Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Ramblings About There.com: 89 Snippets of Important Information

There (yes, its name is "There" and its address is http://www.there.com/) is the virtual world in which I hang out. I have tons to say about There but today I have a specific agenda.

In addition to the world itself (which is immense) there are supplementary features which can be accessed from out-of world; these include, but are not limited to, Therecare and other customer care features, and a plethora of Thereian forum folders which can be accessed not only from out-of-world but during There's brief maintenance period (3:30 to 5:00 AM Pacific, except for when the world doesn't quite come back on time, or when it comes back early, or when it doesn't come back at all until late afternoon due to an update). Forum topics include, among MANY others, suggestions for staff, developers and other Thereians. Sometimes people post quite useful suggestions which are then implemented by the powers that be and turn up as improvements to the world. Sometimes, on the other hand, people post the most godawful crap.

In response to what this humble rambling blogger considers the latter form of post, in which an otherwise probably truly lovely person innocently suggested putting up SIGNS to tell newbies to turn on their forcefields (and then how about a sign to tell newbies to read the signs?) I posted what started out as a sarcastic list of advisory tidbits to be posted on signs Therewide for the benefit of newbies (and to the detriment of anyone who actually enjoys the scenery) and ended up being a semi-serious bit of instructional material.

Some of it will make no sense whatsoever to a non-Thereian. Some of it will be applicable to your life even if you have never been visually represented by a cartoon.

Here it is:

1. If you are being summoned, you do not HAVE to go!

2. Put your force field on. Otherwise, be afraid. Be very afraid.

3. Warning, spades game in progress. Do not bid 13.

4. Please do not play your radio through your microphone. People with acute hearing may wish to preserve it.

5. Explore your toolbar. It is full of interesting information, such as where you are (sometimes), what you possess and a means to turn your force field on and off.

6. Do not ask total strangers to be your There mom or dad. They might be axe murderers. They probably aren't but how do you KNOW? Get to know someone first. At least find out if they are at least six months older than you are.

7. Adding everyone whose nametag you see in the distance to your buddy list does NOT increase your social skill and DOES make you look rather desperate. If for some reason you really need to buddy someone, at least say HI first. Then it doesn't seem so tawdry.

8. Please do not drive up to strangers and demand that they get into your buggy (whether it is borrowed or not). They might actually be busy, even if they don't LOOK busy.

9. Pllllllllllllllllllllllleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeezzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz isn't a word.

10. WUT? isn't a word.

11. If you've been banned from a zone, running as fast as you can into it will not get you unbanned. It will (did I say this already?) make you look desperate.

12. If an event has a scheduled preparation time, only the event host can get into the zone or lot or whatever during that prep time. Saying "Pllllllllllllllllllllllleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeezzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz let me in right now Pllllllllllllllllllllllleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeezzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz" will not enable the host to allow you in; only canceling the event will allow you entry and why would the host want to do that?

13. Clothing can't be lent so don't ask people to lend you clothing.

14. Don't beg. Really. Just don't. Even if you don't say "Pllllllllllllllllllllllleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeezzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz" it's still begging to ask strangers for stuff. Someone you met two minutes ago is still a stranger.

15. Run around in your There-given undies if you wish but be aware it engenders no respect whatsoever.

16. There are real live people behind these avies, just like (we assume) there is one behind yours. Please do not behave toward them in a manner less considerate than you would assume if you were face to face.

17. It is rude in real life to go up to strangers and ask them how much money they have. It is not less rude to do it here.

18. People may charge any amount they want to for anything they want to in auctions. Do your research. Buyer beware. Caveat emptor. Veni vidi vici. Rikki Tikki Tavi.

19. If you summon people without first asking them if they wish to be summoned, you will find yourself on a surprising number of ignore lists.

20. If you are not receiving the IMs you were expecting, check to see what color the little hand in the lower righthand corner of your screen is. If it's not green, you will not be reached.

21. If you are going to buy, sell or trade with an individual, use the TRADE feature, not GIVE. Some people may try to "trade" you an item they don't actually own. If they cannot put it in the trade box, other than for technical reasons, they don't own it and you will be ripped off if you give them something in exchange for it (its rightful owner will retrieve it and you'll be left emptyhanded).

22. No one can give, lend, trade, sell, buy or receive to or from non-Premium members, so don't ASK.

23. How to put money in the trade box: Go to your balance and hover or click; a menu will come up. The menu includes GIVE. Do not choose that. It also includes TRADE. Choose that. Proceed per directions.

24. If you can't type the amount (or anything else) in the line, your Bedicam is messing up your game. Log out and back in, and turn off your Bedicam.

25. To sidestep, press shift and while holding it down, use the right or left arrow key.

26. Do not schedule an eight-hour event in someone else's funzone. Even if they don't explicitly object, it's kind of greedy. In your own zone, do what you like!

27. Do not drop your documents in someone else's place without permission.

28. "It's only a game" is a surprisingly lame excuse for misbehaving.

29. "It wasn't me, my sister/brother/cousin/neighbor/daughter/son/dog/teacher/total stranger/ was using my account and (insert misbehavior here). Be responsible for your account.

30. Knee-high boots look funny with raves and not ha-ha funny, either.

31. When you win a bidding auction, you have a high chance of being overcharged. You should check your transaction history against the closed auction listing page for each item. The overage will usually range from 25t to 125t but it adds up. Be sure to tell FUZE the auction number, the amount of the winning bid, the amount you were actually charged and (do the math for them!) the difference; be sure to include the total refund you are requesting. They will refund the overage but only if you ASK.

32. It seems some people have had such trouble logging their Coke avie in through the Coca Cola site that they have abandoned said avies, often with deep regret. Did you know you can log a Coke avie in through the normal There log-in screen? You'll still get the cramped forums, the different There Central (it's not called that, is it?), the advanced auction page will let you search by bidder, and by price, date and category, and the rather vibrant color scheme will remind you you're a Coke avie, but inworld function will be normal (if you call this NORMAL!)

33. You do not have to be in the physical proximity of a document to read it. Any document that has not had the "Do not include in Library" box checked can be found by searching the library. You do this just as you search auctions, only change the drop-down menu to read LIBRARY instead of AUCTIONS.

34. To see who (if anyone) bid on and/or won an auction item, including bid auctions and BUY NOWs, change the word "view" in the URL to "bidhistory." Just because people list an item for a million tbux doesn't mean that item has ever been sold for that price.

35. To report a problem with an inventory item, you need to tell There the doid number. You can get this with the ABOUT command in the item's menu. Used to be you had to then go to PROPERTIES but now you can see the URL right in the browser window. The number at the end of the URL is the doid number. Even an error message will give you that doid number but be sure, then, to also paste the error message for them.

36. You may produce the illusion of a fart by doing a handstand and quickly burping.

37. If you are searching for an item or person, remember that There will not search anything with fewer than three characters in it, and seems to have an upper limit as well. Try the first eight characters.

38. People, group and sometimes places search will often come up blank the first time. Refresh the page until results pop in.

39. To compare prices on an item you wish to buy, use TRY if it's not already in your possession, and then click the ABOUT menu item. If anyone is selling the item, there will be links, including to the shop if it's a shop item. Refresh that page a couple times too; sometimes the links don't show up right away.

40. If you see green shades on someone, talking to them is probably useless, as they are almost certainly AFK.

41. Being a cohost at an event by virtue of being in the club assigned cohosting credit doesn't mean you may change the layout around without permission.

42. Telling someone you own a house or a hood that you don't actually own is foolish. Nine times out of ten you are telling the actual owner, who isn't likely to believe you.

43. There is no There police force. If you say you're a There policeman, no one believes you but the greenest noob, and shame on you for fooling a noob.

44. "How do we get money on There?" The first thing we do is BUY it. If we then spend it submitting designs that sell well, or buying low and selling high (not not unfairly high!) then those are ways of increasing your balance, but FIRST you BUY it. It takes money to make money.

45. No, I do not want to hire you.

46. If you are under 13, simply not mentioning it or actively lying about it will not be enough to make people think you're not underage. Acting more mature than a drooling infant might help.

47. There sets rent; individuals do not set rent. If you drop a lot, There will take the same amount from your balance, immediately, according to the size of the lot, regardless of which neighborhood you're in, and will then take that amount out every 30 days. There will tick the minutes off your paz at the same rate, also according to size and type, no matter what island you drop it on. By all means compare neighborhoods and other regions to see where you want to live, but it's useless to go about asking what the rent is; the hood owners do not control that. Some may offer you refunds or perqs; I am sure they will volunteer any such information.

48. Lots do not get time added to them as pazzes do, and can only be put out in neighborhoods (just as pazzes canNOT be put out in hoods). Do not mistake one for the other, and do not be fooled if someone tries to sell you a lot with "more time" on it. All lots in auction (and shop) are equal in value to all other lots of the same size. Pazzes, on the other hand, can have fluctuating value according to how much time is on them. Paz auctions now automatically tell how much (if any) time is left. This information is in small print in the upper lefthand portion of the listing.

49. People who are not using Voice for whatever reason are not necessarily non-Premium so please do not make such assumptions.

50. Yes your dog (borrowed or otherwise) is cute. It's not cute EVERYWHERE. Be considerate.

51. Ten bucks for life isn't a bad deal. Become a premium member!

52. Look for blue circles with little orangey yellow arrows in them. They are action tags. They will let you sit, or view a document, or perform any number of actions.

53. Don't give your password to anyone, not even your mother. Don't make an easy-to-guess password. Your birthday is a lousy password.

54. Drama is fascinating on stage and screen. Leave it there. Drama sucks here.

55. When you click on a link, in a document, to teleport to a place, you will most likely not teleport right away, but be taken to the information page for the place. Find the teeny tiny little VISIT button on that page to be teleported. If the link is to an event page instead of a place page, click on GO THERE NOW, which is less teeny tiny. Or if the event has not begun yet, click SIGN UP and then you will be summoned at the right time.

56. Super Bunnies are correctly called Super Bunny Shoes - Men and Super Bunny Shoes - Women, and the designer is There. Their category is Recent Releases, which is stupid but that's how it is. If someone is listing, or trying otherwise to sell you, an item that is supposedly a pair of Super Bunnies, and the designer is not There, or it is called something other than Super Bunny Shoes, or is found in the men's or women's clothing category, that person is attempting to dupe you.

57. Do not sit down to a card game knowing you be unable to stay for the whole game without at least asking the other players if that's okay. No one likes to be left high and dry.

58. You cannot give a copy of a document that is not in gear using GIVE A COPY but there is a trick: use LEND instead and it will not lend the original, but instead will give a copy. Don't ask me why. It just does. Thus you do not have to retrieve a document in order to give a copy of it to someone.

59. To look at a chat log in progress, go to PEOPLE on your toolbar and choose SHOW CHAT HISTORY. You cannot look at it, or attach it to mail or a Fuze report, until you have logged off, because the chat history is continuous. IMs on the other hand can be seen outside There or attached as soon as the IM in question is closed. To report abuse to There, using an attached chat log, go to GET HELP on your toolbar and choose LIVE HELP. Scroll down the LIVE HELP page to the very bottom and choose CUSTOMER SUPPORT (tiny little letters). On the next page choose ASK A QUESTION. Choose the category and subcategory. Write your complains as clearly and unemotionally as possible. Incomprehensibly, t\TOSable language is not permitted in the report, so if you want to say someone called you a certain name, you can't say the name. You can say you were compared to a female dog,or accused or making love to a parental unit, or declared to be someone who mistakes a private part for an ice cream cone, but you can't say the offensive words for any of that.. There will find your chat log directory for you so you will not have to scroll around, but in case you want to open it first in an outside browser to make sure it's the right one, you can find it in There (be it in Program Files, which I eschew, or not, which I prefer)\ThereClient\chatlogs. IM chatlogs will be listed alphabetically under the name of the person with whom you were IM-ing. Chat history chatlogs will be called chatlog followed by a date and time and a lot of other numbers. (Keep in mind these are temporary files and they will poof in a few days, so don't dilly dally; make that report ASAP!) A chat history chatlog will contain everything that was ever said within a certain range of your avie for the entire time you were inworld, so you may wish to say in the body of your complaint the name of the person you are reporting and where in the chatlog that person appears (halfway down, for example).

60. If you are suckered into teleporting into a place where your force field is removed without your consent and you find yourself being paintballed mercilessly or run over by vehicles that send you flying hither and yon, you will not be able to turn your force field back on yet, but all you have to do is go to PLACES and choose UNDO TELEPORT to be whisked back to whence you came. You can, alternatively teleport to one of your favorite places. The best move, of course, is not to get suckered to begin with.

61. If you find yourself in a trap, teleport out.

62. If you're stuck somewhere but it's not a trap, sidestep out. Sidestepping is also good for those little elevations; why jump when you can delicately, daintily sidestep?

63. Using TRY and then BUY in auctions is tricky. Honest it is. Allow me to explain. When you purchase an auction item it can take up to ten minutes (and I've seen it take longer) for the transaction to be completed. Until it is completed, you do not receive your item and you do not lose your money. Then, simultaneously, the item appears and its purchase price goes byebye. HOWEVER, if you have used TRY, the item you are trying vanishes in FIVE minutes. I have seen countless newbies, and even oldbies, try something on, decide to buy it, and then watch the item disappear after five minutes... and think something happened to their purchase. That wasn't your purchase. That was an identical item you TRIED. Your purchase may still have five minutes to be completed. What the befuddled buyer tends to do next is say oh well, it didn't work, and look, the auction is closed, something happened. I will just go buy it elsewhere. So s/he goes to another auction, or to the shop, and purchases the identical item. If s/hepurchases it from the shop, ther isn't that ten-minute delay. The buyer is out the money immediately, and gains the item immediately. Then FOUR minutes later, the original purchase goes through... and fails, because now the buyer doesn't have enough money to complete the original purchase. The auction has ended without sale for the seller, who is now frustrated at having to relist the item, and the buyer has spent more, because the original auction price hopefully was cheaper than the shop price. WHAT TO DO: WAIT! WAIT! It's COMING! Don't go assuming because your TRY item vanished you're not getting what you bought. Wait ten minutes. Don't make the seller miserable by spoiling his or her auction and letting him or her know s/he ALMOST made a sale.

64. When you shop fast, your balance doesn't keep up with you; there is the previously mentioned ten-minute delay. You may find yourself messing up a couple of auctions by not keeping good track of what you're spending. It happens to everyone (even ME!) once in a while but we should all be careful.

65. If you receive a Theremail saying you didn't have enough money for an auction you "bid" on (bought is more like it), contact the seller and offer to buy the item privately. It's only fair. If you're the seller, try to contact the buyer, but don't hold your breath. I have almost never received an answer. If you're the buyer, and the seller contacts you, ANSWER! Clicking CONFIRM is a CONTRACT. Even if you messed up and bought the same item elsewhere, you should keep your promise and buy from the seller.

66. If your auction ended due to technical difficulties (or a buyer who didn't have sufficient funds for any of the reasons above) and now you're in a position to trade or relist, you may find the menu items you need dimmed and unavailable. This is because the abrupt, unsuccessful end of the auction "broke" the item. You can usually fix it by putting it in a directory you don't mind sorting alphabetically, and clicking SORT for that directory. If that doesn't fix the item, relog. If THAT doesn't fix it, report it to FUZE (and remember that doid number). Be clear about what you want fixed or your reply will be "what do you mean broken?" If you have to FUZE it expect it to be fixed in a day or so unless it's a weekend, in which case it may take longer.

67. If your profile suddenly looks weird, for example not showing your clubs, or showing a blue funpass, or giving nonsense letters instead of your membership birthdate, change your preference from "Everyone" to "Buddies Only" (or vice versa) and save, and then change it back. This will fix the problem unless it's an avman server acting up (or down).

68. If you are in an event that is ending and you get an invitation to the next event in the same location, do not click ACCEPT; you will be teleported to the entrance. Instead click LATER. You should not be bothered again and you'll be permitted to remain unless there are certain requirements for the new event (e.g., it's invitation only, or has a fee).

69. If you are on someone else's property and take out a document, vehicle, dog or other non-gear toy (which you shouldn't do without permission anyway), and the owner, host or cohost clicks REMOVE FOREIGN OBJECTS, your items will vanish from sight, but they have gone safely back into your inventory. If the objects you have taken out do not belong to you, though, they will go back to their owners, not to you. Be careful what you drop where.

70. Changing your clothes incessantly in company, practicing your emotes while someone is trying to have a conversation with you, and walking around and around pushing people aside are not illegal activities but they are annoying, and you may find yourself ignored. Incessant clothes-changing can actually cause lag. Nobody likes lag and if you cause lag, nobody will like you either.

71. Trying to skill in socializing by using a macro or typing a stream of nonsense characters is annoying and useless. Why not have (gasp) a conversation instead? You get no skill, by the way, from talking to yourself. Socializing skill comes from typing while in a chat group (a vehicle that seats more than one counts) with at least one other person.

72. If someone has you on ignore, that person cannot see what you type, so do not follow him or her around complaining that s/he has you on ignore. It just confirms his or her opinion of you.

73. If you earn a giftie by leveling in a skill, and you don't want the giftie, please be aware that you can get a paltry 50t if you return the item within ten minutes of its being bestowed upon you, only 25t if you return it within three days of bestowal, 13t if it's under a week and 2t thereafter. The amounts may be different for items you purchased, or were given by an individual, but at no point do you ever get a significant amount of money and sometimes you get zip.

74. If you click the ABOUT on an item and it says BUY ONE, that means it is a There item as opposed to one designed by a Thereian. Clicking BUY ONE will not obligate you to buy one, so go ahead and click to see what the item costs in the shop. If the page that comes up gives you a tiny amount, such as 1t, and does not offer you a chance to buy the item, that means it is no longer available in the shop. It does NOT mean the value of the item is 1t or even that it ever was available for that price.

75. You have a right to think my avie is fat. I have a right to think your avie is anorexic. It would be rude for either of us to mention it to the other.

76. If you experience or witness someone else's misbehavior and don't report it, the misbehavor will victimize someone else. Do not mistake your being annoyed by someone else's opinion for that person's being in violation of Terms of Service or some ethical code. A good rule of thumb is that if the person is interfering with your enjoyment of There by stopping you from freely doing what you want, apart from what you may not, that is reportable. If the person is interfering with your enjoyment by existing, that's YOUR problem.

77. You can turn the water and weather on (default) and off in THERE -- CUSTOMIZE -- WORLD. Some say this cuts down lag. I doubt it.

78. You can choose to accept tbux from anyone who happens to send them without confirmation, or to require your confirmation, in THERE-CUSTOMIZE -- WORLD. The advantage of keeping the default on is that you don't have to be inworld to accept money, even from one of your other avies. The advantage of requiring confirmation is that if you like to keep track of what you get from whom without opening your transaction history, which sometimes doesn't work (it HAS been better lately),
you can be aware of each gift or payment.

79. The more apostrophes you use with the emote "yay," the more excited your avie will be. You can go up to six. Twirl!

80. Emotes require apostrophes. Dog commands do not. Why? I have no idea!

81. When you purchase a neighborhood lot in auctions, more often than not the lot is broken; it has no ABOUT, it can't be taken out, it shows as not in gear or as being lent to someone, usually the seller but sometimes the person from whom the seller acquired it. If it's showing as not in gear, you will have to report it to Fuze and they will replace it. However, if it is showing as being lent to someone, you may try to contact that person and ask him or her to LEND you your own lot. Yes, it is showing in your inventory as lent to him or her, and it's showing in his or her inventory as belonging to (or lent to, I forget which) you! A "lend" will complete the transaction and fix the broken item. On rare occasions it has to be attempted twice, but almost always this fix works the first time.

82. The drop trick: you're not supposed to do this. It's a godsend. Go ahead and do it. The drop trick is used for two purposes: fitting a large object into a small space, and getting an extra drop.

To put a large object into a small space: take out the smallest unused item you have. Items have various center points and with a very small object there is not mujch difference between its center point and all other points. You care about this because the large object is going to share its center point with the smaller one.

NOTE: the center point might not be in the center! Decks sometimes are grabbed by an edge and sometimes by their center; I am referring to the grabbing point. wherever it may happen to be. Now that you have taken the object out, place it where you want the center point of the large object to be. Now pick it up again and while holding it, take out the large object. You will now find PUT BACK on the large object's menu. Use is. Put away the small object. The larger one remains.

SECOND NOTE: You will only be able to decorate only those portions of the larger object that are in a paz, lot or zone in which you have decorating privileges, and in which you have available drops of course. For example, if you have two pazzes next to each other and you drop a house in one paz so that it overlaps the other paz too, and you have drops in both places, you may decorate the house in both pazzes. The house will only count as a drop in the paz in which you used the drop trick.

To use the drop trick to gain an extra drop, use the same method, with the additional care taken: Use the drop trick LAST, and instead of using your smallest item, which you will remove after the trick, you're using an item you wish to keep in your decor, so it won't necessarily be small at all. The first item's center point now becomes very important. Bars, for example have their center points centered not only horizontally but vertically, so if you try to use the drop trick with a bar and a carpet, either the carpet will float in the air or the bar will sink into the floor. You may be creative, but the easiest way to get that extra drop is to save a rug for last, and center it under a seating group using the drop trick. (Or put a one-drop circle of flowers around a thin tree, or... you get t he idea! If you want to use a bird as the last drop, find something that has a vertical center point so the bird can hover in mid-air!) It doesn't matter which item comes first except in that there is a time limit, so if you're using There's THIS PLACE -- GEAR instead of, say, bboy's MY GEAR, you will want to use the most difficult item to collect, alphabetically, first, so you can quickly grab the second item from the beginning or end of the alphabet (since scrolling through a large directory takes time).

THIRD NOTE: Once you have your extra drop, if you want to change anything, first remove that extra drop or whatever you try to move will just vanish back into gear. Put the last drop back again when you're done.

83. If you are lagged and can see a sit circle, sit, even if you don't want to. You'll load faster.

84. If your gear isn't loading, give your alt avie or a friend one tbuck. (You can do this even if your balance isn't showing, in fact, this will make it show.) Unless you're just in dire need of a relog, this little act of generosity will hasten the loading processs.

85. The only people who ask everyone they meet, as a matter of course (as opposed to in reaction to some display of immaturity) how old s/he is are the people who are seriously lacking in the age department. In addition, asking everyone you meet what grade s/he's in presumes, incorrectly, that everyone in this wonderful virtual universe is a school child

86. When someone else has possession of a document (it happens!), dog, ball, weapon or vehicle of yours, you can see who has it by virtue of a small, hard-to-read, italicized legend -- the person's name -- after the name of the item. Once you have retrieved your item, there is no record whatsoever of who had your item. It doesn't show up in your transaction history, or any kind of log. If this person had your item without your permission, write the person's name down BEFORE you retrieve the item! You will have no chance to do so afterwards.

87. You need to be inworld to list for auction items you did not design. You may list items you DID design in an outside browser by starting with There Central, going to the Developers page and proceeding from there. You may SHOP out of world in your outside browser as well. If you are in your browser and inworld as well, you may click the IM button next to someone's name or in someone's profile, in your browser, and the IM window will pop up INworld. You may also use TRY that way. You may even teleport that way! You may send Theremail froman outside browser whether or not you are inworld. There is no way to summon anyone from an outside browser. NONE of the above works during There's downtime. During downtime all you can do is log into forums and qvetch about it. NOTE: If you have more than one avatar, you may log into the browser in one name and inworld in another, but then such things as IM, TRY and teleporting will be ineffective.

88. If you need a url, or the doid therefrom, for example, and for some reason you get a page that does not show the url across the top, right mouse click the page and from the resulting menu choose PROPERTIES. The URL is there and can be copied. Likewise if the REFRESH button disappears from the top of a page, you can right mouse click to get that command as well. Right mouse click is a GOOD thing. But if you're not on a page when you use it, you'll just jump. If you're wearing your super bunnies, you may jump too far!

89. Play nice!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Ramblings About TV Commercials

So many targets, so little bandwidth!

Fortunately, these are RANDOM ramblings, so without stopping to justify my choices, I tuck right in.

Today's Topic: ExtenZe Male Enhancement!

No, I'm not offended by the topic. I'm offended by the dorky dishonesty of the ad. Oh, I don't mean I believe the product doesn't do what it claims to do. And speaking of disclaimers, there is one, in teeny tiny print, for a teeny tiny period of time, reminding those of us who couldn't figure it out that the enhancement is only effective as long as the enhancee continues to consume the product. You'd almost think they didn't want you to read that. (On the website is a much cleverer little ad, presumably containing the same disclaimer, but in print so small it could, for all the reader knows, be saying "Nyah nyah nyah NYAH nyah, you are insecure about your weewee!" At least the website uses the word "penis" [in print]; like the TV ad, the voiceover is still stuck with "that certain part of a man's body.")

The TV ad features two female spokespersons, neither claiming any expertise in male enhancement beyond whatever goes along with their (grasping here for an accurate description without emotional weight) slutty (okay, I failed) appearance; Doctor Daniel S. Stein, who says he has PERSONALLY "researched" this product; a pair of actors portraying a couple shyly eager to check out the product's benefits; and an interviewer presumably stopping couples on the street to ask them how they liked the product.

Let's start with the commercial's irritating coyness. First we get direct appeals from the spokeswomen and the doctor. The dark-haired spokeswoman (the other is blonde)
is going to lose an eyelash if she keeps batting hers that way whenever she says "certain part." Even the doctor uses the phrase, although I don't recall his level of eyelash battage. Then we get the indirect appeal of the little drama. The young wife hears "male enhancement" and naively says, "Oh, you mean like for muscles?" (I may be paraphrasing; I am not by the TV.) "No," corrects the husband, adding meaningfuly, "Male ENHANCEMENT."

There's nothing wrong with the little drama but it's baffling after the direct appeal, and then the commercial switches gears again and takes us to the street. This part is more than baffling; it's ludicrous! If someone were giving away a product that could be consumed or otherwise used on the spot, such as chocolate, popcorn or hand lotion, a man-on-the-street interview would make sense. Likewise it makes sense if you're asking people's opinions of subjects that should be common knowledge, such as election affairs, TV shows or celebrities. But a male enhancement product? Are we to assume every man uses one, and a random sampling of pedestrians on an urban street will produce even a handful of men who not only use such a thing but wish to speak spontaneously to millions of viewers about it?

The product itself targets the sexually insecure; the advertisers seem insecure themselves, not willing to commit to one style of communication, and not willing, either, to commit to a straightforward (or humorous, if they chose -- there are some cute moments in the website video) presentation. This insecurity does not increase the viewers' confidence in the ad or, by (guffaw) extension, the product.

Well, it's not my concern, I suppose. I just hate to see less keenly observant folks have their legs (or whatever) pulled.