Even though I don’t post very often, I’m probably on the computer more than most since I stopped watching TV back in 2001. I web surf, watch movies online and entertain myself with you tube videos. I’m always annoyed at the pop-up adverts that supposedly display products that I “should” be interested in.
Epic fail…but I bounce around like a house fly with attention deficit disorder so I can’t really blame the techno geeks who came up with the algorithm. A friend of a friend of mine works at google so I decided to call him one night about some ideas I had.
I was all set to talk about how to make the adverts more relevant but as soon as I punched in the last digit, my brain created perhaps the best idea I’ve had in years.
Here’s a transcript of the conversation.
Google tech: Hello?
Kaveman: Howdy, we have a mutual friend XXXXX, he gave me your number and I was hoping to pitch an idea you might be interested in which I believe would target a huge audience for adverts who are not only currently ignored but actually offended by the results of your current algorithm.
Tech: OK, were always searching for improvements but our algorithm is pretty rock solid; I’m trying to imagine how the results could actually offend anyone since it feeds directly off their search patterns.
Kaveman: I understand…let me explain. I work for a major non profit organization which advocates for gun control laws. Universal background checks, assault weapon bans, registration mandates and anything else we can think of.
Tech: OK, go on.
Kaveman: I spend a lot of time bouncing around websites like the Brady Campaign, CSGV, MAIG, VPC, Everytown Action Alliance, etc keeping up to date trying to coordinate our message and the adverts that pop up on my screen are nothing but offers to buy guns, take self defense gun training classes, gun cleaning products and so on.
Tech: OK, I’m listening.
Kaveman: Well, I’m terrified even looking at a picture of a gun and the concept of taking a training class to learn how to kill is abhorrent to me. Not that you’re actually responsible but I also have irritable bowel syndrome and I have, on occasion, actually shit myself after viewing the adverts bombarding me.
Tech: Uh…OK…sorry to hear that…what was that idea you had?
Kaveman: Your algorithm thinks I want to see adverts about firearms but as an advocate for gun control, I want the exact opposite. I want to see anti-gun products.
Tech: Such as?
Kaveman: We like candles and walking around in a big circle, so maybe some comfortable shoe adverts. We also like big pieces of cardboard and black felt markers. Antacids and pepto-bismal are always good and some stain resistant underwear would be much more effective than trying to sells us death machines.
Tech: How about flowers, kleenex and tiny caskets made for children?
Kaveman: Now you’re talking my language.
Tech: Well I have to admit, you raise a good point and I’ll bring this up at the next brainstorming session and see if we can’t build some code for people who research a product they oppose. Never really thought of that before so I thank you.
Kaveman: And toilet paper…we love soft toilet paper.
Tech: OK sir, have a nice day.
So I guess we’ll see how this all pans out.