March 2nd, 2009

J. Arthur Crank on Phone

Well, geez.

Today I had one of those snow days where I decided not to be That Bastard Who Calls In On Snow Days and instead trudged to work, where I got to be That Poor Bastard Who Gets To Do All The Stuff The Bastard Who Called In Was Supposed To Do. It was all right by me, since it meant a day's worth of paid work and that's nothing to sneeze at around here.


Things started off very busy in the morning but tapered off by the afternoon, meaning it was time to check some of the Numerous Social Networking Thingos One Can Check. It was there I learned of something that managed to be simultaneously amusing and disturbing: that M&M/Mars had decided to Latch On To That Internet Thing The Kids Keep Talking About and took their Skittles website and.


It is at this point in the narrative where we have to pause and scratch our heads, because when one visited the front page of the Skittles website (the link is left as an exercise to the reader) one found what very much looked to be Twitter's search engine returning a query for 'Skittles'. That is, a list of all the Twitter messages people had recently sent that involved the word 'Skittles'.

This dubious exercise was explained by a helpful floating graphic layer on the upper-left hand side of the website that read, and I kid you not: "Interweb the Rainbow!" It also had a picture of an angry-looking guy pointing at what appear to be I don't know lottery tickets or something, they've got numbers all over them.

This graphic layer also had the bonus effect of always obscuring the Twitter logo on the page. That's right, the fine people of the Skittles website had grabbed Twitter's search engine output page and not bothered to do anything else with it. The graphics are all the same -- hell, they even use Twitter's servers for the nav images. God damn, Skittles! That's what I call Radicalizing the Web2.0 Paradigm!

The upshot of all this was (maybe still is) that the Skittles website right now is nothing more than Twitter's search engine set to "Skittles" and an angry old guy picture floating on top with the Skittles logo. Now go buy some candy.

I have to be honest here and say this entire experiment is a grand failure. The designers here seem to have taken the Underpants Gnomes business plan for serious, but gotten stuck at "2 ..."

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