I’m trying to extend our ad reach for TaxPrinter now that we’ve found some profitable keywords, so we’ve just opened a Yahoo Search Marketing account. Well, I’ll tell you what, you’ve got to be seriously motivated to spend money there. First, Yahoo is in denial that they’re the follower to the market leader. Take a hint from Microsoft back in the 90’s when it was still a growth company: acknowledge reality, embrace, and extend. Meaning, put a big box that says “Adsense advertiser? Import your campaigns right there in three clicks”. Microsoft had all sorts of Lotus Notes or Oracle or Novell import and interface tools, and that worked well to penetrate accounts. It’s not like I won’t hear about Adwords if Yahoo remains shy about it.
Second, Yahoo’s search marketing user interface is a pile of crap. You can’t sort columns by clicking on them, terminology is confusing (“editorial status”? I’m not writing a magazine here, I’m selling stuff), sessions expire and wipe off unfinished work if you dare doing something else for a while, help sucks, many tasks involve darn popups, and it’s hard or impossible to do the simplest things such as deleting keywords. I’m not in love with the Adwords interface, but it’s an order of magnitude less bad than YSM. I’ll stick to it to see how it performs because I want to make money even if it sometimes means unfun work, but this house needs to be put in order and the interface should be overhauled to ’00s web usability and convenience standards. Again, the mediocrity of oligopolies in times of growth is right there in your face.
I’ve just added DFH Superior and Steinberg V-Stack to my Roland TD8-based electronic drumkit, and there’s a bit of a learning curve to set the whole thing up with my new ESI ESP1010 sound card. The end result is low-latency (around 4ms) live triggering of 1+GB of drum samples with pretty good velocity and humanization support, something that was impractical and limited only three years ago (not to speak of mic bleeding which I don’t think even existed). 3GB of RAM and low-latency soundcards used to cost a lot more while drum sampling software was cruder (there’s a gap between Battery and DFH or BFD). My long-winded point is, I’m fine with having to learn software when it’s somewhat on the edge but I’m not happy to have to frown just to figure out an ad management web app.