Tuesday, May 31, 2005


Cloaking (BETA)

I'm told by CompanyXGuy that some of you webmaster people have been talking about Cloaking, and whether or not it's OK to do and what it actually means.

Well as any Star Wars fan knows cloaking is a type of camouflage. It's simple. When mommy makes the cauliflower look like mashed potato so I'll eat it then that's cloaking the cauliflower. When a stealth bomber uses, er, whatever it uses, to not show up on radar, that's cloaking the bomber. When I hide under my desk to avoid Geoff from Accounts (found a cheesystring down there today actually - yummy) that's cloaking my whereabouts. When NPR shows different content to us than to the user that's a big favour someone owes us.

So in short - the actual official definition of cloaking is "anything we decide to call cloaking" and the penalty if you use cloaking is "whatever we feel like doing, really" and the time the penalty will apply for is "entirely up to us".

So there you have it - our official guidelines on cloaking. Hopefully that clarifies everything for you.

I wonder if there are more cheesystrings down there?......


For Sale (BETA)

For Sale: Rare (due to world shortage) Green bars. Due to over-order whilst solving a problem. Varying sizes from 1 to 10. Will trade for cash, check, or cheese.

Obviously I can't just go putting my phone number here because somebody might send a bot that'll make it available to the world or something. As I've just learnt about cloaking for another post I have the perfect solution - call the number below:

No time wasters please.

Monday, May 30, 2005


working on a weekend (BETA)

oh it's so busy here at the moment I just haven't had a chance to post for a few days, I'm even working on a holiday weekend because I'm trying to catch up on some paperwork.

My weekend has been good; on Friday me and some of the lads went out to celebrate fixing that canonicalization problem (well when I say fix you know what I mean), we got very drunk and started playing with these slidy control things that we found on a switch panel in Sergeys office.

It was really good fun - like being in Star Trek or something. I wanted to be Uhuru but none of us could pronounce it so I was 'girl in background who gets attacked by Tribbles' instead.

I have no idea what these switches do but when we went through the alien forcefield we were really throwing them around so I bet they did something. At the end we couldn't remember what position one little green switch should have been in so we left it 'off'. I doubt it does anything important anyway.

On Saturday I worked from home on my list of 'things XLink doesn't link to yet but could'. It's quite a long list but I think everything on it's very sensible and will certainly improve the user experience. I'll bet you a dairylea triangle to a tub of wholefat Phili that most of my ideas will be implimented within 12 months.

I just have time to answer a question that a reader has asked
Marissa, why doesn't CompanyX have some sort of way for people to petition for a site to remove, old/linkspam/irrelevent pages?
Well of course the answer to that is that we're already working on it - in fact there won't be any need to submit a report, what we're going to do is allow you to simply link to the page from certain places and we will know that that page should be devalued. We don't think we need to check with the webmaster whether they want that page removed, that's just an extra lot of people involved which don't really need to have a say in it. Someone mentioned that this might let people be a bit evil and annoy their competitors but I don't really think that's a problem, at least it won't be if we don't tell anyone about it.

Now I really must get on and do some real work. I have a complaint letter from a woman in Nevada who claims that AutoTown (Beta) created a small village at the bottom of her garden. She admits it was a nice village and had a large shop selling books and records and that she did wish she could have more choice, but she's now claims that driving to the next town wasn't really a big problem after all.

Some people just won't be helped.

Thursday, May 26, 2005


Even more Marissas Answers (BETA)

Hey Anonymous (again, gosh, you are a fan aren't you?)

I have 3 interlinked domains and and one link farm that doesn't belong to me ;) and I just dropped off the front page for my main key word, my compettition is all spam and I was wondering if maybe you could help me out a little bit even though I didn't break any rules on purpose. What is Xguys cell
Oh I am sorry Anon, but you don't really sound important enough to merit a hand job from XGuy. Can you answer these questions and then I can tell you;

1. Do you sell books and a lot of other stuff we don't link to yet but soon will?
2. Have you recently very publically banded with us to help stop spam?
3. Are you an absolutely, megatastically huge household name?

I thought not, sorry then but no help from us, naughty spammers must take their punishment like a good boy, and don't waste your time telling me that you didn't spam because clearly if the algo has caught you then you were being naughty. Weren't you? Just a little bit?

Yes I thought so.

Now clearly your competition cannot be all spam because we have algos which prevent spam (as you just found out) so I'm afraid you'll just have to accept that your site wasn't designed to our high standards and/or didn't provide information the users require.

Perhaps you'd like to consider beta testing our new 'toolbar without a toolbar' feature which enables a website to use the XLink feature and get great blue stripes whatever type of browser the user is using. You simply need to put a small 'call home' piece of code in your source and some big buttons (designed for ease of user use and to enhance their browsing experience) on your pages. It looks great and links every mention of books, VIN codes, addresses and cheese to a more suitable website than your own.


An important denouncement (BETA)

Or should that be announcement? I don't know. Did you know that you can't use cheesy strings as a replacement for shoelaces? After a while they go all soggy and stretch a lot (believe me, I trie...I mean I did an experiment just to see the effects because I knew they wouldn't be suitable but what else can you do when there's nothing else in your desk draw and your shoe is practically falling off your foot?). Well just like if I didn't know that then I'd have had some learning to do, a couple of my readers need a bit of education (or so Eric says. To be honest I don't really understand why I can have as many as two readers when only some guy called "anonymous" ever seems to show up. In fact, he shows up quite a lot. Maybe he fancies me?).

Hang on, what's that down there. Mmmm...cheesy string. So anyway, back on topic. It seems that two people might not entirely understand the word parody:

A literary or artistic work that imitates the characteristic style of an author or a work for comic effect or ridicule

Naturally this is a Beta blog and issues like this are bound to come up. Had webmasters been clearer in their linking (following W3C and CompanyX "webmaster guidelines") then I'm sure this issue wouldn't have arisen.

Much like Edam is a parody of real cheeses one should not assume that the similarity between the name Marissa Beta and some other Marissa, or indeed the style of this Company X blog and some other company's blogs, or any similarity between the names of my co-workers and the names of a certain other person's co-workers, necessarily means that this blog might not be a person or persons taking the mickey (I've got a fluffy one of those by the way. His ears are so cute. I wonder if anonymous looks like Mickey at all? Ahhhh). Or in short, you could be laughing at me rather than with me.

Obviously this could be a cunningly perceived PR job by myself to make it look like people are taking the mickey out of me, thus raising my profile, and I could then be making this post as a kind of double bluff. I have, after all, been hanging around with CompanyX Guy far too much. But Mommy says I shouldn't do things like that.

I never even said CompanyX is a search engine, it could be portal for all you know!

Wednesday, May 25, 2005


Blogging fever grips Company X (BETA)

We've really never been into blogs here, despite some product we own which we haven't quite worked out what to do with yet. But since I've been telling everyone how popular my blog has been everyone here at Company X has been really impressed, so much so that we've enhanced our corporate blog and now have an official 'Company X Blog Team' (it's actually one guy called Mike with a lot of login details but we cleared out a broom cupboard and put a nice nameplate on the door so he's happy)

Like most corporate blogs we don't really post anything except press releases and stuff, although we have been making a real effort recently. Well sort of on and off. I thought I'd help them out but when I asked for a login so I could make a post last week Mike told me that I had to have someone to co-author my posts. They didn't tell me why but I heard someone in the background say something about my being able to lie ably (he had a funny accent so it sounded like "sheshablurrylieabilty" but it was obvious what he was saying).

Anyway I got a bit annoyed about that - of course I can lie ably - I work in PR. It's a prerequisite, although we'd prefer to give it its proper name of 'corporate spin'. Surely that would mean I'm prefectly capable of making blog posts without them being checked by this Jessica woman they've assigned to me? I'm afraid poor Mike was left rather dazed by my response but I'd been on the Ritz cheesy crackers all morning and they have rather a lot of e-numbers ... .sometimes I don't know my own strength.

I just noticed they haven't added my blog to the blogroll yet. I must pop down and have a chat with Mike later. They've replaced his nameplate now and the medics told me he was doing well so I'll take him down a nice soft cushion and I'm sure he'll be pleased to see me.


CompanyXguy (BETA)

Earlier I was walking down the corridor to the new Dairylea vending machine (very cool, can't understand why we didn't get one sooner) and I bumped into CompanyXguy. You know many people think CompanyXguy is just a childish cover name to maintain anonymity but that's not true - it's his real name (Long story - think new guy on the CompanyX ski trip having a few too many Chianti's with Company X's legal team, a pen, and a napkin with the title "deed poll" on it. Oh they are a wag). So anyway, a little known fact is that CompanyXguy's second name is Soothsayer because well, to be frank, I was on the ski trip, the lawyer was a friend of mine, and it seemed amusing at the time.

CompanyXguy's position in the company is basically to say cryptic things that scare us into conforming to the company X's view of the world. So, for example, earlier he said to me "Careful Marissa Beta or you might fall into the sandbox. I'll look into it for you. I'll pass your message on to the appropriate department". Just as I was about to say "what message" the very next thing that happened was I tripped over Larry's foot, squashing Eric's sand castle. But at least it was a soft landing. Eric was a bit narked to be honest but he calmed down when I pointed out that it was only a beta sand castle and he should expect a few hiccups and minor issues. Luckily for me the CompanyX webmaster was passing by so I managed to blame him: "Eric, it wouldn't have happened if somebody had put information about the new CompanyX sand box on the intranet".

Tuesday, May 24, 2005


One of our websites is missing (BETA)

Yesterday mommy phoned me at work and told me she'd been looking for information about XSense on our website but when she searched the urls looked all funny. She did get the right page when she clicked on the link though so I wasn't too worried but I did mention it to one of the guys who deals with the algos when we were rollerblading earlier and he got very upset and almost fell over before skating off at high speed (narrowly avoiding killing a daschund which someone had carelessly left on the path).

Turns out that we had some canonicalization problems. Basically this happens because as your reputation suffers Company X does a very good job of picking canonical urls for normal sites; sites with their PageRank going toward zero are more likely to have a different canonical url picked. I'm not entirely sure I follow that since pagerank is just something we do for a giggle but apparantly that is the official explanation and no amount of mommy running around saying "'Rissas websites been hijacked, I tell you" will make any difference.

After I'd finished lunch (does buffalo mozerello come from real buffalos or is it just called that because it's such big balls?) I wandered down to the tech floor and tried to make myself useful but my suggestion just to change that part of the algo so that it didn't happen again made everyone look at me funny so I ended up leaving them to it and doing some more research for the slogan project.

Anyway, the boys from technical have been working on it feverishly all afternoon but we don't really know what to do. Someone called Tim keeps phoning and offering to send them a .ppt explaining how to fix it which really isn't helping things much, I do wish he'd stop yodelling at the end of each call.


Eric's speed problem (BETA)

Eric sent me an e-mail this morning, well actually he sent me several e-mails this morning because that problem he's been having with something in his computer clicking buttons all the time has got worse and now it's not just when he's looking at websites but all the time on everything.

Anyway, Gavin from Tech support had a look and told Eric that if he will install beta products from companies not proven to be trustworthy he must expect things like this and he'll have to live with it.

So I finally pieced Erics mails together and came up with what he was saying, and after removing all the swear words it turns out that this accellerator thingy he installed has got a loop somewhere and has been getting faster and faster for the past two weeks. Everything is speeding up so quickly now that he doesn't have time to read any web pages before he gets automatically forwarded to the next one and he says he accidentally signed up to MSN the other day and now some bloke called "The Ballmaniser" keeps messengering him to say stuff like "we're just behind yoooooooou".

Eric asked if this was normal. I'm not sure if he means the speed thing (which isn't but is what beta testing is for after all) or the Ballmaniser thing (I get messages from a guy called "Jezzer" along the same lines).

I can hear a sobbing sound coming from the direction of Erics office so I guess I need to get someone up there to sort him out. Where's that engineer with the socks dissapeared to?

Monday, May 23, 2005


Fusion (BETA)

Mommy and Daddy took me for a lovely meal this weekend and while I ate my Dungeness Crab (for some reason it was gently glowing but it tasted fine) I explained to them about Fusion.

Fusion is a very exciting new concept from Company X - it's a sort of way of accessing all sorts of different things from one page, sort of like a doorway page, or a gateway page, but we don't want to call it one of those.

Fusion actually means "the merging of different substances into a union" or "the change of a substance from the liquid to the solid state" - this is what we're trying to achieve - making the interweb a pre-defined structure where everything worth seeing is merged into one place and we provide the way to see it via Company X.

In fact we're making it into a place where everything is a part of Company X, think of it like a cheesey fondue - everything is jolly nice on its own but when you mix the cheese and wine and a little bit of garlic and stuff you end up with a huge big pot of wonderful Goo which you can just keep going back to until you're sick of it.

Some people have said that this is like a competitors product. Well this is not a bit like FUSE - which is a thing that sparks a bit and blows up in your face (at least I think it is but I haven't had a look for ages myself). I don't want anything going off in my face and neither do Larry, Sergey or Eric. Really the best way to describe this is as a walled garden. But it isn't one. That journalist didn't quote me properly. That's the last time I speak to a female hack I can tell you, she even took notes.

Well I hope you all enjoy using MyFusion, if any of you have suggestions as to what else we could add to the page be sure to let us know*.

*Please note that the addition of horiscopes, diet advice and a link to Microsoft is not happening but a full list of other services which will shortly be in beta is available here and here

Friday, May 20, 2005


Company X Earth (BETA)

Lunch today was odd, the dairylea on my crackers tasted strangely odd. I really can't stand a bad cheese so there was nothing for it but to annex an entire planet to create Company X earth (a bit like the regular earth but with streaky blue lines regularly positioned across the green bits). Eric's pleased, he thinks it will be a great complementary product to that other thing we (re)invented - the internet. The best bit about it is the guys down in technical are already working on "autotown" (a system that places towns where we think there should have been some) and "Company X traffic accelerator" (a system that helps eliminate traffic jams by crashing regularly used routes).

Jeremy will be pleased to know that our creation of Company X Earth now means we have a practically limitless choice of bridges available.


More Marissa's answers... (BETA)

This morning Anonymous asked another question.

Anonymous said...

Just got released from AP:

"The company decided to give users the option of adding more bells and
whistles on the front page because it believes it developed a "critical
mass" of products that present helpful information to visitors, said
Marissa Mayer, Google's director of consumer products.

Despite the shift, Google isn't trying to persuade visitors to spend
more time on its Web site, Mayer said. "We are still interested in
getting people off our site to the places that they want to go
(online)," she said."

Wasn't lying a sin? In other words "evil". Does X company have "Do not evil" as
slogan, or not. Or they didn't mean to say that? Or they meant to say
it, but it was used out of context... or.. Can you look yourself in the
mirror Marrisa, w/o cracking it??

6:11 PM

Hi Anonymous.

Well I can tell from your tone that you're not very happy with us and normally I'd do my best to ignore that type of thing but Mommy mentioned perhaps I should try and deal with things like this by actually responding to them. Sometimes mommy can have really silly ideas (like the time she made cheesecake with low fat Phili) but I like to humour her so here goes.

Look, what I said about the Xportal isn't a lie. As you know 70% of the core business of Company X is Advertising and search. Well actually it isn't because there's that other data mining bit we don't talk about, oops, I shouldn't mention that, but 70% of our visible core business is Advertising. Oh and search.

So we really do want people to leave our site as fast as they can, as long as they do it via a link we're provided, and then come back and leave again, and again. What we're working hard on now developing this to cover every website and defining the places that people want to go for them - this is what's called 'improving the user experience'.

There have been accusations from some people that we don't "get it". Of course we get it - I think in fact we get it very well and everyone else is only just starting to. But I digress. A happy user is a click-happy user and that's what we want and what we're going to get.

Company X has a clear conscience. When I look in the mirror and as "Mirror mirror on the wall , who's the fairest of them all", the mirror answers me "you are Marissa", so if we're the fairest we must be the least evil surely? Also, I think in fact you'll find that Company X never said that our slogan was "Do no Evil", we might have inferred it, or implied it, or painted it on the wall in big letters, but we never actually patented it and I never said I wouldn't. You know what some of these journalists are like, they write what I want, I mean they write what they want, without regard for the facts. I keep telling them I'll have to give them a spanking if they over-hype our products but it just seems to make most of them more enthusiastic.

And since we went public our users are also our shareholders which surely means that as long as we do things for the shareholders we're also doing things for the users. These users are our only concern.

Evil? I can't see how that's evil. I was a little worried other people might though so I asked Doug, our consultant Evilness Tzar. And he said we weren't so that settles it.

Thursday, May 19, 2005


Aquisition Research (BETA)

After the Nike success Sergey's asked me to think about some more companies or products we might want to buy so we can use their catchphrases.

So I thought about it while I was making myself some cheese on toast earlier but this is really hard work - I mean there are lots of great slogans but they wouldn't all convey our current unique approach to customer services - for example - "Probably the best search in the world" is cool but it doesn't really have that something extra.

So far I've identified;
Company X wouldn't give a XXXX for anything else.
The future's bright. The future's blue and stripy
Eight out of ten cats prefer our sandbox
When it absolutely, positively, has to dissapear overnight
Have it our way
Say it with flaws

And there's always;
I liked it so much I bought the company

Actually I think some of those could work quite well. I wonder if we actually need to buy the company to use them though. Well we probably would for the last one but this using other peoples stuff with slight changes thing is pretty much going OK elsewhere. I'll run it past Larry.


Ads in RSS feeds (BETA)

When daddy mentioned putting ads in your RSS over brie on toast the other night I thought he was being rude. We all had a jolly good giggle when we realized it was his accent (RSS sounds so much like something else when he says it). Well I thought it was a jolly good idea so I spoke to technical who bent over backwards to provide the features we wanted. They'd implemented it from the bottom up in days.

Naturally it's in beta (we're thinking of moving the Company X head office to this road by the way. Just as soon as we can work out how to get there from here. As Larry says "Heck of a drive").

Now some of you cynics (i.e. webmasters) might be wondering just how putting Ads into RSS feeds improves the "user experience" I keep going on about. Well, let me tell you a personal experience of mine (oh please, I can tell what you're thinking you peurile bunch of webmasters). The other night I was searching for information on the different types of Edam you can get and the varying colorations of the waxy coating and pondering buying one that would complement my blusher. Before I knew it I'd accidentally downloaded an RSS reader. Trust me, it's all too easily done. Then I'd accidentally run the installer, clicked next a few times (it told me to and who am I to say no?), and it was installed. I'd then accidentally inserted the url for the cheese weekly rss feed - it wasn't even an Atom feed! Can you believe that? What did I find? Information about cheese, a whole delectable plethora of cheesy facts. But I wanted to buy buy buy and there was nothing to do that. All I had really meant to do was type into x.com "buy edam cheese" to see the Ads. Can you believe the number one help line call at Company X is "I meant to query X.com for buy ..... but I accidentally installed an RSS reader and I can't see any ads" (just like I did)? Well, problem solved. User Experience Improved.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005


Even better XMaps (BETA)

Well Mommys home and she had a great time so last night we sat down for a chat and a gossip over our Zamorano.

Mommy asked me about this thing in the Uk where people looking for brothels are being shown maps pointing out their nearest police station.

I explained that this is all part of our drive to save the user time, thus improving their experience.

We plan on applying the same principal to many things, and the principal is very simple - we're basically taking a place, a time of search and the searchers profile and, knowing what the consequences of visiting that place may be, we're directing the user straight to the final destination, thus saving them time, energy and money.

For example; if a UK user searches 'kebab shop' between 10.55pm and 3am, especially if they search from their mobile (cellphone), we can naturally extrapolate that the user is very drunk, will buy a kebab, become ill and end up having their stomach pumped in A&E at 4am. Therefore for 'kebab shop' we return all hospitals within a 10 mile radius.

Some of our extrapolation algos are still being worked on and we have had to apologise to several male australian users who searched for 'barbie supplies' and ended up at 'Frocks for Jocks' being measured up by a nice man in pink lycra but this is a beta service and one of them actually did buy a nice backless number which I quite like myself actually so no real harm done....

Tuesday, May 17, 2005


Report on our first Shareholders meeting (BETA)

Last Thursday was Company X's first Shareholders meeting.

It was jolly good fun, Eric talked to people about our plans for helping the whole world, including those poor users in China who don't have many of our essental programs at the moment. Eric has tasked me personally with bringing blue streaks to China, although he's said we may have to change them to red.

Then he talked about ScholorX (BETA), which will one day hold every bit of knowledge in the world, and if you want to know something you'll be able to plug yourself into it, just like The Matrix. Of course the French don't like this but then the French don't like anything really. Except cheese.

Next, people asked questions. A lot of these people may have been staff and a lot of those staff may have recently been having meetings with me but that is merely co-incidence. Someone asked a very interesting question about why our products are in beta for so long which allowed Sergey to explain that Beta is a matter of Pride. I thought Beta was a letter from some old alphabet but Larry says he'll explain it to me later.

Then Larry explained about the dynamic and forward thinking move away from our previous motto to the new "just do it" one. He said that while we still believed in the higher principals outlined with our shareholder prospectus a lot can change in a year and no one's really going to notice if things get shuffled around a little.

After that I did my presentation, which went down really well, and then Eric closed the meeting by explaining Company X would continue to grow and was already available in 100 languages. Obviously some of those, like French, are just joke languages, but most are very important to us, even Chef is taking Klingon lessons in case we have the King of Klingon to a meeting one day. I think Klingon is one of those funny shaped countries sort of below and to the right of England?

We're also going to change our X-maps so that they show more countries, but we were waiting for the ScholorX (BETA) programme to get up to the Atlases, and when you're digitising all the world books alphabetically it takes a while. Mommy only finished scanning the Aaron the Aardvark series last Tuesday.

We closed the meeting with a rousing rendition of "We are the Champions" and then got rid of the shareholders and had a bit of a disco. We thought we might hold the next meeting somewhere a bit more exotic. Suggestions welcome.


Oh Yeh (BETA)

To the webmaster who said:

Oh yeh, and this blog's a parody of me!

Oh yeah, ... ?

Really, you webmaster's should know by now it's not a typo - that would make us wrong! Marissa (Beta) did indeed mean to say "Oh yeh". We were clearly, affectionately, addressing Yeh T'ing (obvious and entirely logical if you think about it) directly rather than speaking to the mass populous of the internet. This is part of company X's drive to introduce affectionate names for historical figures into web pages across the internet. Curse you for imagining we're fallible. Soon we will be merging this feature with autolink to automatically link affectionate names for historical figures in other webmaster's pages. We believe that this will greatly enhance user experience.

Monday, May 16, 2005


More Ask Marissa. (BETA)

"If we get tired of all these pastels and stuff that you are adding is there another internet that we can use?"

What a very strange question. Why would you want another internet? Our internet, besides being delightfully pastel, is in the process of being pre-filtered to remove all nasty, icky, worthless and inappropriate sites. Plus it has blue streaks.

If you really want another internet you can try and do that thing where you just type the name of the site you want to visit into the box at the very very top of your screen. It doesn't work very well though. Best use ours.

Company X - Just Do It!


Improving the User Experience (BETA)

Everything we do here at Company-X is geared towards the perfect user experience, which is why if we think a site isn't a good user experience we remove it from our lists. Our 'User Experience Panel' meets every second Thursday at Larrys and over a glass or two of fine Frascati and some cheese straws we review the sites which have been brought to our attention and take appropriate action.

You'll have noticed that I and my colleagues are now also starting to give design and usability advice on occasion, this is because, despite our site design being created by accident, we do feel that as the owners of the interweb we should ultimately be in charge of things like that.

For example, over the weekend Company X's Australian department has been sending me copies of e-mails from webmasters which complain because our new Toolbar thinks the Australian Addresses are in the US. All I can say to that is your addresses should be linked anyway.

I think it's clear enough that every instance of a code, product or location should be linked to somewhere. Its not my job to tell you where and if you can think of somewhere better than we do with our toolbar then go on and link to it already.

It's also clear that every instance of a name, date or word will also eventually require linking to enhance the user experience. This isn't hard to understand - Mommy says webmasters really must learn to design with the user in mind; if you're looking at a page which mentions something and we know about other information about that somewhere else of course you want the opportunity to go and look where we think you should.

I'm also very proud of the new Blue Streak feature which disables the 'open new window' right click. By taking that away the user no longer has that pesky and frankly confusing option to open the link in a new window. That would lead to user confusion because it required clicking between MULTIPLE windows, and was very very un-user-friendly. Now the user can simply use the same window to view a different site which makes things much more streamlined and ensures that the user only returns to the original site if they really, really want to.

Company X - where do you want to go today?

Oops, can't use that one (yet)


Saturday, May 14, 2005


Just do it! (BETA)

I'm so excited - I shouldn't really announce this pubically yet but we told the shareholders on Thursday (more about the shareholder meeting later) and that means the news will be public soon anyway - Company X is about to buy Nike!

The idea came to me when I was watching the Superbowl with mommy and the adverts came on. Between an ad for Phili-Lite (with chives) and one for Super-Pooper-Doggie-Doo-Scooper I had an epiphany, which was a bit embarresing with mommy in the room.

After mommy finished cleaning up I explained to her that our old Company X catchphrase is becoming a bit of a liability to be honest and when I saw the brilliant "Just do it" tagline on the Nike ads I realised it was exactly what we needed. Sort of forceful but sublimal at the same time.

Next day I went straight and talked to Larry and Serg, and they thought it was a great idea too. They said I should practice snapping my extendible pointing stick against the chalkoard when I said it and those webmaster people would soon be loving us again (I did do this on Thursday when I gave my presentation about "How to Rule the World in 10 easy steps" and it seemed to be quite effective, I even heard some of the men admiring my new leather suit and matching boots and normally they never notice how you dress)

Since we can't actually make use of any of the Nike products, initially we tried to just buy the tagline, but they wouldn't sell it and they have some irritating trademark thing on it (I suggested we just ignore it like we have with everyone else but apparantly these people have enough money to fight us in court so we can't do it that way).

After we discussed it though we realised that Sergey can get his trainers for recruitment videos at cost if we buy the whole company, so we've agreed to their price and very soon we can "Just do it" whenever and wherever we like - how exciting!

I'm adding it to the bottom of our 'webmaster communication' templates today.

Friday, May 13, 2005


Answers to Anonymous (BETA)

Who'd have thought when I started the Ask Marissa post that I'd get more questions in a day than you get cheeses in a packet of mini-babybel? Okay, so they're all from the same bloke (strange name he's got: "anonymous". Though mommy and poppy nearly called my brother that). Well, they all need answering and Mommy's on a weekend trip to Philidelphia so here goes:

"How come you want all the web to put graphical banners on their sites but you do not have them on x.com ? I am referring to the new graphical xsense that you just launched."

As webmasters begin to come round and modify our pages to our view of the web we perceive there'll be a small issue. Everywhere will look like Company X and how can we then differentiate ourselves as slick and different? Of course we have a genius solution, by encouraging webmasters to put nasty graphical banners on their sites we can ensure that x.com always looks superior.

"When I make a custom site search on my site using your service, why do you show 4 ads above the web results while on x.com you only show 2 ads above the web results ?"

Because we can.

"Are you in a relationship right now ? I love the color of your eyes and I want to marry you and make babies with you"

I need to check my job description but I don't think I'm contractually required to improve the user experience quite that much.

"When are you going to offer Viagra, Mesothelioma and Weewee Enlargement on Company X Store?"

People who use Company X have an enhanced user experience and thus an enhanced life without the need for artificial stimulants.

I hope that answers your questions.

Thursday, May 12, 2005


Ask Marissa (BETA)

Ask Marissa Logo ImageAsk Marissa Logo Text
Mommy said to me last night, as we shared a box of cheese triangles and a bottle of Absinthe, that ordinary people must want to ask people like me lots of questions. I have noticed some people have been asking me things in the comments here already.

Thanks Mommy, that's a great idea - so I ran it past Larry and he said yes - which means everyone can now 'Ask Marissa (Beta)' (TM) I'm not sure I really like the logo but Dylan from Logo Design says it's perfect.

If you have a question for me please ask it in the comments for this post. I'll try and answer the good questions, if I don't answer yours though please don't keep on about it - take the hint and quietly go away - it's quite tiring ignoring people for a long time.


Blue Streakers and Autolink out of Beta (BETA)

So there I was just cutting a bit of gorgonzola on the cheeseboard last night (Mommy does a delicious beef stew and I always like a bit of gorgonzola to finish it off). Then an idea hit me! It was all those little blue streaks in the cheese. The answer to our autolink problems!

You see, blue is such a calming color and webmasters are so stressed out. I bet if we changed the background color of our autolinks then the blue streaks all over their pages would both differentiate themselves on the page and calm webmasters all at the same time! Who wouldn't want calming blue streaks automatically inserted into their pages?

So I called technical and before you know it we'd implemented it, added a few more options into the sources box (such as froogle!) and put an annoying "please wait" message in when you click the autolink button - it's a user experience thing. No really, trust me, I know about user experience - you see if the please wait message wasn't there then people might not know what to do in that half a second, they could get bored, start twiddling their thumbs and pondering whether everything really is the webmaster's fault. Trust me, mommy said so.

Anyway, it's out of beta now and those webmaster thingies will be too calmed by the blue or too over-awed by our "improvements" to complain. Yahoo!..Ooops, I'm not allowed to say that...Jolly good show Company X.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005


Consumers AREN'T morons (BETA)

Someone sent me a VERY rude e-mail about my comment that I didn't know consumers weren't morons. It almost made me choke on my yummy cheescake and I had to have a look at the definition of some of the words. Nice girls don't do that thing you suggested by the way.

Anway I'd just like to say that I didn't mean to upset people, it never even occured to us that people might think I meant anything nasty by it, and we discussed the whole thing in a huge big meeting about recommending things before I made that post.

Of course I don't think consumers are morons. I clearly meant to say that webmasters are morons.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005


Making Mommy proud of me (BETA)

Mommy phoned me right when I was in the middle of lunch (brie salad triple decker combo sandwich on rye, hold the pickle, extra sauce and a side order of fries) to ask me whether she should put Adsense on her website.

This is something I've been thinking about since I started my Blog. I mean you get paid for the ads but I don't really like the idea of not having control over who I might link to. Also taking money for showing ads seems kind of icky - Company X has an ethos that we work for the good of mankind and I try and do that all the time. I was talking to Arthur in Laundry about this and he pointed out that really I should put links on my site anyway, so people wouldn't want to click on the links which earn me money, so I could show ads but not make money from it, which is the best of both worlds. That's a good point. I'm going to tell people about that.

Anyhow, I looked for information about advertising and stuff and I found this great book called Truth, Lies and Advertising ( Jon Steel, ISBN: 0-471-18962-6) which has some good comments in it - although right on the first page he says some things I don't understand ("The consumer isn't a moron"? That wasn't what I learnt in PR 101? Must run that past Larry and see what he thinks).

So I told Mommy that Adsense is brilliant but that she should be thinking about enhancing her user experience and not be all selfish and care about making profits. She went a bit quiet after that and I think she was thinking about how proud of me she was because her voice sounded all funny and she said goodbye really quickly like she was going to cry. I love making Mommy proud of me.


A bit of a pickle (BETA)

So there I was the other night, cheesy crackers in one hand and a nice chardonnay in the other, talking to mommy and poppy about how the pickle they were offering me reminded me of a situation at work. Actually, it reminded me of most situations at work for the last few months.

Poppy said I should just poke anyone that was nasty to me with a big sharp stick but then mommy said "don't be evil". I couldn't think why but that phrase seemed strangely familiar but then I remembered, so I made a note to run the possibility past Sergey in the morning.

You see we invented this great new product that speeds the web up for people with broadband, the techies didn't tell me why but presumably it means that broadband users can enjoy the zippy speeds that dial up users must be getting. Maybe poppy can get the telephone company to install dial up for me. The only thing is that everyone's in a flap because it gives people the wrong logged in control panels on some sites and the wrong cached details. They say it wasn't tested. That's so not true, mommy used it for an hour and she didn't say anything about being able to read poppy's emails or view the control panels on the forums he goes to. Okay, so 50 minutes of that hour was mommy asking poppy about some woman named "Angela the tramp" but it so was totally and utterly tested.

Well mommy pointed out that people's expectations were unreasonable. How could people expect to save milliseconds off a web page download AND have security and privacy. Mommy suggested that as it wasn't our fault and it couldn't be the user's fault (or they wouldn't download the product) then it must be the webmaster's fault (again).

So the other morning I bumped into George from technical at the M&Ms vending machine. He suggested we tell webmasters that something called their cache control headers were wrong and that they should fix them to make our product work. George is a genius, it's so much easier to whizz off a few hundred thousand emails than it is to dig out the source code and fix it (there's all sorts of funny words and numbers and stuff in the source code).


[Deleted] (BETA)

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Monday, May 09, 2005


about that inserting links bit in my last post (BETA)

but could you make sure they're strict W3C compliant, otherwise our pre-fetching goes all kerfluey and the user experience is ruined.


Welcome (BETA)

Welcome to my blog, I started this blog because my company...let's call them company X...have been getting a lot of grief lately about some of our beta products. My mommy said I should put our case, so this is my chance.

So there I was on tuesday, eating a bagel (with creamy philadelphia lite) for breakfast and wondering how I was ever going to get people to view this blog. It's all very good mommy saying I should make one but the web doesn't just keel over and shout oooh every time you blow your nose. Not unless you work for... Ah. So there I was on tuesday, eating a bagel and thinking about how I was going to get people to view this blog without too many reading it at once. Gmail and Orkut came to mind. No, not because they're also terminally slow but because of the invitation system.

Obviously this blog is just BETA and Bob down in software engineering hasn't had time to create the little "tell 50 friends" box (he said something about using his twenty per cent time to buy his wife's birthday present). So just assume it's there. If you could kindly tell 50 friends by email, telephone, or by googling them (Marissa (BETA) cannot accept any responsibility for any misinterpretations that could occur during the reading of this blog) and using any contact information that comes up then that'd be great. We'll give you another 50 invites tomorrow.

Webmasters, if at the same time you could just insert links into your web pages then that would help our system work much better. We all know that if this blog isn't successful it isn't down to me, it's because enough webmaster's haven't done what I just told them to.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours? By peddling very hard on an excercise bike at my desk (somebody's got to)

* Unreal, pretend, not true. Marissa, or indeed any Marissa, did not write this. This is a joke, a subtle dig at a company similar to CompanyX.