Can I count the ways

 I see from the fact that it is still everywhere that Ask.com is not taking a great deal of notice of the massive amount of negative feedback to its truly awful information revolution campaign. Well, aside from the fact it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, I’d think it’s important we dig down into the detail of this whole sworded episode which must have left google quaking in their boots:

  1. It’s not accessible (iframe on home page)
  2. It’s not even accessible to engines (Ask hasn’t indexed the first sentence on the main page)
    Ask indexing  “welcome people of courage”

    Although funnily enough, Google can see it – if not ranking it very highly!

    Google ranking “welcome, person of courage”

  3. It’s got that whole “fixed height” thing that people from traditional media make digital agencies do becuase they think “people won’t scroll”. Ironic if the client’s a search engine.
  4. Loads of nonsense text on the home page
  5. Dropped navigation on “Why ask” page
  6. The sign-up page is white text on a yellow background – completely unusable (am I the only person who’s signed up? – I had to use my decoder ring)Information revolution sign up
  7. No t-shirt (due to high demand, I’ll bet)No t-shirts due to high demand
  8. Flogs and fake video blogs – full on, invented human beings with obnoxious invented marketing nonsense in them (Sell a couple more t-shirts and buy a copy of Cluetrain chaps).Flog posting
  9. Some fairly obvious fake comments.
  10. Same title on every page (tut tut) and system generated page names !!! ?
  11. Really annoying interface errors (scroll bars in the middle of pages, non-standard search buttons, incorrect ident top left)
  12. The word “revolutionistas”
  13. Spelling Google with a lower case “g”
  14. Ask doesn’t even qualify as the “other search engine”. That’s Yahoo or Windows Live. Ask.com is the “unused search engine”.
  15. This is supposed to sound like the way “real people speak”

“What could possibly make a sociology graduate, a computer engineering dropout, a silent expert of monkey peer groups and a genius handyman come together? Sheer determination & a shared passion to evolve the way people search, and a common love of jammy dodgers.”

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go and take my medicine. 

Life’s a beach (the un-varnishing of David Hasselhoff)

Eject button in KITT in Knight Rider

It occurs to me that the discussion about intellectual property law which came up with the Digg debacle, is made more complex when you examine cases like that of David Hasselhoff.

The story, briefly is that a video of a the Baywatch star out-of-control drunk and eating a hamburger off the floor has be posted on YouTube. It turns out the video was recorded by his daughters for use in a sort of mini-intervention to get their dad, who is a recovering alcoholic, back on the road to recovery.

Certainly Hasselhoff employs remarkable PR staff. His public statement says that he regrets the incident but hopes that the video can serve to help demonstrate to others the pitfalls of drinking. He is not asking for the video to be removed.

The truth is that any attempt to remove the video would do nothing but draw attention to it. Obviously things are complicated by the fact that the video was created by a relative. But surely we’re moving into a difficult area here. Journalists would not have written stories about this sort of stuff – exposing people’s alcoholism, sexual habbits and the rest of it. Who’s going to enforce such kindnesses online? Being true is not always a good enough defence for the race to publish.