Powers Unfiltered

An entrepreneur’s journey into grid computing and partnering with Microsoft, by John Powers

Powers Unfiltered header image 2

I do not understand

December 18th, 2006 · 2 Comments

Kevin Burton is up in arms over the advertising campaign being run by Bigfix.  He’s concerned that poor innocents on the Web won’t understand that the fake news stories placed in some blogs and news sites are, well, fake.

Since I’m only about one-and-a-half degrees of separation from BigFix (I know a couple of people who used to work there, I have no affiliation whatsoever), I thought I’d see what the fuss was about.  So I followed the links, watched the video, got a very mild chuckle, and failed to get nearly as excited as Kevin did.

Frankly, it all seems like a fairly ordinary level of techy-corporate marketing lameness — OK, I wouldn’t have voted to run this specific campaign this specific way — blown out of proportion by a self-appointed watchdog who thinks craigslist is evil and hates it at conferences when he can’t tell who paid to present and who was invited because they were cool. 

Looking at an ad that looks like news makes me snort and say “whatever, you fooled me, I just lost 8 seconds of my life I’ll never get back, moving on now.”  Reading Kevin Burton for five minutes makes me snort and say “I’m glad I’m not spending my life on the sort of confused pseudo-advocacy that leads so many people to make fun of the blogosphere echo chamber.” 

Back in the middle ages (OK, 1995) there were still people who thought there “should” be no ads on the Internet, where “should” meant they did not like ads (nor the corporations that ran them, nor the pernicious influence of profit-motivated evildoers who ran those corporations, nor the government stooges who were in cahoots with those evildoers who would twist the Internet into just another instrument of their plans to suck the souls out of right-thinking semi-libertarian hacker-geeks who should be left alone to create a cyber-Utopia). 

Sounded great, but it didn’t turn out that way.

Back in 2006, there were still people who thought ads “should” not look like news, that Flash is “bad,” that viral marketing “should” be considered bad, that the proceeds of ads (naturally, modest and reasonable and inconspicuous and innoffensive text-only ads, carefully labeled as ads) “should” be used to feed starving children in Africa, and that everyone else’s business plans should be rewritten by “independent” bloggers. 

Sounds great.  It will not turn out that way.

One would think this type of conversation would be limited to freshman dorms after 3 AM, but apparently 6724 people want to listen to him.  Go figure.


Tags: Uncategorized

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Kevin Burton // Dec 18, 2006 at 9:03 pm

    Nice. Post… Either parody or linkbait…. not sure which one :)

  • 2 john // Dec 19, 2006 at 12:27 am

    Thanks, Kevin. Go on believing that…
    (If this was linkbait, it appears to have been a failure — I guess you did not accept my trackback?)

Leave a Comment