Nettime mailing list archives

Re: <nettime> Hack the Google self.referentialism - Google Will Eat Itse
enonce on Wed, 21 Dec 2005 09:03:18 +0100 (CET)

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: <nettime> Hack the Google self.referentialism - Google Will Eat Itself

in response to the new google will eat itself:  http://www.gwei.org

wow, a beautiful layout.  anyway, I'd almost forgotten about this project until
the recent email update.. still think it's great.  I had sort of a similar idea a
few years ago, only with amazon (or any large company with an interest in
engineering the ley lines and thoroughfares of online traffic).  I've lost the
reference, but the inspiration came out of the bidding wars between amazon and
yahoo over keywords governing online book sales.  both companies spent millions
bidding up certain terms against each other.  amazon still buys a lot of PPC
advertising, and some of the terms they win at auction quite dearly...  ppc
advertisers effectively enter a contract with companies like overture, paying a
certain amount for click-throughs.  combine that with SEOing and other forms of
traffic redirection, and you get paying customers to your site.  but what if you
got a lot of click-throughs but no purchases?  advertising budgets would go way up
but profits wouldn't.  advertisers assume the slide from user-->customer
(individuals more or less blindly groping their ways through the web), and bank on
some calculated response rate.  this is essentially a model of neurosis--we click:
even though we know we shouldn't, we have to, we secretly enjoy it.  oppose this
model to what could be done with PPC--deliberately generate traffic through
expensive keywords that amazon has won at auction, but not paying traffic: just
many many many referals, probably in a very short period of time--but not so much
volume as to crash the various sites, just enough to run up a huge advertising
bill for amazon.  large enough, potentially, to broke them with a few coordinated
stabs at valuable keywords.  for example, try "italian cookbook" at
http://uv.bidtool.overture.com/ - - because of that new phaidon translation the
phrase goes for 0.58/click on paid search engine rankings (and overture is
connected to ultsearch, who is connected to everyone..).  why can't this work?  of
course, overture would get a lot of money from amazon for all those referrals, but
why not make overture rich?  they are sort of an anti-google, after all, and
google needs all the hurt it can get.  the whole logic of advertisers trolling for
neurotic clicks, like spammers gaming for that one respondent, rests on the
assumption of unconscious or neurtoic motivation in the target users--why not
reverse the game?  a large, corridinated, but unconscious flow of traffic online
is often the trace of a successful business model--individuals acting in concert
'as if by their own'--this is a good model of hegemony--'we do it to ourselves'. 
what if we did it to them instead?  self-organization with explicit intent and a
given purpose.  many people click through google adwords pretty tranparently
(flawlessly, fraudlessly), without understanding the interaction, but GWEI
harnesses that process of wealth-generation and turns it back on itself, closing a
new loop between google's value and its own wealth generation (a beautiful
bataille moment of pure expenditure: google's extravagance destroying itself by
the unfolding of it's own logic, at it's own expense: set it up and watch it pay
out)..  the same can surely be done to amazon.  getting many people to
*consciously* do something cooridinated online doesn't produce wealth, it opens a
space for politics--a space for change, a way to shift the terms by outperforming
them.  witness DDOS attacks--the same thing.  millions of people visit amazon
anyway, and a margin of them are directed through PPC advertising, and a margin of
those buy books, earning amazon its margin of profit.  fuck with those margins,
and you can take them down.  I haven't read the fine print (and this could be the
downfall of it all), but if overture clients are under contract, and 20 million
people (or bots running through TOR tunnels) click a few expensive paid placement
links fast enough, amazon will have a huge bill to pay.  a spontaneous, self-
organizing direct action could be really great.  or is this all wrongheaded? 


#  distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
#  <nettime> is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
#  more info: majordomo {AT} bbs.thing.net and "info nettime-l" in the msg body
#  archive: http://www.nettime.org contact: nettime {AT} bbs.thing.net