Location: Vienna, Virginia, United States

A graduate of Dartmouth College (2005) and Washington and Lee University School of Law (2010). These are my personal blogs, and the musings expressed on them do not reflect the positions of my employer. They do reflect my readings, thoughts, and aspirations, which I figure is good enough.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Spam Spam Bacon Eggs and Spam

To use an already overused cliche, has Google jumped the shark?

I remember when Google was merely a good search engine, one which you used instead of Yahoo!, Excite!, Metaseek!, Ask Jeeves! et al (ok, they didn't all have exclamation points).

Then you add the Google image search function, which is either a great tool to use for pr0n searches or an instrument of mental destruction if you don't have the safe-search turned on, Google maps, which I admit are cool, Google Groups, Google Chat, Froogle, and Google News, and I start to wonder why it's all necessary.

Google Ads are either interesting, a nice source of minimal income if you have decent web-traffic, or a scam. I've heard reports that there are smaller websites (with albeit decent traffic) getting their accounts suspended for no reason. Attempts to contact Google have been met with what one might expect from Dell or Microsoft Customer Service (Customer Service not guaranteed).

And if you go to your Gmail today, and take a look at the interface, you now have Chats, as well as A News and Ads bar up top. I know that Google, as a publicly traded stock, needs to turn profits, but is that bar really necessary?

For one, I question its use in my Spam Inbox. Now, I find Google's Spam Filter pretty fair. It catches a lot of stuff.

But the ad bar? Well, since it takes the content of emails to determine the ads that appear, either I get pr0n, ED drugs, or SPAM RECIPES. Has no one else noticed this?

For instance, I go to my spam filter now, and see 8 pieces of spam mail and a recipe for Spam Fajitas. That's disgusting. I delete the spam? I still see a recipe for Creamy Spam Broccoli Casserole. I'm not kidding. I can't make this kind of stuff up.

You can even browse the various ads by way of a back-forward button on the toolbar. Clicking right reveals a cornucopia of spam recipes, including Ginger Spam Salad (serves 1, regfrigerate overnight), Spam Primavera (Toss with linguini, serve immediately), and French Fry Spam Casserole (Bake 30-40 minutes).

Clicking on the recipes brings you to, which looks like epicurious with no bells and whistles, or possibly Wikipedia (Recipe Edition).

I understand Google works a lot on the interface for its websites, and a lot of their stuff is good. Very user-friendly, especially with Mozilla plug-ins being more readily available now. But like all things, moderation is key. And I just think sponsored spam ads are a bit much. I would much rather they addressed issues with their ads before they installed an ad-bar in my gmail account (without telling me, I might add).


Blogger Sharon said...

Mmm Spam Fajitas - Serves 8, add extra salsa if desired.

Too bad no Spam in Aceh (emails = yes, lovely blue tins = no)

11:16 PM  

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