Best Albums of 2007

As is tradition, here is my take on the best albums of 2007…

  1. Spoon – Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
  2. Iron & Wine – The Shepherd’s Dog 
  3. LCD Soundsystem – Sound of Silver
  4. Radiohead – In Rainbows
  5. Kanye West – Graduation
  6. Queens of the Stone Age – Era Vulgaris 
  7. Band of Horses – Cease to Begin 
  8. Okkervil River – The Stage Names
  9. Arcade Fire – Neon Bible 
  10. Dinosaur Jr. – Beyond
  11. Modest Mouse – We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank
  12. Peter Bjorn and John – Writer’s Block 
  13. Ryan Adams – Easy Tiger
  14. Yeasayer – All Hour Cymbals
  15. Black Kids – Wizard of Ahhhs 



Originally uploaded by mastasplinter2001

Tonite, Appalachian State plays for its third National Championship in a row in Div 1-AA football. Looking forward to it and its in HD on ESPN2 @ 8pm

Just a great season either way, starting with the Michigan game, the Miss Teen SC thing, HotHotHot, its whirlwind really. At least people now know what Appalachian State is. I hear they had record amounts of donations and applications this year. Rock on.

Maybe I should have a live running diary for that game, a la Bill Simmons. hmmm…

Go Mountaineers !!

Campaign Stacking in Omniture

So after months of delays, we finally launched the new  Omniture javascript plugins to combine tracking codes to understand the sequence of campaigns visitors encountered. The reason behind this is Omniture by default will only capture the last tracking code (or last 2 if you switch to linear). So only those campaigns get any credit for driving sales and ROI.

If you only looked at campaign effectiveness in that context you wouldn’t invest in things like Banner ads, certain types of generic keywords, and other ‘upper funnel’ tactics because you’d never see any results. The results would be skewed towards lower funnel tactics like coupons.

Campaign stacking allows you to append the tracking codes into a unique string to understand the progression of events before a purchase occurs. So now you can see as visitors go from an upper funnel keyword like ‘computer’ then to ‘thinkpad’ and then later on type in ‘thinkpad t61’ and then go through an affiliate for a coupon and purchase. In the old way, only the affiliate and the keyword ‘thinkpad t61’ would get credit for the sale. But now we can see the assist that the keywords ‘computer’ and ‘thinkpad’ had in the ultimate sale.

Previous data capture was: thinkpad t61 -> affiliate coupon = sale

Now its: computers -> thinkpad -> thinkpad t61 -> affiliate coupon = sale

Bidding on the keywords like computer now show an ROI as an assist.

The one thing I’d love Omniture to figure out is what to do with the data. Right now I can capture the tracking code string, but parsing through to see patterns is impossible in SiteCatalyst as its capturing everything as a unique string. You have to export into a database or a spreadsheet with macros to make any sense of it. So Omniture if you are listening, please invent a way to see sequences and patterns based on Campaign Stacking. It would save the world.

The Needle and the Damage Done

So folks that know me, know that I love baseball. It has always been a big part of my existence, in fact I learned how to read because of baseball (I learned to read boxscores in the paper). So you might be wondering about my take on the Mitchell report coming out yesterday, and even if you don’t care, too bad.

I’ve had people ask, why is Congress even involved with this? Its baseball, who cares? Well, here’s why. For starters, a lot of this junk the players are using violates Federal drug laws, despite not violating baseball’s own rules until 2005. So it is a big deal in that regard, and the fact that everyone turned a blind eye to criminal activity is not cool. The second reason, and maybe the more important one, is to send a message to reach all the high school and under athletes thinking about going down this road in the future. Drugs are bad kids!

No amount of testing is ever going to get rid of this from sports. The crooks will always stay a step ahead. So the only thing we have left is the ability to ostracize the guilty ones and shame them. Its really the only weapon. Maybe this will freak out some 17 year old from going down the same path.

There were only 80 or so players in the report, but likely 3 or 4 times that in reality are using. They just weren’t ratted out by scumbag batboys . Without having subpoena power, they had to rely on testimony from questionable sources. Imagine if this was a real investigation?

One thing I think this further points out is the growing portion of society looking for the easy way out. Don’t like how much you weigh or look? Have surgery! Want to get stronger? Take a pill. Want to get ahead? Cheat! I just think its another sad commentary on things.

What will happen to the players? Probably not much. Its interesting to see the lack of players coming out denying much of anything. Doesn’t that tell you something? Also, in looking at the report itself, most of the players wrote friggin personal checks for the drugs and had it delivered to their house or even the clubhouse of their team. I mean if you’re going to cheat, you might not want to leave a paper trail. Morons.

What will ultimately happen to baseball? Probably not a whole lot. The game is beyond the actions of a bunch of stupid people. Remember the Black Sox of 1919? Remember the strike(s)? Remember the cocaine seige in the late 70’s and 80’s? Each time baseball survived fine and will do so again. MLB generated over $6B last year and had record attendance. Fans aren’t stupid. They know you don’t get better as you age. The human head does not triple in size from age 30 to 40. Baseball fans in general are going to keep watching, its what they do. I know I will. Do I like the fact probably a third of the players were jacked up on substances? No, and no else does either. So maybe that makes me an accessory in the steriod age as well.

more to come I’m sure…