One of these insane characters will become a semi-permanent part of our show. Which do you think it should be?
For the next TCGS, we asked you guys to email us the names of characters you want us to take a crack at creating for TCGS.
I can’t believe how many insane characters people have mailed in for next week’s show. This is going to be so fun. Noah and Dru have the unenviable task of going through these and deciding which ten will come to life and compete to become a semi-permanent part of TCGS.
Click read more to see a list of ALL of the characters in contention for this contest. Only ten of these will actually show up on the show, and only one will take the crown. Which one are you rooting for? And remember, email email@example.com with your character names - three maximum - and we’ll add them to this list. Anything that shows up before the deadline will be archived here.
I hope people latch on to their favorites and campaign to make them one of the ten.
Character Submissions Thus Far (394 total):
- Barb Tanner, Christian Stand Up Comedian
- Rebel Girl won’t wipe even though she keeps getting urinary tract infections from it.
- Beardsley Cunningham, The Alcoholic Beard
- Television Executive Who Tries to Sell Airtime for Bad Products
- A Time Traveling Bowl of Pasta
- The Taco Bandito
- Siamese Quadruplets
- The middle aged man who is sexually aroused by the music of the 90s band Aqua
- A robot that is generally friendly/intellectual, but gets enraged when people mention songs/movies/TV shows that portray robots (“Small Wonder”, “Bicentennial Man”, the song “Mr. Roboto”) in a “stereotypical” light.
- Cee-Lo Green Ranger (Cee-Lo as the Green Power Ranger)
- Seahorse MacPhearson
- Dan Francisco
- Willy Nilly the Motherfucker
- Snack Snake: Big Black and Red Snake
- The Cheater
- Talented person who is terrified of applause
- Outlandish story man
- Staycation Jason
Crowd-Sourced Relevancy Ranking in Bing or why Google is wrong
Let me start by saying I’m a Google fanboy and a half. I love that company and use all their products. My life revolves around my Nexus One and it’s deep and tight integration with Google’s stack which is my extremely large clustered brain-annex that’s constantly available with a few taps of my touchscreen.
Google is awesome and great and I love them to death. That said, they are wrong about Bing copying their results.
See these first-party posts for details:
Why Microsoft is not in the wrong: Crowd Sourcing is not stealing
What Microsoft has done is create a genuinely useful process for improving the relevancy of the Bing search engine. It’s not a groundbreaking technique. Like most web based application in the world, they just monitor your behaviour. You type ‘foo’ into their search box, and are presented with 10 results on your first screen. You click #2 result. This is recorded. The same thing happens for 10,000 other users. Eventually Bing figures out that the #2 result really should be the #1 result, and ups it’s rank.
This is no different than Amazon’s suggestion engine ‘Users who viewed this product ultimately bought this other product’.
This process doesn’t depend on Google. This process would work purely as a way of improving rank within the Bing system, with no outside influences. It also doesn’t really require a special toolbar to make it happen. You could collect that data through their normal web interface just as easily.
This is not an issue of spyware, cheating, or copying. It’s just Bing using crowd-sourced data to determine relevancy. It’s very smart. It’s not dishonest. Get over it Google.
How to improve search result relevancy?
I find this interesting because, currently Google faces a huge challenge: Reducing the amount of spam that is polluting their results. Bing clearly has a tactic for that, though it may or may not be completely effective. The value of the click through data is only as good as the user who clicked on the result. If the majority of people searching for “Foo” clicked on say, option #3 instead of #2 in our previous example, and if #3 was a spam site, then #3 would get ranked up. Bad news!
Looks like Bing is trusting our judgement as a user community. We know what’s relevant and show it by clicking through. If we choose a spam site as our main result, Cest La Vie!!
But how can we improve search relevancy, and reduce false positives in our result set? The answer so far seems to be “curate the web”, or like Bing, use a “mechanical turk”, aka click stream crowd-sourced relevancy, assuming that people will be able to express their preference as a whole and emerge the correct answer over time.
Our solution: Contextual Search
My company has a different solution: Working at a higher level of abstraction than words and documents. We have built a novel search tool that allows users to search for contexts, not documents, and make decisions on contexts.
Find me “license” where the document has “drivers license” in it, but not where it has “fishing license”, unless it also has something I want in it like “drivers license”. Traditional boolean search, which operates against an inverted index of terms to documents (which is what both Bing and Google offer), does not provide for this kind of decision making. It’s impossible without changing how the data is indexed, and that’s not anything these guys are going to be doing anytime soon. They have too much invested in their current methodology to change.
We’re hoping to launch a public search site sometime this year that presents our novel approach to improving relevancy in search. I look forward to seeing how it performs compared to Google and Bing.
More on that later, when it’s closer to reality.
What do you think, world at large?
Does anyone have any other ideas about search relevancy? What are some other tactics one might employ, beyond Curating or Crowdsourcing? How else to make the spam go away?
Thank you everyone who sent us in characters for Wednesday!
We’re no longer accepting submissions, and we finished off with a whopping 394 potential new characters. Head writers Noah and Dru are now burdened with the task of selecting the ten that they feel are the funniest. Not an easy job, as a good number of these have incredible potential to be future fan-favorite TCGS characters.
Missed the deadline, but still itching to send us something? Anything?
Well, we’re still looking for fun and creative #ALFGethard submissions - Go nuts, and it will at some point be featured here. We’re also excited to see any funny, weird, or awkward photos that people take near Chris Gethard’s IFC ADOPT-A-COMIC billboard located at the corner of 30th and 7th avenue.
Our first one comes courtesy of Rita! We can’t wait for more!
Sometimes I feel like doing one of those crowdsourced funding things to move out:
$5 would get a picture of my new place!
$15 would get a story written about my new place!
$30 would get a shirt with a picture of my new place!
$50 Would get a hat AND shirt!
$100 would get a Skype session with me and a tour of my place!
$150 would get all of these things!
$1500 would get you to move in with me!
I have obviously thought too much about this. Seriously though, I wish I could make money for crap.