Clearly Google AdWords Does Not Care About Trees

Responsible sourcesListen up Google AdWords team!

As a long-term user I really appreciate it when you send coupons for free advertising to my clients and myself. It’s always a great way to make sure that we test out new features or simply to pull time away and devote a little time to tweaking our advertising campaigns for greatest benefit.

Free stuff is always awesome, and we love it! You know we do!

On the other hand, free stuff that we can not use is not awesome.

For example, today I received $150 credit for AdWords that would be enabled as long as we spent $50 (which we do in no time at all). That brought such happy joy, joy feelings to my heart and put a big old smile on my face. It’s the little things…

But then I flipped the sheer over and read the small print. In order to use the promotional credit I needed to have an AdWords account which is less than 14 days old.

My smile quickly disappeared and look of confusion crept across my face as I tried to understand why on earth Google would send this to me – a card, a brochure, and a letter all wrapped in Google envelope, while making a point of using paper from “responsible sources”?

I was under the impression that the use of “responsible sources” also meant that you used the product responsibly?

Maybe I got that one wrong?

Google Adwords Wasted

That’s Not Much Of A Gyft Google!

As part of Google’s 1 year birthday celebrations for Google Play, they are giving away free apps, episodes and music. One of the offers is for an app called Gyft (I have never heard of Gyft before now) which is offering $20 of free gift cards with the download.

$20 free bucks to blow on useless junk – let me download that straight away! Except, as you can see from the image below, the app won’t install on either of my Android devices. Instead I get the “this item is not compatible with your device” message, which is pretty amazing considering that my Nexus 7 runs the latest and greatest flavor of android (4.2.2) and my phone runs 2.2.

Fragmentation sucks! Thanks carriers!

Google Birthday Gyft

The Google+ Badge Is Horrendous

It’s well known that I’ve already surrendered to my Google overlords and fervently chase each new product they offer with the enthusiasm of a horny teenage boy trying to catch his first glimpse of a real pair of boobs, so when I choose to put fingers to keyboard to complain about something, you’d better believe that I’ve got a serious gripe to get off my chest.

About two weeks ago we set up Google+ pages for all of the Scrw Media sites but have yet to actually start posting content to them for two reasons:

  1. There’s no workable means to automate the posting process. We’re a small operation and unless I plan on staying up 24 hours a day and am committed to posting to Google+ every hour on the hour, I don’t yet see a reasonable way to get all the content from all of our sites on to the network in a timely manner.
  2. The badge which allows people to add your site/page to their circle is horrible. Not horrible – horrendous. It’s a mega f-ugly.

Google-Plus-Badge
Seriously Google, what were you thinking when you can up with this ugly ass badge? It’s inflexible – you can’t change the height, you can’t change the width. You can’t change anything.

You have a choice of 5 terrible badges (6 if you count the text link), 3 of which are just icons and the standard badge and the small badge are the same damn width. 300 inflexible pixels that many a website won’t be able to easily incorporate into their design.

* Conspiracy Theory Warning * Unless of course that’s what Google wants, as many of the sites using G+ will also run Adsense and this will force them to increase the width of their sidebar and as such they’ll probably upgrade to the more lucrative 300 pixel wide ads – *End of conspiracy theory*

It’s obvious that Google does not want to be considered a Facebook knock-off, but when it comes to the Facebook “like buttons”, “like boxes” and other site add-ons, Google could do a lot for themselves by “borrowing” a little bit of inspiration.  Yes there are lots of issues with Facebook’s implementations but aren’t we supposed to be learning from and improving upon the competition?

Moot: Facebook and Google Do Identity Wrong

In a passionate speech at the Web 2.0 summit, 4chan founder Christopher “moot” Poole says that Google and Facebook “do identity wrong,” and that people should not be tied to just one identity on the web. He doesn’t really propose solutions, but he brings a lot of valuable food for thought to the table.

Hat-tip: Mashable.

A Few Thoughts On Google’s Ideas On Making Copyright Work Better Online

Pirate KittyGoogle’s General Counsel, Kent Walker, updated the Public Policy Blog yesterday to talk about some changes to their handling of DMCA take down notices on YouTube and how they are going to take action against spam blogs using AdSesne.

Here’s a few choice and possibly random quotes from the post before I throw out my decidedly random thoughts:

There are more than 1 trillion unique URLs on the web and more than 35 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute.

But along with this new wave of creators come some bad apples who use the Internet to infringe copyright.

We’ll act on reliable copyright takedown requests within 24 hours.

we’ll improve our “counter-notice”tools for those who believe their content was wrongly removed and enable public searching of takedown requests.

We will prevent terms that are closely associated with piracy from appearing in Autocomplete.

We will improve our AdSense anti-piracy review.

Building on our existing DMCA takedown procedures, we will be working with rightsholders to identify, and, when appropriate, expel violators from the AdSense program.

Okay, enough quotes. Now for some quick reactions to the post.

Why is the automatic assumption that content is infringing when a DMCA notice is received?

Why, if my content is taken down should I have to apply to have it put back up? Shouldn’t the assumption be that I am using content withing the terms of “fair use” (unless it’s blatantly obvious I’m ripping something off) and make the person filing the DMCA provide explicit information on how it is infringing.  There might be a lot less DMCAs filed if companies and people have to explain how it is infringing and demonstrate that they actually know what infringement is VS fair use.

Google is placing an awful lot of faith in the entertainment industry to do the “right thing” and not much faith in their actual users. Or are the users the “bad apples” Kent Walker was referring to?

Blogs like TorrentFreak are going to have a hard time turning up on autocomplete. Anti-piracy blogs and piracy advocates alike will be smacked down by this one.

Good to see them making a move on spam blogs (splogs) but if they’re going to have a YouTube type procedure, then we’re all screwed. Prepare for rampant abuse from idiots who don’t understand, copyright, infringement, fair use, etc..

Finally, the thread on Googles post got into the usual “entertainment industry bashing” mode, but this interesting comment was made by Peter Griffon (it’s not his entire comment, he went off on a tangent, but this part was notable):

I think the “entertainment” industry just needs to realize no one wants to pay their outrageous prices for stuff. Instead of fighting with everything cut cost on stuff, people pirate stuff cause they cant afford it in most cases… I mean goto walmart and you see people digging thru the 5$ movies.. even thou they are B rated movies.. put new movies at 5$ they wont be able to keep them in stock…

Braindead TechCast #150: Techmeme Friday Goes All Pizza, Pizza, Pizza

[audio:http://scrw.us/BDTC150%5D

Braindead TechcastAs Sean continues his wild holiday somewhere in the US, Steven Hodson and I carry on Braindead TechCast’s fine tradition of Techmeme Friday’s tear down of the headlines on Techmeme as we make fun of them at the same time.

We also had some fun with a rumor about Sean receiving something at his hotel room that he then started playing with, but we’ll leave that to your imaginations – unless of course you want to share your warped thoughts as to what he is playing with.

If you do just email us at podcast@winextra.com and we’ll share them on the Monday show.

Enjoy the show 🙂

Headlines referenced to in the show.

Download BDTC #150.

Did I Miss The Memo That Says It’s Okay Not To Think For Myself?

The news that some woman, obviously with an IQ lower than a glass of water, is suing Google because she used Google Maps to plan a walking route and got hit by a vehicle in an area with no sidewalk, has been clawing at the back of my brain all day today.

It’s not the news itself that is gnawing at the edge of my consciousness, it’s something else.

The woman is obviously either a money grabbing opportunist and/or  intellectually makes two short planks look like computer. The lawsuit will likely go nowhere, unless of course we are suddenly opening up every map and GPS making company as being liable for any accidents that may occur because some idiot followed the directions unquestioningly and refused to engage that minuscule amount of grey matter that is rumored to exist between their ears.

What is bugging me however, is the notion that such a lawsuit can even be initiated in the first place.

Have we as a species lost the very concept of self responsibility and the ability to use even a little bit of common sense?

At what point do we stop expecting others to do everything for us? When do we stop expecting others to hold our hand? Sometimes it feels like that we live in a society where the ideal is to disengage your brain and have someone else responsible for wiping your ass, much like Eddie Murphy had in “Coming to America“.

At least in that film Eddie Murphy realized the total lack of freedom that exists when somebody else (the state) is thinking for you and made a sharp exit for a life where he would have to think for himself.

When are we going to start thinking for ourselves? When are we going to take responsibility for our own ignorance and stupidity?

When are people like Lauren Rosenberg going to realise that technology is a tool to help you achieve your goal but you are still expected to display common sense, judgement and exercise a little initiative of your own?

When are people going to think?