The headline of msn.com's "MUST-SEE" section is "Man wins two jackpots at $3M" with a picture of a regional map showing "Bonne Terre, Mo." Really. That's the best picture they could find? And guess what? That same story pops up every few months when someone hits their second jackpot somewhere. I suppose that is also about how long it takes for the average reader to forget about the last time they heard about it. The guy didn't win two lotteries at the same time, he just won twice this year. Playing scratch tickets. Which means he probably played a lot of scratch tickets. Big friggin' deal, huh? Well, lottery fantasies apparently get clicks. Let's see what else is getting clicks today:
"Police investigate 'Sister Wives' family"
"Games use 'super monkey' guards"
"Man climbs 82-foot-pole in seconds"
"'Death ray' at hotel heats up guests"
"Sneak a peek at hot new car models"
"Bing: Teens go all out to get tan"
"Bing: Transgender teen dethroned"
I don't even know where to begin. Of course I am going to click on a "MUST-SEE" story about "super monkeys!" Who wouldn't? Same goes for the "death ray," and that is exactly why they are there. But what does MSN really think about its readers? That is to say, what's up with this other stuff?
"Sister Wives family?" I don't even want to know what that means. That's even more creepy than a man climbing a pole. Honestly, who wants to see a man climbing a pole? Car models might be interesting, but hardly "MUST-SEE" to me.
The other two are links to "Bing" searches. That means they aren't actual stories, but they might still generate click revenue. And is it really news that teenagers want to get tans? I think we already knew that. What type of pervert would click on a story -- sorry, do a search -- for teens tanning?
Apparently, "transgender" is not a word according to my spell-checker, interestingly enough. Whatever. This headline made me wonder how a teenager could be "transgender," or exactly what they meant. Evidently (yes, I clicked through) it means a girl who dresses up like a boy and plans to have a sex change operation when she turns 18. When I was a teenager I grew my hair long and dyed it green, and planned to run for president when I turned 35. Since I'm only 31 now, I guess that makes me an emo presidential hopeful, or something (and apparently emo is not a word either...).
Now I'm not discounting this individual's feeling about their identity or anything else. Frankly I just don't care. She can define herself however she wants, and a lot of people are going to get riled up about it. People will stick their nose in her business (whether or not she's "asking for it") and raise a big hullabaloo (that is a word!) over something that is only really important to her and the people that know her personally. But it generates traffic to Bing, which is all that matters.
Clearly, the MSN demographic is weird, or MSN thinks so. I should get rid of my hotmail account to avoid being subjected to their news page every time I check my email. But there is great power in inertia, and even if I switch to my gmail, things will still come to the hotmail account and I will have to check it. There is no escape, except to close the window immediately upon logging out. From now on, whenever I'm about to log out of hotmail, I am going to click into another tab in Firefox so I never need to see the MSN homepage again.
Aw, who am I kidding? Where else am I going to read about the super monkeys?