Sunday, September 19, 2010

Ad Haiti

In the long vertical list of catchy news titles, Google News chose to display this one at the top "Haitians Cry in Letters: 'Please — Do Something!'" (NYTimes, Sep 19, 2010). Supposedly a computer program chose the exact placement of this article, nevertheless, I paid attention and went ahead with the click. The same Google News has been telling me for more than 6 months that most countries who had pledged aid to Haiti (for the Jan 2010 earthquake) has failed to deliver. Reports trickle in that the situation as of now is no better than what it was 1 month after the earthquake. Priorities are strange in "least developed countries".

I evoked a mixed burst of emotions as I read the article - NYTimes kept showing a clickable ad about luxury travel offers side by side. I wished that the ad servers displayed more consistent ads. This isn't something totally out of the blue ... keyword "Haiti" does not necessarily mean a vacation travel destination. Sentiment analysis is already a niche area of R&D for CS/Linguists.

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