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7 December, 2004

Web Advertising Survey Results

Survey results from Jakob Nielsen, the usability guru: The Most Hated Advertising Techniques.

Users not only dislike pop-ups, they transfer their dislike to the advertisers behind the ad and to the website that exposed them to it. In a survey of 18,808 users, more than 50% reported that a pop-up ad affected their opinion of the advertiser very negatively and nearly 40% reported that it affected their opinion of the website very negatively.

But, unfortunately, enough people actually click on them to make pop-ups worthwhile for the advertisers.

Some advertising techniques have a positive effect on user experience. Specifically, ads that clearly...

indicate what will happen if people click on them, relate to what people are doing online, identify themselves as advertisements, present information about what they are advertising, and provide additional information without having to leave the page.

In other words, people don't mind ads that don't try to trick them.

By the way, if you need a hi-rez photo of Jakob Nielsen, go here.

Posted on 7 December, 2004

Public Harm Announcements

From Worth 1000: Public Harm Announcements.

The rules of this game are thus: You are to create a poster, commercial animation or sign which calls for the opposite of what one would expect to see on any PSA, environmental message or government notice.

Posted on 7 December, 2004

Bibleman!

Just a little something for the kids: Bibleman.

For the past decade, "The Bibleman Adventure" video series has thrilled millions and set the standard for action packed family home entertainment. Bibleman's spectacular battles against the flamboyant villains of Darkness are an exciting way to introduce your children to the Bible and the power of God's Word.

And there's even a Bibleman video game in the works.

Pamplin Entertainment, owners and producers of the popular "Bibleman Adventure" video series and national live show announced today that it has formed an exclusive partnership with Covenant Studios of San Diego, CA, a Christian video game company.

(via Boing Boing)

Posted on 7 December, 2004

They Asked

Answers to some more Ask J-Walk questions...

Caroline: Can American videos be played in Australian VCRs?

I don't see why not -- as long as they have subtitles so the Australians can understand the dialog. Or, am I missing the point of this question?

Pancho: Why do we (humans) have/need religion?

Several answers come to mind. (1) The "Do unto others..." thing just seems to simple, and people have a need for more complicated guidance. (2) People can't cope with the fact that when they die they cease to exist. (3) It gives them something other than politics to argue about.

Stacy: Hey. My sister and I can remember an old character "the yellow yahoo". I think it was some kind of a bird... we can't really remember. If you find anything, such as what show it was on, or a picture we would appreciate it. We're thinking it was on a children's show, or cartoon, but I couldn't find anything. Thanks.

Hey yourself. I give up. It's just about impossible to search the Web for something with the word yahoo in it. Anybody remember something like that?

Pancho: In your early days you compared your site hits with those of Boing-Boing and sighed. How is that comparison looking nowadays? Have you passed them?

Not even close. Although the J-Walk Blog is growing in readership, Boing-Boing is growing even faster. Boing-Boing recently started making their stats available. I use the same software (but it's not publicly accessible), so the data are comparable. Generally, Boing-Boing has about 15 times the traffic as this blog and uses about 23 GB of bandwidth per day. This blog uses about 2.4 GB per day. Here's a comparison chart for the first six days of the month.

Matt: I'm looking for a free program that I can upload to my domain that will easily allow me to view, manage, upload and download files to and from my webspace. Do you have any suggestions?

You're asking the wrong guy. Believe it or not, I use MS FrontPage for that. I'm sure it's not the best thing to use, but I understand it reasonably well and dragging/dropping files works fine for me.

Maybe somebody else will have a suggestion for you.

Christoffer: I'd really like to know how the grilled turkey turned out. Did you brine it? Did you smoke it?

Neither. I was over-ruled on the grilling thing. We ended up putting that turkey in the oven. It was good, though.

Posted on 7 December, 2004

Cleaning Up The Butter

A few days ago, a fire destroyed a butter-packaging plant in Ulm, Minnesota. It resulted in an estimated 1 million pounds of hot, liquid butter pouring onto nearby streets and sidewalks.

Now it's cleanup time: New Ulm fire cleanup is greasy, gooey mess.

Butter that spilled into the city's storm sewer system stuck to the lining of the pipes, which will need to be jet sprayed and cleaned. And though First North Street -- where much of the butter pooled -- had been stripped clean of the worst of it, a good quarter-inch of slime remained on the pavement, even if it couldn't be seen.

"You cannot scrape all that butterfat off the street," said Tom Patterson, the city's street commissioner. "And it's even more dangerous if you can't see it."

Posted on 7 December, 2004

Invisibilia

Welcome to A World of Invisibilia.

This page is a gallery of pictures. The pictures are simple enough: the people in the photos have been digitally removed and replaced with drawings.

It's ok. A novelty. Or a gimmick. But maybe it's more...

Posted on 7 December, 2004

When You Get Really Bored...

Go to Google, type "google" into the search box, and click the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button. Repeat.

Posted on 7 December, 2004

Idaho Mugshots

Here's a collection of mugshots of people who have been arrested in Ada Country Idaho: Infamous.

These people have ended up on the wrong side of the law. This is a partial list of the daily arrest and jail booking report of Ada County. Many thanks to all the people at the sheriff's department that make this info available for public domain over the internet. This is your tax money at work. Shown parties are innocent until proven guilty.

The 41-year old woman shown here was picked up for having a vicious dog on the loose.

Posted on 7 December, 2004

A Day At The Mall

This is a bit strange: A Day at the Mall.

This hand-illustrated pamphlet was self-produced and covertly disseminated in the local mall. A film of the installation was made using two spy cameras.

I was told to leave the "entire mall area" for 24 hours.

Posted on 7 December, 2004

Comic Strip Commentary

Josh reads the comics every day, and makes comments at his blog: I read the comics so you don't have to.

Who say's there are no new ideas for blogs? Great stuff.

(via Tom McMahon)

Posted on 7 December, 2004

Build A Perfect Man

Just answer a few questions, and the computer will Build The Perfect Man.

The Chinese believe that each feature of the face carries information about that person's character and personality. Answer the following questions, based on these principles, to see the face of the man you have described.

You may end up with somebody who looks like this:

I couldn't find a Perfect Woman version.

Posted on 7 December, 2004

God's Secret

A new CD by Kim Clement: God's Secret: America's Victory 2.

Introducing an all new CD by Kim Clement. If you've already heard "God's Secret- America's Victory I" then you may have an idea of what this powerful CD is all about. Filled with beautiful spontaneous music, worship, and powerful prophetic utterances about the future of our great Nation, this CD is a call to the Church and to America to return to her faith and innocence.

He's a singer and a prophet. For example, he prophesized the terrorist attacks way back in 1996.

Posted on 7 December, 2004

Giant Steps

Tommy Flanagan presents Coltrane's "Giant Steps" in an interesting manner.

Posted on 7 December, 2004

Worst Tech Products

At PC Magazine: Ten to Avoid - The Worst Products of the Year.

Amazingly, they are all listed on a single page! Usually, PC Magazine puts about one paragraph on each page to maximize the ad impressions.

Posted on 7 December, 2004

Build A Castle

If you're thinking of building a castle, check out Castle Magic.

We build custom stone dream castles from start to finish using methods of old and new. We strive to use all natural materials to produce a structure that is strong, lasting, and healthy for the castle dwellers. This involves combining the old castle building methods with modern reinforcing steel, non-toxic materials and finishes, and a few physics tricks and knowledge to produce a warm and dry castle interior.

Here's a castle located in the mountains of Idaho.

Castle Size: 3,600 sq feet
Land Size: half acre
Wall thickness: two feet
Stone Tonnage: 169 tons
Height: fifty one feet
Number of Stones: >18,000
Elevation: 5,000 feet
Price: $1,532,000
 

Posted on 7 December, 2004

Clientcopia

Clientcopia is defined as:

To cope with difficulties of a client attaining professional services and act to overcome them, despite that client's blatant stupidity.

The site contains lots of stupid client quote. Like this one:

A customer couldn't get on the internet.

Helpdesk: Are you sure you used the right password?

Customer: Yes I'm sure. I saw my colleague do it.

Helpdesk: Can you tell me what the password was?

Customer: Five stars.

Posted on 7 December, 2004

Stop With The Nude Calendars

From The Telegraph: Put some clothes on, you're giving us a bad name, naturists tell nude charity calendar models.

They have replaced cake sales and sponsored walks as the most popular method for charities to raise money or generate publicity. But the naked calendar - immortalised in the film Calendar Girls - is giving nudity a bad name and should stop, according to Britain's naturists.

Organisations representing Britain's 25,000 naturists say that the hundreds of nude firemen, university students and Women's Institute members, who now feature in charity calendars, should put their clothes back on.

Posted on 7 December, 2004

Guitar Boy

A Quicktime VR thing: Guitar Boy. Use your mouse to control the boy playing the guitar.

Posted on 7 December, 2004

Complaints To The FCC

From Mediaweek: Activists Dominate Content Complaints.

The number of indecency complaints had soared dramatically to more than 240,000 in the previous year, [Michael[ Powell said. The figure was up from roughly 14,000 in 2002, and from fewer than 350 in each of the two previous years. There was, Powell said, "a dramatic rise in public concern and outrage about what is being broadcast into their homes."

So the American people must be really concerned, eh? Well...

According to a new FCC estimate obtained by Mediaweek, nearly all indecency complaints in 2003 -- 99.8 percent -- were filed by the Parents Television Council, an activist group.

This year, the trend has continued, and perhaps intensified.

Posted on 7 December, 2004

Cartoon Bones

One of the most popular links in the past few days has been to a series of cartoon skeleton drawing by Michael Paulus. It's been so popular that it might not even work anymore.

But waxy.org has mirrored the images.

Here's what Baby Huey would like like if you remove the clothes, skin, fat, and muscles.

Posted on 7 December, 2004

Firefox And Ads

From CNET: Firefox users ignore online ads, report says.

Internet Explorer users are at least four times as likely to click on Web ads than Firefox users, a German advertising technology company said last week.

The company, Adtech, found that during October and November, only 0.11 percent of Firefox users ever clicked on an ad, compared with around 0.5 percent of IE users.

Dirk Freytag, the chief operations officer of Adtech, said in a statement that the reason for this trend is probably the different surfing habits of Firefox and IE users, plus the inclusion of an integrated pop-up ad blocker in Firefox.

Exactly. Most of the clicks on pop-up ads are probably accidental.

Posted on 7 December, 2004

Passionate About Swizzle Sticks

Swizzledd has a swizzle stick collection.

I collect many things, but swizzle sticks are my passion. For many years I have collected them, but really got serious about the hobby eleven years ago. In the past, I would keep one swizzle stick from a cocktail, but now all my friends and relatives collect as many as they can for me. I now have more than 50,000.

Here are a few music-related swizzle sticks:

Posted on 7 December, 2004

No Christmas This Year

On the FBI Ten Most Wanted List: Santa Claus.

UNLAWFUL FLIGHT TO AVOID PROSECUTION (BY SLEIGH); BRIBERY (GOOD KIDS ONLY); TAX FRAUD (NO TAX PAID ON WORKERS/NO TAX COLLECTED ON GOODS/NEVER FILED PERSONAL TAX RETURN); BREAKING AND ENTERING; PERSONAL PROPERTY DAMAGE (SLEIGH/REINDEER RELATED); FAA FLIGHT VIOLATIONS (FAILURE TO FILE FLIGHT PLAN)...

The list of offenses goes on and on.

Posted on 7 December, 2004