Friday, June 23, 2006


An interesting social experiment (BETA)

I'm not sure what linkie winkie is but I'm sure someone can tell me?

Saturday, December 24, 2005


Merry Christmas (BETA)

I just snuck back to say Merry Christmas and give all my loyal fans a picture of me standing in front of our beautiful Christmas Tree. Mommy had the cheese star especially carved for me.

From everyone here at Company X I'd like to wish you all Happy Holidays.


Wednesday, June 22, 2005


Dear Readers. (BETA)

As you probably know we...I mean I have been blogging for over a month now and during that time we...erm I've had a lot of BETA fun. Well I'm sorry to announce that due to unforeseen pressure (I stubbed my toe this morning and then there was this meeting.....) I've decided that I really can't keep this blog up and running. Sometimes I feel like I've got this split personality and then I get this idea that perhaps both of them are going to run away and write for Gray Hat News. Apparently at Gray Hat News they've got a cheese plant.

Anyhow, I tried to get CompanyX guy to take over but he just kept saying "Things are a changing Marissa. Watch Out. Don't do things you wouldn't do if CompanyX didn't exist". Which is a bit confusing to be honest.

So I tried XWordsRep but she just kept wanting to set a cost per post. Guess who was the one that came up with CompanyXWallet?

And mommy said she doesn't mind looking after my hamster for me but she draws the line at doing my homework.

So that's it. Marissa (Beta) Blog is no more. Obviously I'm going to switch my rss reader to the Gray Hat News rss feed so that I don't miss out on more entertaining fabricatio..... er, descriptions of search engine news. But that's it. So long. Thanks for all the cheese.

(Although if the evil forces of CompanyX align in such a way as to send a secret message to the AfterBlog, Marissa (BETA) will likely return as a zombie in 'Marissa(Beta)2; Wrath of Marissa' ;))

Tuesday, June 21, 2005


An exciting offer from Marissa's Cheese Castle (BETA)

I had a really exciting e-mail today from someone who says they've setup a company named after me and would like me to consider being involved in the business. It's called Marissa's Cheese Castle (they shorten the name so it'll fit on the screen) and they'd like my expertise on things like how to make the site more user friendly and public relations and all the stuff I'm brilliant at like that.

It's a very exciting opportunity and they've assured me I would never have to drink champagne if I went and worked for them. That makes it a tempting offer. I need to talk it over with mommy obviously but if the salary is good and I get free cheese baskets then perhaps I should consider a career change?

It would be a real wrench to leave CompanyX though, I've never even considered it after offers from CompanyY before. But then I never had Eric threatening to spank me before. At least not during office hours.

Hmm. Actually on balance I think I want to stay here.

Monday, June 20, 2005


Never, never again. (BETA)

Well that was a terrible trip - and the client didn't sign up with us again either.

On Friday night we took the clients out like they wanted, and we managed to find the club - I honestly never knew places like that existed - but a man kept buying me and XWordsRep very expensive champagne. Anyway, we all got pretty drunk and then the man asked me to dance, but turns out he didn't mean a quick boogie to Abba.

I was obviously really offended and took a swing at him with the champagne bottle but he ducked and I accidentally knocked out the big cheese client.

Then of course the bouncers came over to ask us to leave which would have been the end of it but they caught XWordsRep stuffing a glitterball into her handbag, so the police got called and we ended up spending the night in jail. That's one user experience that could do with a lot of improving.

CompanyXGuy of course had dissapeared at the first sign of trouble so I had to contact Larry to come and bail us out, and he really wasn't pleased.

So now I have a meeting booked with Eric on Wednesday morning in the naughty room, and what I think is a hangover - I would look it up but I can't see the screen properly. Mommy says hair of the dog is what I need but to be honest I couldn't catch one to pluck it.

Saturday, June 18, 2005


Not going at all well now (BETA)

very strange club. police raid. horrible horrible evening. can't blog for long am only allowed 1 e-mail and am just waiting to see if Larry replies with good lawyers name.

Friday, June 17, 2005


Going well so far (BETA)

Well we got here OK but already we've had to remove a load of airline cutlery from XWordsRep's bag.

We had a brief meeting with the clients almost straight after we landed and they seem very nice but they're holding out for a special evening out before they tell us their final decision. The problem is none of us understand where exactly it is they want to go? I'm sure we'll work it out.

Anyway, I'm just popping into town to see if I can find mommy a nice present and then I'm going to ask around and see if I can find this club they want to go to.

Thursday, June 16, 2005


A guide to creating good web pages - part 2 (BETA)

A guide to creating good web pages
an occasional series by Marissa (Beta)

Part 2 - Designing your Website

CompanyX advises that the best websites give the users what they want. Well clearly what the users want is free beer, three day weekends and a charge account at Sachs Fifth Avenue but I don't think that's exactly what they mean.

No, what CompanyX knows users want is clarity, relevancy and professionalism. There must be some type of acronym we could use to make that easier to remember?

Websites should have lots of white space and use attractive pastels. Logos should use bright primary colours and websites should never ever have a pale blue background. It should be clear to the user what the site is about and how they may best leave the site in the event of an emergency *here*, *here* and behind the links. Exits will be highlighted by means of a gentle blue glow.

However relevant a webmaster believes their site is it can almost certainly be improved. There are various tools and services currently available to help with this, such as XAds, AutoXLink, AddressLinkyX, VINLink(Beta), DeliveryTrack v.X and CheeseFinder. For all of these great services you need do nothing (although you may wish to include a note telling your clients how to install the necessary software) and there's ABSOLUTELY NO PAYMENT REQUIRED!. There's an added benefit here that your site design is enhanced by blue stripes which is both attractive and user friendly as it highlights the most useful links for the user.

Demonstrate your knowledge of the product, don't be afraid to compare your product/service with others in your field. If you believe that another site is abusing these quality guidelines, please report that site to the internet police, that's the professional thing to do.

Specific Design & Content Guidelines include:

Well that should give you all something to be working on while I'm in Washington. If you all impliment that the quality of the interweb will have risen no end by Monday morning.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005


Off to Washington (BETA)

Larry called me in this morning and asked me to go to Washington with XWordsRep and CompanyXGuy to try and talk some newspaper into using XWords again, apparantly they decided to try some inferior product who promised them something silly like more income. When will people stop being so selfish?

Ho Hum. This could be a fun trip. CompanyXGuy gets really stressy lately when things go wrong - so I'll have to spend half my time making sure he doesn't fly off the handle and the other half checking XWordsRep doesn't let her kleptomaniac side loose, it's not so bad when she just makes phone calls trying to pinch accounts and things but I don't want her to come back with something really unsuitable we have to smuggle onto the plane - bringing that Terracotta Warrior back from China was an experience I never want to repeat and my pashmina has never been the same since.

So mommy's going to pack me an emergency cheese hamper and I'm popping out today to buy something low cut for when we meet the editor. We fly out on Friday morning and if I have my way will be back home with our feet up by Saturday afternoon.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005


A possible rollback (BETA)

Well, everyone from tech is walking around looking very stressed out and not even my buying them a family bag of cheesy wotsits has cheered them up. Seems that all this update stuff they've been doing has gone a bit wrong and they're not sure whether to roll it back or let the webmaster thingies change what they do to make everything in the right order again.

I tend to favour the second option, it just makes the whole game more fun when we change stuff and then they have to change stuff to catch up and then we change more stuff again - it would be really boring if we just listed things in the proper order all the time and besides, like mommy says, if we didn't keep them all busy then what would they do all day? (We get them all their customers and handle all their advertising plus we're helping them make their websites better, we need to give them something to do)

But this time, according to Sergey, we've really really changed stuff and it's not working properly any more. He says that we had problems changing our servers to make our sites still be listed and we knew what we had to do. Larry told him not to be silly and people wouldn't really notice but Sergey says that people notice everything we do now and frankly he's sick of it.

I do love it when they fight - they're both so masterful. Anyhow Eric calmed them down and reminded them that we could compromise and quietly incorporate some of the webmasters suggestions as long as we didn't actually say we were. Since all they seem to be saying is 'it was better before' we might get a rollback anyway. Yummy. I hope it's a cheese salad one.

Monday, June 13, 2005


Sitemaps (BETA)

To those who have been pointing out that CompanyXbot is a woman I would just like to say: yes she is but she has been taking many lessons and can indeed, contrary to type, read site-maps so there will be no problem with our new sitemap feature. Additionally she can describe every one of the 50 pairs of shoes in her CompanyX locker accurately down to the type of buckle and takes at least 60 minutes to get ready to go out crawling.


Cheese Day (BETA)

So there I was at lunch time unwrapping a picture perfect mini-babybel whilst chatting to mommy and poppy on the phone. Now if you've seen the adverts you'll know that these cheeky little cheeses have a habit of running away. Well, Mommy made me snigger when she told me about how, last night, Poppy had said Sergey was evil. What should happen when I sniggered but it slipped out of my hand and out of the office window.

Obviously I would have chased after it, just like in the adverts, but we've employed a worldwide team of students to do stuff like that for us. I, personally, was allocated 25 students that I keep in a cupboard in the corner of my office just for situations like this.

Cheese falling out of window

So I jogged over to the corner cupboard (I've got this down to 20 minutes now) and let them out. They chased it all around the CompanyXplex. One of the really tall ones nearly got it but was distracted by the other student "Praying to the mighty cheese" (a perfectly understandable thing to do).


Luckily some guy caught it in the end or I'd have to have faced a whole day without cheese.

My hero. I spoke to Larry, Sergey, and Eric and we all agreed that today onwards should be known as Cheese Day.

Friday, June 10, 2005


Hidden Links (BETA)

So some newspaper has hidden links on its pages and people are getting all excited and wanting us to do something? Well we already are doing something; The XLink blue streaks will solve that problem faster than mommy can say 'paid linking'.

I admit the beta version doesn't show the links up but once we move to relinking existing links and to default 'on' then all that nasty white on white stuff will become white on blue stuff and will be nice and visible.

You see - everythng we do really is designed to enhance the user experience. And webmasters who complain are probably all hiding hundreds of links on their pages.

Thursday, June 09, 2005


A month of blogging (BETA)

Today is one month since I started my blog. Wow I can't believe I've been thrilling you all with my insights for a whole month! Time has just flown by, and I've met a lot of new friends (well, someone called Anonymous) and been insulted by some very prestigious people. I have received fanmail and proposals of marriage and several gifts of cheese which have all been lovely. Thank you all so much.

Sadly CompanyX doesn't list me in their index yet whichever way I search. I wonder if I should make a sitemap for myself? I'll see if anyone can help me with that. It also doesn't show any sites which link to me when I use that special command thingy. I was quite worried about that but then I went and looked at CompanyY and they show lots of links to me and lots of people talking about me and even show my blog when I search for my real name, which is really clever, so I think perhaps CompanyX are planning a surprise party for me and will update all the info then. It must be that because otherwise that would mean our index wasn't working very well.

I'm going to go to pop down and see Manuel in hairdressing I think, just so I look shiny when they all jump out from wherever they're hiding. Oooh this is almost as exciting as when mommy took me to see her favourite band at the Mountain View Scout Hall a couple of years ago.

Anyhow - so much has happened in this month; all of the praise about the Blue Streakers thing - I was a bit worried people would just not notice that we'd launched that and let it go uncommented but apparantly people really did notice and said they'd be doing their best to make sure that it wasn't forgoten - people can be so sweet. Then there was the launch of Ask Marissa, Chef leaving, our shareholders meeting, that nice day with the reporter people who were all very enthusiastic, the custard cream update and all of our lovely innovations like ads in RSS feeds and CompanyX Earth, and WA and Fusion and Evaluation and World Peace and Dairylee vending machines. Phew - what a busy month it's been.

I hope you've enjoyed reading my blog as much as I enjoy writing it. Most days. (sometimes it's a weeny bit tiring because although my life must seem very glamorous to everyone else I am really almost like a normal person who does things like go to meetings and write reports and stuff - it isn't all as exciting as opening the new on-site Cheese shop you know).

Wednesday, June 08, 2005


ooooh - not biscuits then? (BETA)

damn, wrong end of the stick again? Oh chedder chedder chedder. Has anyone worked out how I delete posts yet?


Bourbon (BETA)

There's been a lot of talk around here about something called the Bourbon Update.

I really don't understand why anyone would want to update a bourbon either. Really they're perfect, the only thing better than a bourbon is a cheesy sandwich cracker (that site needs to be whitelisted by the way if any of our eval people are reading this)

Actually, if any of our eval people are reading this you need to check out this serps. I myself have doubts that pineapple casserole is the most relevant result - although it does sound quite yummy, I might get mommy to cook that tonight.

Anyway - those webmaster people are all up in arms about this bourbon update and I can't say I blame them - unless they're doubling the yummy chocolate filling or adding more in a pack I don't think they should be updated at all. In fact I'm going to tell Larry to stop this silly update now.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005


Give Peace a chance (BETA)

When I arrived at work today I found a memo from Eric asking me to change my name to Yoko and could I please arrange for a bed, a couple of pairs of pyjamas and a pack of photographers to be in reception at 3.

At first I thought he'd been at the herbal tea again - ever since those WA Speed issues he's been drinking this incredibly smelly stuff "for his nerves" and it does seem to be calming him right down. He says the guy from Acoona told him it was OK as long as he doesn't inhale.

Then Sergey popped his head around the door and told me that Erics interview on Friday with PBS seems to have effected him quite strangely - they put him in the Green Room with a load of hippies beforehand and next thing you know he's on TV saying things like "Everybody searching CompanyX should only have to get one answer and that answer should always be right", "There is no better calling in life" and "Search is a force for peace and a better world"

I was just trying to think up a way to divert him from this press conference idea when he wandered into my office wearing a pair of little glasses and a flowery shirt and started humming something like

Now it begins-let it begin
Cleanup time
(Show those mother how to do it )

Which didn't sound very peaceful to me. Then he passed out on a beanbag. Mommy says it's best to let him sleep it off and he'll be fine - she says daddy did something like this once when he overdosed on stilton and he was fine after a good sleep.

I do wish he was wearing some pants with those glasses and that shirt though. Terribly distracting.

Monday, June 06, 2005


Never employ students (BETA)

oh it's been hectic here today - I was just finishing my one to one yoga class in my office (I have a lovely corner office, it has a view of the carpark and that bit behind the bins where people stand and smoke. Some mornings I'll be doing my yoga and there'll be dozens of the lads out there smoking and just sort of staring at the building - some of them must have jolly stressful jobs - I must speak to Larry about that) - anyway - I was just finishing my yoga class when Larry burst into my office and started shouting about our evaluators and what did their contracts say about secrecy?

When I removed my foot from behind my head (Larry always says that it's better behind my head than in my mouth) I went and looked the contracts up. Turns out we do have contracts but unfortunately most of them are signed by 'Mr M Mouse' and 'Mr D Duck'. I told them no good ever came from employing students but they wouldn't listen.

Randy in Legal reckons that we can actually sue M Mouse and says at least he's in the US. I don't think we'll win. For a start I don't think the real Micky could sign his name with those hands (and Donald certainly can't - no opposable thumbs) Although we have won stranger cases so perhaps....

Friday, June 03, 2005


still Asking Marissa...... (BETA)

Anonymous said...

........ i mean waiting months on end and spending 1k's in advertising because the se's algo's suck and can't distiguish link farm material from true content.....
I reply: well, what do you think our business model is, exactly?

Anonymous said...

Hey Marisa, I asked before but didn't get a clear answer.. some your posts you refer to "mommy says.."

I have to ask... who's "Mommy" supposed to be?

I reply: Well look I did say if I ignore you then don't keep on and on about it - people do that all the time and sometimes we have to ignore them for ages which is really tiresome. I'll answer this once though - mommy is my mommy. If you look at any blog people mention their family and things they do and it's not in any way a tortuous link to a product advert so I thought that my blog should also have a nice personal touch. That cheese thing I just found btw. I didn't realise there was someone else working here had done the Great Wisconsin Cheese Tour. We must swap pictures.


new slogan catching on (BETA)

I've been trying and trying to pursuade CompanyX employees to use the new corporate slogans - after all it wasn't cheap buying an entire company just so we could use them so we need to get value for money.

Anyhow - I'm pleased to see that Chris has caught on and is even bolding it when he uses it - what a star!

Thursday, June 02, 2005


ooooh - eval, not evil. (BETA)

damn, so actually they discovered Oh chedder. Does anyone know how I delete that last post? (BETA)

Oh no, someone just discovered our subdomain.

I don't get why they're all so surprised? It's the bit where we can login and randomly delist websites. Everyone knows we have that surely?


A guide to creating good web pages - part 1 (BETA)

A guide to creating good web pages
an occasional series by Marissa (Beta)

Part 1 - Choosing your Subject

When choosing the subject of your website it's very important to consider the following points;

Am I interested in and knowledgeable about the subject?
What do I aim to achieve with this website (income, fame, infamy, world domination?)
How much time will I need to dedicate to the site?
How can I partner with CompanyX for mutual benefit?

Case Study;

Mommy and I wanted to setup a small website selling a product so we would have extra spending money when we go to the Cheesefest this year. We had to think what type of website we could make and how we would make money from it.

We thought about our hobbies and decided that it might be nice to do a website about nuclear physics, then daddy pointed out that it wasn't a very popular subject and was hard to sell, so we thought again. Eventually mommy suggested a website about cheese. Brilliant!.

We decided to create a website to achieve world cheese domination. Again daddy suggested we lower our sights a little (he's such a spoilsport) so we decided to create a website to earn money which we would do by providing interesting and detailed information about various cheeses and showing targeted ads to help the user at the side of the site.

Then daddy pointed out that I work full time and mommy has a stressful job in the canteen where she has to hand seperate the sprouted and unsprouted mung beans. He suggested that interesting and detailed information might not be such a good thing to have on a website and that perhaps we should just get one of those auto-generation programmes, that way we wouldn't have to spend so much time and also (this bit is the real bonus) the users spend more time looking at the interesting adverts and less time at pointless content. Daddy also suggested that for the remaining pointles content we may be able to find some software that would add links for a charitable cause to our text. Great idea daddy!

So that was it, we had our plan, the site would be a perfect information centre for people looking for adverts, I mean information, about all sorts of cheese, and would perfectly meet CompanyX's gullability, damn, usability, guidelines for users.

Next time I'll tell you how we set about Designing our Website to meet CompanyX's guidelines.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005


Eureka! (BETA)

I finally found the perfect slogan for us, and even better I think we can use it under "fair use" (being the fairest of them all as has been previously established).

Let's think the unthinkable, let's do the undoable, let's prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all.

Some guy called Adams said it originally. Daddy said he knew the answer to everything so it seems appropriate for Company X to use it and I think it's a perfect description of the way we do the unthinkable and think the undoable and grapple with huge big problems every single day (I spent almost 25 minutes trying to decide if I should have swiss cheese and peanut butter or feta and marmite sandwiches today - decisions like that need some serious thought).

Oh I'm so pleased with this one. Sergey's going to be so happy he'll even forgive me for that switch thing.

CompanyX - we may not eff it after all.


BackTracking - More Marissa Answers (BETA)

I've read about some of ur plans for but I didn't read anything about some much-sought-after features such as trackback (not counting haloscan) and categories.

Well anonymous you are very chatty aren't you. Surely you mean The answer to this is kind of like brie. Let me explain: you know how when you buy a bit of brie it seems like a good idea at the time in all its shiny packaging and everything. Then you take it home and put it in your fridge and realize you've got nothing to go with it? So then you invite all your friends around but they won't touch it (nothing in the shop told you it was a french cheese. Absolutely ridiculous, they should give warnings for stuff like that). So you leave it in the fridge for months to fester; hoping something good might come from it - like penicillin. Well, you get the picture.

For our readers I'm just going to have to explain the haloscan thing. I'm presuming here you're not talking about a web site to integrate comments and trackbacks into your blogs but our latest top secret (who told you by the way) "Do no Evil" method to encourage angelic bloggers. Blogging from the afterlife, Sergey has some very cool ideas. I'm not sure what you mean about the backtracking thing though, I'm pretty sure we've been backtracking for quite a while now.

Does it mean that these features are taking a backseat / not on the cards for now / in the works and soon to be sprung upon the world?


I hope that's cleared that up for you.

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 "buy edam cheese" to see the Ads. Can you believe the number one help line call at Company X is "I meant to query 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.

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.