My Year in Startup Hell. Dogs roam HubSpot’s hallways, because like the kindergarten decor, dogs have become de rigueur for tech startups. At noon, Zack tells me, a group of bros meets in the lobby on the second floor to do push-ups together... On the second floor there are shower rooms, which are intended for bike commuters and people who jog at lunchtime, but also have been used as sex cabins when the Friday happy hour gets out of hand. Later I will learn (from Penny, the receptionist, who is a fantastic source of gossip) that at one point things got so out of hand that management had to send out a memo. “It’s the people from sales,” Penny tells me. “They’re disgusting.” [more inside]
Producer Michael Shamberg Wants to 'Invent the Future' With BuzzFeed Motion Pictures - "I don't think there's ever been a Hollywood R&D model like we have here." (previously 1,2,3) [more inside]
Why Did 9,000 Porny Spambots Descend on This San Diego High Schooler? A voyage into the strange underworld of spambots, shady marketing, and non-human intelligence.
Matthowie hates him! Mefite's shocking discovery of how to get 100 favorites in 10 minutes. Up your favorite ratio in 10 days with one weird trick, take your mefi performance to the next level. Click here [more inside]
Meet Creature: the biggest box-office flop of all time It had everything: nudity, gore and the most superfluous lesbian sex scene in the history of film. How could it possibly fail? Stuart Heritage goes behind the scenes of a real Hollywood disaster movie
Start a home business, get rich quick, win financial freedom! If you watch late-night TV, you've heard it all before. But what's the story behind these slick pitchmen and their dubious schemes? Enter The Salty Droid, your ornery metal guide to the corrupt underworld of scam-marketing scum. This charmingly acerbic bot (owned and operated by mild-mannered Chicago dog-lover Jason Michael Jones [inter-view, long talk + transcript]) is a valiant crusader against the vile con-men who bankrupt the elderly and the desperate with beautiful lies. Exposed so far: A shadowy "Syndicate" of frauduct-pushing personality cults polluting the media with blogspam and woo-woo talking points. Boiler rooms in the Utah desert where telemarketers farm credit from easy targets with cunning, probing scripts [PDF]. Powerful politicians bought wholesale. Believers left to die in fraudulent new-age vision quests. It's a soul-crushing beat, enough to make one feel like a regular catcher-bot in the digital rye. But somebody's got to do it -- preferably someone with plasma nunchucks and titanium skin.
The Wall Street Journal's What They Know blog is charged with determining what information marketers are capable of learning about internet users through tracking technology. This weekend, they took aim at Facebook, after their investigation discovered that many popular apps on the social-networking site, including those by Zynga, have been transmitting identifying information in the form of User ID's to dozens of advertising and Internet tracking companies, even if a user has enabled strict privacy settings. Additional analysis. Response post on Facebook's Developer Blog. Forbes' blogger Kashmir Hill asks if the WSJ is overreacting, and Techcrunch notes that the severity and risks of UID transferral are still being debated.
China's latest Internet obsession began with an anonymous post on a computer gaming forum: "Jia Junpeng, your mom is calling you to come home and eat." [more inside]
The brain's plasticity has some neuroscientists worried about what the internet will do to reading - and to humanity. [more inside]
Google Search Engine Ranking Factors v2 "represents the collective wisdom of 37 leaders in the world of organic search engine optimization. Together, they have voted on the various factors that are estimated to comprise Google's ranking algorithm." The highest ranked factor is Keyword Use in Title Tag.
Live from her minivan, it’s The Jeannie Tate Show! Everyone’s favorite soccer mom runs errands around town with the help of special guests like Bill Hader (SNL), Rashida Jones (The Office), Lonny Ross (30 Rock), and Rob Riggle (The Daily Show). Of course, she’s willing to leave the van behind to visit her heroines, Hillary and Oprah. [more inside]
The bastard offspring of Borat and Inspector Clouseau shares his insights on internet marketing, the time to take action, the correct use of videos (!!) and plenty more. Warning: his website crashed my browser.
While Courtney pulled an Albini, Jeff handed out the bread. Are the peasants acting like emperors, or do they still want something shiny, aluminum, plastic, and digital? Debacle or cage, something's got to give (pdf). Alternatively, you can just roll your own.
AskGod.com Forget Jeeves. For $25 a month, you can soon call a googling "angel" from your mobile phone with questions. According to the press release (pdf): "Soon, with the coming of Ask God, the prayers of all the data-starved will be answered and the prophecy of information on-demand will be fulfilled." In a country caught in the grips of religious mania, is this smart marketing or tone deaf? And with the web increasingly on our phones already, who's going to pay for this?
Google To Start Selling Banner Adverts From the that-didn't-take-too-long-department, Google's ad sales VP Tim Armstrong says Google will now start selling graphical banner adverts. One concession to their old mores is that, for now, the banner adverts will only appear on affiliated websites running their AdSense referral program (as does MeFi), and there is an opt-out. However... "We have no plans to show images on Google.com", said Mr. Armstrong "but we are not opposed to it".
WiFi Against Bush is an interesting twist on viral marketing aimed at our neighborhoods and the occassional warchalker — let everyone in within range of your router know what you _really_ think of the President.
Via the venerable Shifted Librarian.
Via the venerable Shifted Librarian.
Spammers strike back? Well then call this return of the Webmaster Jedi. As a blogger and domain owner, I am sick of waking up to fifty new comments, all of which are spam for something of dubious legality. The fine folks at Kalsey are angry too. And they declared war. Lots of people stood up and took notice. What can you do to help stop this infestation? Blacklists and Bayesian filtering come to mind... (Via Smart Mobs)
Are you "e-fluential"? It's possible you are without even knowing it--you never know who might be listening in. While I don't find all gadget/soft drink/product discussions insidious, it does seem like they pop up pretty regularly. Has anyone here been contacted? Or are these companies (and others like them) just targeting product-oriented boards?
I must admit, I've always had my doubts about some of you... Corporations hire viral marketing firms to spread misinformation and bogus votes of support for their products on internet message boards. With all the front page entries about new movies, new records and new colored cola drinks, are we all being manipulated and duped by the marketing weasels even here on Metafilter?
Yahoo! Tracking Users Across Partner Sites By now, I think most people have probably heard about Yahoo!'s decision to opt everybody into their marketing options [relevant MeFi Thread], but this is the first I'd heard of Yahoo! using "web beacons" to aggregate user information across sites outside the Yahoo! network Doublclick style. [via: MacInTouch]
A pyramid scheme for web traffic? ExitBlaze apparently sends traffic from one member's site to another's (or, no doubt, to other sites they must sell hits to): Bob doesn't know it but a pop-underwindow displaying an ExitBlaze member's site has just shown up underneath the main browser window. And Bob owes it all to you!
Generation X washed up? Okay, so it became a marketing term for a demographic I'm part of, and I usually cringe when seeing something described as 'Gen-X', but I still saw some truths while reading this. Was that it? Was the 90's Internet revolution and crash our time in the sun, and now we're "so over"? (And do Gen-Xers really range from 20-38 years old now?) [via obscurestore]
A dot com (sort of) that's making money I'd love to post this link to f****dcompany.com but unfortunately these people claim to be profitable. So I have to wonder if some of those really stupid business ideas from the web boom weren't so so stupid after all.
Carl wrote a great Industry Standard article lampooning online marketing, and I couldn't help but laugh at seeing a "B to B Convention" banner ad running at the end of it (screenshot).