Thursday, March 19, 2009

Congratulations, You are the 12,769,878 Visitor!

No, you are not really the 12,769,878th visitor to this blog. Sorry to get your hopes up. If you were I would be significantly busier than I am.

Often, for some reason, the need to win something takes people over. I guess that's the reason for all of these banner ads that show up on some websites. People seem unable to resist the chance to get something for nothing. When a flashing box on the screen promises you a new laptop, or a vacation or some other wonderful expensive prize, the need to win takes some people over I guess. How can it be that I have won something for doing nothing but click on a website? As Homer Simpson once said "It doesn't matter that we didn't enter the contest, all that matters is that we won!" I guess it is the same compulsion that people feel when they buy lottery tickets. You know, maybe this time, perhaps, I will win that big prize and live forever in a house made of gold with diamond windows.

The thing is, I always figured that these things were some kind of scam. So being a curious sort, I did a little experiment. While on a website that I visit every couple of weeks, I noticed a banner ad that said that I was, lets say, the 12,345th visitor to the site and had won a prize. No, no, I did not click the link! I went old school. With a writing implement called a pencil and a pad of what is called paper, I wrote down the website, the company the ad was for and the number 12,345 and the date. A few days later I was at the same site and again there was the ad, saying I was a winner. Same thing for the next 5 visits to the site. Funny thing was, although the day, time and frequency of my visits to the site changed the number 12,345 did not. Do they really expect me to believe that no one else visited the site over the same time period? And even in the unlikely event that I am the only person in the world to visit this particular site, if I visited the site at least 7 times should the number not have increased to 12,352?

Needless to say, I never did click the link. Lord knows what I would have ended up with on my computer, or how much spam I would have had to contend with. I've never really been one for entering contests and buying lottery tickets so these banner ads don't really matter to me much. Maybe I'm wrong and I really did win something. I guess I will never know because I don't intend to click these ads. I tend to follow that wise old adage when I'm online, If something seems too good to be true—it probably is.

1 comment:

Rayvee said...

I've thought the same thing. Gone to websites and been the millionith visitor...what are the chances? The old adage of "don't take any wooden nickels" applies to the Internet too. Although, I guess it would be, "Don't accept any wooden cookies." They'll attach themselves to your hard drive as adware and spyware.