postFriday, 21 September 2007

The Gigantic Adsense Glitch

There’s a glitch in the Adsense matrix and it’s not deja vu. OK it’s not in the Adsense matrix but it is a general glitch with the whole Adsense concept, which can be used to maximize your revenue.

It just occurred to me and I may be wrong because I haven’t read the Adwords policy but I think I’ve found a gigantic glitch in the system.

Adsense work on a per-a-click basis, thus Google only charges you when someone clicks on you ad. Now this works out great for the majority of products trying to make sales online or trying to get people to come to their website to get information. But what about products that do not need clicks to get their advertising across?

I was surfing the web and I saw an ad for The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford and I thought to myself, “that ads made it’s whole sale to me upfront whether I click on it or not.” This is obviously the case with all ads for films and similar products.

Point being if you are trying to make the most out of your Adwords or any other per-click-advertising service, pick up a print publication and see what works there. Try and deign an ad that advertises the product without being clicked. Pretend you are designing a street poster or an ad for a bulletin where people will walk past it and only think about the product at a later date. Thus, you are getting value from your ad weather it is clicked or not.

This brings up another point always try get a domain that’s easy to remember. Then don’t forget to put this domain on your ad clearly. There have been many times I’ve seen an ad on this site and been interested, but of course you are not allowed to click your own ads. However, if the url is in the ad you can easily type it out.

To Sum up:

  • Make sure your ad makes its whole sale pre-click. Clicks are good for Google not necessarily you.
  • Have an easy to remember or catchy url and make sure that this is prominently displayed on your ad.

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postThursday, 20 September 2007

Review: K-Ville

Review of the series premiere of K-Ville but maybe the title already gave that away.

The Plot: Set in New Orleans two years after Hurricane Katrina following two cops trying to help rebuild the city.

The Good: It looks good visually as the show is shot in a hardcore edgy style similar to The Shield. However, the highlight of the show is seeing Anthony Anderson in a dramatic role. Anderson is more known for his comedy but the man is one fantastic piece of actor. He’s one of those rare individuals that can express whatever he’s feeling through his eyes alone. Also there is an interesting twist at the end of the pilot and although it seems improbable it does add another dimension to the show.

The Bad: The action sequences are all over the place and for some reason whenever there is a shot of Anderson and Cole Hauser running with their guns out they are aimlessly firing off rounds. They look like a couple of kids with water pistols.

The Ugly: The plot surrounding the duo’s first case is ridiculous drifting further and further into B grade action towards the end. Maybe the producers consulted Steven Segal on how to pull off an ending. The main villain even has a fancy little speech when apprehended.

The Verdict: As bad as the ending of the episode was Hauser and Anderson have good chemistry together and the show is worth it just to watch Anderson actually act. It debuted after the season 3 premiere of Prison Break, which had a rating of 4.9/8 and actually built on this to pull off a 5.7/9 rating. This means the marketing guys did their job, if they can up their game for the next episodes and the drop off is not to bad this one may stick around.

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postWednesday, 19 September 2007

Get Free Traffic for Your Blog

Tired of only your mom and your cat visiting your blog? Okay my cat doesn’t really visit my blog but I hold it up to the screen while I visit my blog. Anyway, now there is a free service to increase your blog traffic.Lets face it generating traffic for your blog is important but it’s also a pain in the ass. However, now there is a new service that claims to get traffic to your blog hassle free (and also for free). It’s called Blog Rush and in theory it sounds like it could work.

It works on a basic pyramid scheme type system. You place a Blog Rush widget on your site. The Blog Rush widget is basically a big box that generates links to posts from your feed. Most traffic exchange ideas, such as Links2Blogs, only give you a click credit when someone clicks on one of these links on your blog. Blog Rush gives you a click credit every time your blog is loaded so you’ll benefit immediately people start visiting your page. In addition every time you refer someone they generate click credits for you.

Another bonus is you cannot pay for extra ads or prominence on the list so everyone is equal. The service also has a filter to make sure that only posts in your blog category are displayed in your blog (I’ve already read about 10 posts from our Blog Rush widget that sparked my interest). You can also exclude specific blogs or keywords from your widget. For instance if you want no posts from you block it and presto, no posts from there are displayed. Or if you do not want to have any posts about Ryan Seacrest in your widget just enter his name in the keyword filter.

Blog Rush launched on 14 September and has promised to keep out the spammers. Watch the introductory video at Blog Rush for a more in-depth explanation. We’re currently testing this service out here at The End so if you are unsure about it come back in a couple of weeks to see what we think of it.

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War, Family Guy and the Emmys

Stewie and Brian from Family Guy sing at the Emmys, Ryan Seacrest is a tool, and apparently it’s wrong to hate war.

So the Emmys on Sunday were the lowest rated ever. Is anybody surprised? Firstly, Ryan Seacrest was hosting not exactly a crowd puller, “Oh, look that guy with no personality is hosting the Emmys! I have to watch!”

Secondly, Fox had a five second delay to cut out swear words and unpatriotic speech, like “war is bad”. Did they have to cut out the whole of Sally Field’s comment? They don’t even cut out “God damn” from sitcoms anymore. Plus, hey why not use that 5 second delay to get the crowd shots right. Watch the Family Guy clip above. Could they have found less interested people to zoom in on in the crowd? Way to engage the audience at home. Well-done Fox.

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TV Season

The new TV season is here and we're reviewing it. Life is great.As some of you may know I am currently in Canada, which means I can view the new shows that are currently launching with the new fall season. Since all these shows will eventually trickle down to SA, I will be reviewing the first episode of most of them (I’ll only review a few reality shows). Here is the breakdown of what to expect. I have not done any research into this breakdown I am simply basing this on the marketing that has found me.

Nashville – Fri, Sep 14, 9pm – Fox
Will not be reviewed. A reality show from the same people who made Laguna Beach. Sounds like the same thing as Paradise City except it’s set in Nashville and it revolves around country musicians.

K-Ville – Mon, Sep 17, 9pm – Fox
A buddy cop drama set in New Orleans set two years after Hurricane Katrina. Starring Anthony Anderson (The Departed, Transformers) and Cole Hauser (Pitch Black). The promos make it look like a fast paced action show shot like The Shield. Since I’m an Anderson fan I’m rooting for this one. Read the review.

Kid Nation – Wed, 19 Sep, 8pm – CBS
Will not be reviewed. Reality show where a bunch of kids are placed in an adult free town and are in complete control of its running. The show has already generated a fair amount of controversy concerning child labour laws. Read the review.

Back to You – Wed, Sep 19, 8pm – Fox
Sitcom starring Kelsey Grammer (Frasier) and Patricia Heaton (Everybody Loves Raymond) as two TV news anchors. Due to the two leads this is obviously very high profile. The show uses a laugh track, which is an automatic negative, but this one will probably land an audience.
Read the review.

Kitchen Nightmares – Wed, Sep 19, 9pm – Fox
Will not be reviewed. A reality cooking show with Gordon Ramsay.

Gossip Girl – Wed, 19 Sep, 9pm – CW
An adaptation of a successful teen novel (or something along those lines) from Josh Swartz the creator of The OC. The promos show a bunch of emotional peeps in their early twenties falling in love and yelling a lot. The camera work looks slick and this could definitely be the next big teen show. Read the review.

Chuck – Mon, Sep 24, 8pm – NBC
Another from Josh Swartz, this time with a grown up Seth Cohen type character becoming involved in the world of international espionage completely by accident. An action/comedy adventure that seems to have some zing.
Read the review.

The Big Bang Theory – Mon, 24 Sep, 8:30pm – CBS
A sitcom about two highly intelligent nerds who can’t get a date. Then a beautiful woman moves in next door and befriends them. That’s pretty much all I’ve heard.
Read the review.

Journeyman – Mon, Sep 24, 10pm – NBC
Confusing trailer about a man who jumps around through time. Don’t know how this will do since it looks pretty similar to Day Break which fell off the TV screen pretty quickly last season.
Read the review.

Reaper – Tue, 25 Sep, 9pm – CW

Kevin Smith directs the pilot with the funny neighbor from Grounded for Life in the lead. Centers around a guy who finds out his parents sold his soul to the devil and know he has to become the devils bounty hunter. The film takes an action/comedy position and could fill that hole left when every one of Joss Whedon’s shows were taken off the air.
Read the review.

Cane – Tue, 25 Sep, 10pm – CBS
Jimmy Smits plays a wealthy heir to a rum empire. It looks like a Latino version of Dallas.

Bionic Woman – Wed, Sep 26, 8pm – NBC
A remake of the Bionic Woman series. A woman gets a large portion of her body replaced with bionic parts, which turn her into a super powered individual.

Private Practice – Wed, 26 Sep, 9pm – ABC
Medical drama/ Spin off series of Grey’s Anatomy that follows Kate Walsh’s character to California. This show basically had its debut during the last season of Grey’s Anatomy (al la Boston Legal in The Practice) so it will have less room for error than the other new shows.

Dirty Sexy Money – Wed, 26 Sep, 10pm – ABC
All I know is that Peter Krause (Six Feet Under) is in it, which is enough for be to be highly excited.

Life – Wed, Sep 26, 10pm – NBC
Damien Lewis (Band of Brothers) stars as a cop who is wrongfully imprisoned for life. After fifteen years in prison new forensic evidence clears him and he returns to the force a changed man with a surprisingly optimistic outlook on life.

Big Shots – Thu, 27 Sep, 10pm – ABC
I’ve so far heard nothing about this but the cast includes Dylan McDermott (The Practice), Michael Vartan (Alias) and Christopher Titus (Titus).

Moonlight – Fri, 28 Sep, 9pm – CBS
New vampire drama, which is probably not so great since it is scheduled on a Friday.

Aliens in America - Mon, 1 Oct, 8:30pm – CW
The promos don’t really explain much but have a bunch of quotation (hopefully not from CW executives) claiming this is the funniest show ever. Seems to be about high school nerds.

Cavemen – Tue, 2 Oct, 8pm – ABC
A sitcom based on a series of car ads. Looks lame.

Carpoolers – Tue, 2 Oct, 8:30pm – ABC
Saw the preview on ABC’s website of the pilot and the acting lacked the proper timing. However, many sitcoms start out this way and get better after 4 to 6 episodes. Centres around the adventures of four guys in the same carpool. Not quite sure how they’ll make a whole season out of this.

Pushing Daisies – Wed, 3 Oct, 8pm – ABC
Another show that hasn’t been advertised much here. The ads say it’s amazing but not much else.

Life is Wild – Sun, 7 Oct, 8pm – CW
Apparently set on a South African game reserve. Probably a lame family show.

Women’s Murder Club – Fri, 12 Oct, 9pm – ABC
A group of four women solve murders. Not much hope for this because as with Moonlight it is also on a low-rated Friday night.

Samantha Who? - Monday, 15 Oct, 9:30pm – ABC
Sitcom staring Christina Applegate about a woman who has amnesia and needs to rediscover who she is. A potentially funny premise plus Applegate can be hilarious (see Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy).

The Next Great American Band – Fri, Oct 19, 8pm – Fox
American Idol with bands.

Viva Laughlin – Sun, 21 Oct, 8pm – CBS
Who the hell knows?

Catch the reviews as the shows debut.

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postMonday, 17 September 2007

Review: Shortcomings

Read Shortcomings by Adrian Tomine. Or you can read this review of it but be warned the review isn’t as good as the graphic novel.“What’s the difference between Asian and Caucasian men? The Cauc!”

No it isn’t racist joke month over hear at the end, this is a line from Adrian Tomine’s Shortcomings. Shortcomings is a graphic novel centred around the life of Ben Tanaka, a disillusioned 30 year old Asian male whose life is moving slower than a bill to prevent global warming.

Ben has reached the peak of his profession as manager of the university theatre. His relationship with his long-term girlfriend, Miko, has hit rock bottom and among the many arguments they are sharing, Minko’s fear that Ben is obsessed with white women is a frequent fixture.

Tomine captures the essence of a dead relationship and I must say it is refreshing to read a graphic novel that doesn’t venture into the action/sci-fi/horror realm. The medium is underused as a platform for emotional “everyday” storytelling. Tomine carefully weaves general male melancholy in with racial tension.

Interestingly enough I read another review of Shortcomings, which slammed the book as a style over content type piece with a lack of plot. I’d like to point out that there is a tendency to overate plot in our culture. At the end of the day most stories travel along the same path and it’s more about the journey than the ride. A plot is something you can tell someone in a couple of minutes but it doesn’t capture what went on in between. That’s where the real magic lies somewhere in the middle where the text come to life.

Take When Harry met Sally for instance. It’s your average Hollywood plot, guy meets girl, girl is repulsed by guy. Guy and girl meet again and become friends. Girl falls for guy. Guy falls for girl, blah, blah, blah… Happy ending. I’m sure that’s never happened before (obvious sarcasm). Nothing in the plot captures the amazing character building events in-between and why it leaves the viewer feeling something at the end.

Point being Shortcomings isn’t a plot driven piece going through the motions till it gets to its final climax. It’s a character driven emotional traffic jam, which reminds you that you’re not going anywhere you might as well look around and see who you are stuck here with.

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postTuesday, 11 September 2007

The First Iron Man Trailer

A link to the first Iron Man teaser trailer plus some really lame commentary.The Iron Man trailer is out (watch it) and to be perfectly honest I am disappointed. Luckily, the problems with the trailer stem from the editing and not what is shown from the actual film.

The visuals look great and from what I can see of Downey’s performance he’ll be a great asshole industrialist. However, it looks like they got some half-assed commercial director to throw the thing together. It’s lacking intensity and urgency. Since this is the first independently produced Marvel movie maybe they couldn’t afford to throw money at the big trailer producers. Look at the guys that Sony got to do the Ghost Rider trailer. Ghost Rider was a piece of crap but the trailer made it look amazing. Hopefully Marvel throws some quality cash at the next trailer.

Also what the hell is Jeff Bridges climbing up? Is it the Iron Man armor or a really small Ultimo? Or maybe just a ladder? Guess we’ll have to wait and see.

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postSunday, 02 September 2007

Dude! That's Pretty Gay

That's right, we said gay, you want to read on don't you? Ok, ok stop, stop, we can't lead you on. It's all political... or is it?Larry Craig's not gay he just like to stretch on the toilet.You haven’t heard the news have you? Well let me fill you in; an American politician was being all gay and stuff. That’s right, Senator Larry Craig of Idaho was involved in an airport restroom scandal.

June 11th (good day June 11th, well for me at least) the Senator was arrested by an undercover cop. Police claim the Senator solicited an undercover officer for sex in the men's washroom at the airport, using a series of signals such as foot tapping and placing his hand under the partition between the stalls. And as we all know you only tap your foot when you want sex.

The Senator plead guilty on August 8th and resigned from his position as governor of Idaho, effective September 30th. However, the Senator claims he is innocent and that his only mistake was pleading guilty without consulting a lawyer.

This story is interesting for ? reasons:

1) Yes, sometimes people plead guilty to crimes they don’t commit for a lighter sentence (like Nick Cage’s character in Con Air). Honestly though, what kind of US Senator pleads guilty to a gay crime (gay in that the majority of people would brand you that) when it would certainly lead to the end of their career (since being gay in America goes down so well outside of San Francisco) while being innocent. Let’s be honest with ourselves: Larry, you were looking for some same sex action (oh and here's his argument).

2) This is a good old case of what goes around, comes around. The Senator had consistently voted against gay marriage. And to put the cherry on the cake; after the Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinsky scandal, he said: "It's a bad boy, Bill Clinton. You're a naughty boy," Well, what a naughty one you are Larry.

3) OK, so there is a hint of an argument since Larry tired to pay for sex and prostitution is illegal (which it shouldn’t be), but the real shame is that this is a gay issue. I heard the news dude say it on TV: a senator is caught in a “GAY” prostitution scandal. Why say gay if it’s not a gay issue? That’s the tragedy of it all, Mr. Craig was trapped beneath a conservative blanket that pushed him away (and obviously still does) from how he truly felt. Honestly, how does this affect his leadership ability? He likes the cock so he can’t govern? What the hell is that?

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