Apr 172013

Let me start out by saying that the Boston Marathon bombings were a horrific act of terrorism and cowardice. My hopes and prayers are with the victims. And I hope that the Powers That Be find and bring the perpetrators to justice swiftly.

That said, I want to take a moment and switch gears a bit, to talk about how businesses are supposed to operate in times of national crisis such as what happened in Boston. When the bombings happened, social media lit up as it should have. Over 70-percent of the population now gets their news from social media.

But, some social media advertisers were caught off-guard with their pre-scheduled, automated Twitter and Facebook ads running, that because of the timing of those ads seemed insensitive and inappropriate given the current national circumstances.

For instance, I was reading this Search Engine Watch article which mentioned that a company called Epicurious ran some distasteful, opportunistic food ads shortly after the bombings. One ad said, “Boston, our hearts are with you. Here’s a bowl of breakfast energy we could all use to start today.” The company has since retracted the ads and apologized by being insensitive.

Other businesses already had policies in place which included don’t comment on natural or man-made disasters, pull all advertising for x amount of time and/or be out front and helpful but DO NOT be opportunistic.

Because of social media, the initial info about the Boston Marathon bombings came fast and furious. Many people were in shock, trying to sort out the information from the misinformation. And this was also a time for businesses to be plugged in, respectful, sensitive and hopefully helpful as well.

Apr 012013

Google and Microsoft have teamed up to create the first open-source Post-Apocalyptic search engine. The new search engine code named “Bang!” heavily prioritizes results towards the walking dead, cockroaches, preppers and oddly enough Adam Sandler.

Bang! took years of preparation and teamwork by the two search giants who are rivals in most cases, but have come together to provide a specific helpful search appliance in case doomsday does befall us soon. The Armageddon algorithm relies on its “Prepper-Rank” coding and is top secret of course and even the FBI, CIA and NSA don’t know the content of the programming.

Now, let’s look and see if a worldwide natural or manmade disaster were to occur how the Post-Apocalyptic search engine would help. First, the Maps section would help those in all affected communities find food and shelter quickly.

The artificial intelligence portion of Bang! will quickly help one to decide whether to bug out or bug in. Local guns and ammo resources will quickly be outlined with the Bang! mobile app. And with the push of a button, any pending gun legislation in Congress will automatically be ejected from Washington DC.

And of course the Chuck Norris hotline and call center will be at one’s finger tips for rescue operations (and personal counseling). The local portion of the Post-Apocalyptic search engine will show where to get vaccines for radiation and pandemics plus the GPS coordinates of old, abandoned missile silos worldwide.

Perhaps the coolest feature of the Post-Apocalyptic search engine is that it was totally programmed by zombies. And of course the finish date on the project was April 1, the most foolish day of the year. :)