - if there are no bins, then it means no one needs them.

I quietly leave the cup on the table and rush with the rest of the crowd to the gate. They finally announced the boarding, and we are all in a hurry to grab our places - the places that no one else can take. Would be strange if someone did - how would they not be afraid to be reported to the police for the strange behavior ?

I look back and see my cup still there, already welcoming newly arrived burger wraps.

Hopefully it's not too strange of an idea to leave an empty cup on the table when I can't find a garbage bin. I say "thank you" in advance to the person who will have to get this cup to the secret location.

Soon I will return and try again. Maybe one day I crack this strange puzzle.