I had resisted advertisements on this blog for a long, long while. It's not that
I have anything in particular against ads. I think it's reasonable for a blogger
to add advertising to offset the cost (mostly time
) of maintaining a solid
blog. I just hate it when nice, clean-looking blogs start to look like this:
I suppose that I share a lot of the same sentiments on the subject as Jeff Atwood
over at Coding Horror.
About a month ago, I added Google AdSense (at the suggestion of my good friend
Keith Elder). I've tried to keep the ads
relatively low key in order to keep the clutter down. That doesn't result in as
many clicks as it might if I threw them in your faces, but I'm OK with that. I like
to keep my layout clean for those who do come in via the web (and not just the
The truth is, I don't trust Google AdSense all that much. Context-sensitive ads
are great, but they aren't always accurate. For example, I've mentioned the word "Haskell"
several times in reference to the pure functional programming language,
Haskell. However, the very use of this relatively
uncommon word has triggered Google Ads for the
Haskell Indian Nations University.
Sigh. It's really hard to get behind advertised products when you're not 100%
certain that they'll be relevant to your content.
Recently though, I found a product that I can whole-heartedly recommend. It's a
product that falls directly into my demographic of humor-loving,
technology-lusting geeks: RiffTrax.
What's RiffTrax you ask? Well, do you remember the TV show
Science Theater 30001? That's right. The one with the guy and the robots and
the making fun of old B-movies. Well, RiffTrax is that without robots and with
blockbusters instead of B-movies. It still has the guy though. In fact, it's the
same guy from MST3K.
In essence, RiffTrax are feature-length commentaries in MP3 format that you
can purchase, download and sync to your DVDs. Some RiffTrax feature stars and
writers from MST3K, and some even have celebrities joining in
on the fun. For example, my current favorite is a riff on
Jurassic Park that
features none other than Weird Al Yankovic.
Pants-wettingly hilarious. Seriously.
Below is a small sampling of the films that have received the RiffTrax
treatment. There are lots of others. Some have
Jar Jar Binks. Some
have Keanu Reeves. All
will make you howl with laughter.
Honestly, I don't think of this as advertising. This is a
service announcement. You need this. I promise.
1Some may have missed out on the delights of Mystery Science Theater
3000 (MST3K). You can catch up here.