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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Kickin' mouse pad

The weather has turned cold, and I'm putting off turning on the heat. I've always been annoyed by how cold my mouse-using hand gets while sitting at the computer, so I googled "microwaveable mouse pad," thinking that maybe someone had made a mouse pad that you can stick in the microwave to warm up.

My search did not turn up any such thing. But I did find an "I [heart] microwave risotto" mousepad being sold through the Sears website. I realize it's from some tiny outfit with an affiliate deal with Sears, but still, I have some questions: Does anyone actually love microwave risotto? If so, at what point does that person say to him/herself, "Hey, since I really like -- no, love! -- microwave risotto, perhaps I should get a mousepad that says so"?


lj said...

This gets weirder: the seller of said mousepad is "Shopzeus," which made me squint in confusion/amusement. Check out their other offerings. What is going on?

Teague said...

Uh, totally weird. Here's my best guess: They are pursuing a strategy of cornering the market on unusual searches with a content farm-like approach to their storefront. Their affiliate deal with Sears makes their results more likely to appear near the top of Google searches, and they're hoping that if you search for something with few results, you'll see their "customized" products, and say "I can't believe someone made a balloon with 'I love Abena' on it! I just have to get this for her!" All of their products are cheap things with "I [heart] something" on them, so obviously they don't actually print anything until someone orders it.

Pretty lame business model, if that's what's going on. The inclusion of "I [heart] microwave risotto" is still pretty bewildering, and would certainly indicate that they're using a blunt-force approach -- i.e. automatically converting crawled web content instead of actually selecting things that someone might actually want on a mousepad or balloon.