February 2008

I think, in last night's debate, both candidates showed their substance. Clinton, however, also showed her true colors as a petty, hypocritical, run-of-the-mill politician who is willing to tell lies, half-truths, distortions in order to get ahead.

Hilary accuses Barak of plagiarism:

The other shoe drops:

And again:

(via Daily Kos. Thanks, Sundhar!)

Take a look at these results, recently released by Hitwise and reported on TechCrunch. Couldn't be more skeptical, I must say. Hitwise's methodology seems pretty typical of web survey and analytics companies. They're subject to a huge number of biases to begin with, and systematically over-represent certain parts of the population and certain contexts, despite their best efforts. I know Hitwise is doing everything they can to combat these biases, but they don't go into enough detail on their website for us to be sure of how. I have a strong suspicion, for example, that these results are not so much representative of SES as of geography. But SES makes for a better story. That big purple blob at the bottom right probably represents suburban areas in a very few markets like San Francisco, New York, Boston. The top left quadrant, that's middle America. And none of this is news – Yahoo knows the heartland is their wheelhouse. Plus, what's 'Varying Lifestyles'? Is that the catch-all for all the people they can't pidgeonhole?

Hitwise Report

We'll continue to see analytics like this, of course, but I think recent news should make us all more skeptical. Advertising is a business that has been run on analytics from the beginning, and unsurprisingly, they got it very, very wrong from the beginning. The knowledge that a small percentage of individuals do most of the clicking (and very little of the buying) should shake the industry up, but it won't. So sad!

Something's happening, and it gives me hope: