Blogwatch: Feb. 27, 2006

To promote its search engine, MSN announced a "Search and Win" contest, hoping to entice users with the prospect of a prize in every search. Inspired geeks like OILMAN cracked the source code to learn that the contest works by linking specific terms to prizes--a "Starbucks locations" search might yield a Starbucks gift card; he posted all 1,165 terms. MAKE YOU GO HMM dubbed the contest "Sit and Spin," scolding, "This is not how to get more people to use your search." Determined, THREADWATCH.ORG wrote a program that sent a keyword through the system 4,122 times. The booty: a Home Depot...

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