What words, when used in a Web site, attract the most hits from Internet surfers and their search engines? Kausfiles' financial backers were intensely interested in this question, and they faced a choice. They could do a minimal amount of research and find the answers. Or they could stage a flimsy contest, ask readers to submit their suggested hit-attracting key words, offer some vague and insubstantial reward to the winner, and take the day off.
The choice was obvious. Yet the contest would have to have a veneer of redeeming social, cultural, or literary value. Luckily, the solution to this problem was obvious as well.
Kausfiles thus proudly announces its first annual "Hit-Grabbing Haiku" contest, in which a venerable Japanese literary tradition is updated to meet the needs of the new economy. Here are the rules:
- Readers are asked to submit a list of words that they think will attract the most hits.
- All entries must be in the form of a haiku poem of the classic three-line structure, with a first line of five (5) syllables, a second line of seven (7) syllables, and a final line of five (5) syllables.
- Kausfiles will also come up with an initial entry.
- The most promising reader entry will be matched against kausfiles' initial entry. Each of these competing haiku will then be given a separate page on the kausfiles.com Web site. After a certain period of time, probably a week, the haiku receiving the most hits--as measured in the sole discretion of kausfiles and its stats program--will be allowed to remain on the site. The losing haiku will be removed and replaced by a new "challenger" haiku. After another period of time, hits will again be measured, and a winner determined, and so on in a Darwinian, single-elimination, death-match process that will gradually produce a haiku that asymptotically approaches the perfect hit-attracting group of 17 syllables.
- Authors of the haiku selected for competition will be identified in kausfiles unless they request otherwise. After a certain period of time, probably a few weeks, a winner will be declared. The author of the winning entry will receive a suitably stupid prize, to be determined later.
- Since entries may not be tested for a number of weeks, readers are encouraged to choose themes that will hold up over time. For example, right now there is a surge of hits on any Web site that contains the words "John McCain." That's John McCain, the Republican presidential candidate. Once again: John McCain. But John McCain may not be as hot three weeks from now.
- Entries should be sent to Mickey_Kaus@kausfiles.com.
- Decisions of kausfiles are final.
- Void where prohibited.
Here is the kausfiles initial entry:
'N Sync sex! Linux
Operating System! Kate
Winslet nude stock tips!
You think you can beat that?