September 12th, 2008


The advertising rates go up if the babies are wearing hats

After discovering that I can watch full episodes of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report for free (and legally) online, I pretty much decided I never need to install cable. I like the way online video is evolving. For TDS and TCR, they throw in a 30-second commercial every ten minutes, which I think is more than reasonable for me getting to watch it. Likewise, I like how Saturday Night Live's website lets me watch all their sketches so long as I view a 15-second ad first. It's fair. I'm getting free entertainment, so they should get to make money from their advertisers.

Lots of news sites are using this same free video + commercial system online. While I don't view news as a product per se, I realize there are others who do, and these news channels need to pay their bills too. So, when CNN made me watch an Oppenheimer Funds commercial on their website tonight, I shouldn't have been surprised.

Except, well, here's the story the commercial was preceding:


Sick babies...and mutual funds? Oh, man. If there's anything in this world we should be allowed to view commercial-free, it's humanitarians airlifting preemies out of the path of a deadly hurricane. And yet, our very need to see this is what makes a clip like this such a valuable place for a commercial. I won't lie. I would have sat through two 30-second commercials to see those little guys in their little hats whisked to safety. I was getting all teary. And that's big money, right there. Now I can't help but imagine these kinds of conversations between CNN's sales department and potential clients:

Sales: We have several commercial spots left on our website.
Clients: Hmmm. Sounds kind of expensive. What kind of slot can you offer us?
Sales: Well, we can pair you up with a video about the U.S. Ambassador getting kicked out of Venezuela.
Clients: Yawn. What else do you have? And if you mention the Canadian parliament, we walk.
Sales: We've got some footage from the 1984 Miss Alaska pageant.
Clients: I don't know. That still might not be enough to recoup what we're paying for this ad.
Sales: Well...we've got the Sick Babies Video.
Clients: Sick babies! Sold!

The most important thing, of course, is that the babies (and other hurricane evacuees) are safe. It was nice for CNN to show something inspiring in the news, and it was nicer still for the people who helped the babies to do what they did. Besides, my mockery aside, CNN knows they're my favorite [real] news site, in spite of lolcatz claiming I'll destroy his career if I don't get my news from a different site. But I don't see any other news places with anchors named Richelle--except for CNN.

Just sayin'.
UK Succubus Dreams

I made a new avatar...

And we all know what that means. I have a new book cover!

Check it out. This is the UK cover for Succubus Dreams, which will be released over there (or here, if you're reading this in the UK) on December 4. Or 4 December.

I really dig this! It has kind of a jazz era feel to it. I haven't examined the skyline in detail to see if it has the US version's resemblance to Toronto, but hell. It could have the London skyline, and I'd be cool with it. Thanks Bantam/Transworld! I'm now quite enamored with the UK right now and might possibly have to go fulfill my secret fantasy of moving to the Orkney Islands to write in a cottage and raise goats. I guess we'll have to see how the election here goes first, eh?