Category Archives: Arts

More Search Results that Bring Us Traffic

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I think it’s time to revisit again the search terms that bring people stumbling, bleary-eyed, fevered and shivering, onto this site.

We did this a couple of months ago, and the results said a lot about the Internet. Most of what it said was disturbing.

search terms from past 30 days

The top search terms for our site over the past 30 days.

Again, I don’t know why you’re here, I don’t know what you’re hoping to learn, and I hope you’re not expecting this site to make your life better, richer or more rewarding. I also hope that you won’t attempt the things we’ve discussed on this blog. It’s scary. Don’t do it.

So, without further adieu, we present our top search terms from the past 30 days.

Jekyll Island surges to No. 1 on our list, probably because of this post I wrote memorializing the fantastic Oceanside Inn and Suites which is now well behind schedule in its conversion to a Holiday Inn Resort. People planning their fall escape bumped perennial traffic draw “burt reynolds bear skin rug” from the top. Surprisingly, it looks like a fair number of people are still figuring out how to use the Internet, since they’re actually typing our URL into the Google search term (this tells me that either A) we should focus on deploying an AOL Keyword; or B) people don’t want our site to actually appear in their browser’s search history). I don’t know what the hell ” ‘smoked my pipe’ picnic” means, but the term below that is fascinating. (For the record, we burned down exactly zero houses with bottle rockets in Long Beach, Calif.)

“Guy on bear rug” and “burt reynolds bear rug” round out the bear-loving visitors who found us, while a few are interested in cedar waxwings. Former GDOT commissioner Vance Smith continues to Google himself, and somehow at least one person got here from the World Wide Web while looking for “uncle rick incest.” So, thanks for bumping us up on the government watch lists for that one, whomever you were.

Ah, Internet. You’re a dark and frightening friend.

Jesus H. Christ, Netflix: Why Are You Doing This to Me?

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Qwikster

Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!

So, Monday morning, after awkwardly fondling my alarm clock until the beeping stopped, I pawed for my BlackBerry on my nightstand to see what I’d missed overnight.

One was an e-mail from Reed Hastings, the CEO and co-founder of Netflix. It hit my inbox at 3:44 a.m., almost as though Hastings had sat up all night wrestling with his tormented soul and at last had to unleash his agony via an e-mail to myself and a bunch of other subscribers.

I’ve written before about my conflicted relationship with Netflix, back when they first raised their prices. Then, I talked about how terribly underused the service is in our home and how I’m paying, more than anything, for the peace of mind of knowing that this catalog of movies are available to me. I like Netflix, even a more expensive Netflix. But I don’t seem to have a whole bunch of time to enjoy it.

Then I get this e-mail Hastings that I barely read with my sleepy eyes. I really didn’t get the gist of what he was saying until NPR mentioned it on my way to work. They would split the company in two, with Netflix doing the digital streaming and a new company, “Qwikster,” taking over the DVD business that gave Netflix its start. The big thing I took away from it was, no price change.

OK, do what you want, call it what you want, just don’t raise my price or drastically change the produce I’m paying for. I’m cool with that.

Ah, but as the day progressed it became increasingly clear that, indeed, Netflix was changing the product. Substantially.

The Netflix site is great. You come up with a list of movies you want to see, and the movies that are available to “Watch Instantly” over the Internet, you can, and the others you can get on DVD. I can work with that. If there’s something in particular I want to pull up – a movie or an episode of Dora the Explorer for my 3-year-old to watch, well, I can do that, too. Excellent. It’s worth what I’m paying.

But with the launch of Qwikster, that won’t really be the case, because Qwikster’s DVD cue will not line up with the cue in Netflix. The sites won’t talk to each other. You go to Netflix, see if they have it. If not (and usually, they don’t), you’ll go over to Qwikster and add it to your list.

It makes what was a sleek and seamless interface clunky and contrived.

Why?

Well, we have some theories. Netflix is faced with the innovator’s dilemma. That is, to move forward with its future – online streaming to Xbox, Playstation, Wii, laptop, iPad, etc. users – it has to attack the innovation that made it as successful as it is. You can’t build a new house because your old house is in the way. To move forward with its streaming service, it has to kill its DVD service. That’s why its new Web site is an awkward and misspelled word that no one will remember and that will probably be confused with Napster, which also is practically useless.

(Really? You couldn’t call it “Quickster,” at least?)

Also, Netflix is facing a new obstacle to content: the people who produce it. When the streaming service first started, the content consisted mostly of some old movies I’d never heard of and some documentaries no one wanted to see. Delivering movies over the Internet was a novelty that movie studios were willing to take a flat rate to permit. In short, Netflix paid so many millions of dollars for such and such movies for a year. Now, studios are wise to the gig and they want to be paid per subscriber. That’s where Netflix and the studios have a rub, because not every subscriber uses the services. Studios want to be paid not for their content being viewed, but for their content being available to view.

This is convoluted, but it might have some merit. In essence, the fewer subscribers it has, the less Netflix can be expected to pay for content. If it can keep up revenues while reducing the number of subscribers, it would have more revenue to invest in making more content available.

Further, there’s good cause to kill off the DVD business. For one, the survival of the very service that delivers the product – the U.S. Postal Service – is unsure. The service is hemorrhaging money and discussing cutting back service and closing post offices. Now, we have a one-DVD-at-a-time account, which means that, if we really stay on top of watching our discs as soon as they arrive, we can get through about two movies a week. Not bad. But if the postal service kills Saturday delivery (as they likely should), that kills our ability to see two DVDs a week, too. That would cut down the number of movies I can watch in a given year by 50 percent with no cut in price for what I’m paying for the service. That would be enough to make me cancel that part of my subscription.

DVDs also are a pain. They get lost. They get scratched. You’re dealing with a relatively fragile product that you’re sending into all kinds of private residences where people are treating them all kinds of ways. If you can deliver content without using these fragile discs or a third party – the post office – then that’s preferable. This is also the area of the business where Netflix (or Qwikster, I suppose) that truly faces competition from vendors like Redbox and, well, to a lesser degree, Blockbuster.

Here’s what I want: the movies I want to see – including and especially new releases – available instantly for one flat monthly rate. Hell, I’ll pay Netflix my whole $16 a month and ditch the DVDs if they’ll let me see this summer’s blockbusters over the Internet. It’s worth it to me. I gather it’d be worth it to a lot of other folks, too. It could be a pretty profitable venture for Netflix and for the studios that provide the content that Netflix delivers.

My problem is, I can’t see at all how Netflix plans to get there from here.

Hear Ye, Hear Ye! It’s All FRU’s Day!

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FRU

To FRU!

Hear Ye, hear ye! Lend me your ears before I’ve got to take them!

This is the day of all FRUs, to celebrate the great and glorious life of my friend, my confidant, and the godmother to my child, FRUmonster, FRUitcake, Driver of the No. 14 FRUck: FRU.

To FRU, on All FRU’s Day, the most sacred day on the Bobian calendar, I say, happy birthday, and thank you for everything.

Meet Your New Blogger

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While I am not completely new to the media, having written a few sports stories for the local newspaper and being a highly unpaid intern for morning radio on the old 99X (99.7 FM — everything alternative, including my lifestyle), I am new to blogging.  To introduce myself, I would first like to express how much I love those “Most Interesting Man in the World” commercials.

RugBurt

Sexiest man alive? Try sexiest man ever!

Of course, those commercials would cease to exist if it weren’t for the man behind the scenes.

There was a man who inspired such witty comments as, “He’s been the best man at weddings of people he’s never met.”  Naturally I am referring to the man who will be getting most of the praise from the bloggers on this site.  The man who, without him, nothing would exist in this universe:  Burt Reynolds.

Had Burt Reynolds never been born, the hillbilly would still be raping that fat guy from Deliverance.  Perhaps his mustache has given him mystical powers that enable him to perform supernatural automobile maneuvers in a black Trans Am (Smokey and the Bandit) or an ambulance (Cannonball Run).  Maybe he is an alien from a distant galaxy where all life forms are perfect physical specimens.  Whatever his secret, I feel confident when I refer to “The Burt” as the sexiest person the universe has seen or ever will see.

I could go on and on about the merits of Mr. Reynolds, but it is getting late and I need to go let my cat, named Burt Reynolds, inside.  I hope all you bloggers and bloggettes enjoy our future writings.  I will end this blog the way I should – but probably will not – end all my future posts… with a hearty “Hail Burt!”

Burt's star

Joey, Scott, Tony and Cameron with... BURT'S STAR on HOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD!!!