July 29, 2019

I think this might be the worst use of a photograph to promote a business I have ever seen in my life.



The post title is a deliberate imitation of Scott Adams, who regularly whips out superlatives modified by weasel words. And that just might be the truest thing that anyone has ever said.

Anyway, what's up with that lady in the photograph? She's generically just exactly the right person, isn't she? Pretty, but not too pretty. Smart, but not too smart. She could be you. She's the you you imagine yourself to be at your best (or, if you're not female, she's the not-too-threatening female you'd like to have in your life or if you have a female in your life whom you like, she's like that female at her best). She's connected to technology but in a sane and balanced way... unless that's the look she gets when she's reading about a murder spree at, say, a garlic festival, in which case she's a lunatic, not that female you are in your best dreams or you want in your life.

Imagine you've got a friend and you see her smiling and gazing into her phone like that. You think, isn't she lovely and you walk over to see what sweet image inspires her adorable, dimpled smile. A little child? A kitty cat? Oh, no, she's reading about mass murder. Now, you realize that you might be in a relationship with someone who might actually be the worst person in the world.

85 comments:

Known Unknown said...

I have no idea what is going on in this tweet.

Seeing Red said...

Who died and left them “experts?”

mccullough said...

Is she the expert or the seeker of experts?

AustinRoth said...

She is white, so this is racist.

mccullough said...

I like her dimple. And the flowers in the vase behind her head

Nonapod said...

This might be the best use of superlatives ever in the history of the Universe.

Known Unknown said...
I have no idea what is going on in this tweet.


Scott Adams is suggesting people who were witnesses to a horrific shooting use one of those get "advice from an expert" apps to charge people who want to talk to them about it.

Darrell said...

Somebody is trying to make money from the shooting by collecting eyewitness testimony and cellphone videos that can be sold to the news networks. That's my guess.

doctrev said...

I know what Scott Adams is trying to say, but stock photography being clowned on by Ann Althouse is a strangely hilarious start to the week. Even in the face of a tragedy.

Fernandinande said...

I don't get it. The advertising copy is not unusual, and it's probably more accurate and honest than most fake news headlines.

But I especially don't get downloading an interface to something that should run in the browser(s) you already have.

chuck said...

Zing. Althouse pulls an Adams on Adams. Well done.

Wince said...

(or, if you're not female, she's the not-too-threatening female you'd like to have in your life or if you have a female in your life whom you like, she's like that female at her best).

Honestly, men are just trying to imagine her naked.

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/kzm59x/deepnude-app-creates-fake-nudes-of-any-woman

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

No the time for happy phone gazing.

henry said...

darrell: Somebody is trying to make money from the shooting by collecting eyewitness testimony and cellphone videos that can be sold to the news networks.

-----

That makes sense in a way. But an "expert" at persuasion and communications such as Adams ought to be clear. Downloading an app I've never heard of is not my first step uponwitnessing a mass casualty event (or even in the top hundred).

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

Not

traditionalguy said...

She looks like a sweet woman...in this age, it could be worse.

Nonapod said...

what's up with that lady in the photograph? She's generically just exactly the right person, isn't she? Pretty but not too pretty. Smart, but not too smart.

That's the basic formula for a typical stock photo. You generally don't want a super model, perfect 10 sort. People are going to subconciously mistrust an image of a person in an ad that seems a little too physically perfect. On a physical looks scale of 1-10 you want someone in the 7 - 9 range, clearly objectively good looking but not too good looking. You also want someone who seems happy without seeming deranged, confident without seeming narcissistic, and seems smart without being pretentious.

rehajm said...

Is she the expert or the seeker of experts?

It's a good question. She could be the one selling her eyewitness testimony. Of course the photo was in the hopper before the mass murder incident, so she's probably getting advice on how to unplug her toilet or poach fish in the dishwasher or something...

One thing- I know exactly what WhenHub does. I didn't really get the point when Scott Adams uses it- he could just as easily post regular video. I guess he's always been a loos leader for the outfit. That kind of clouds the understanding of what they do. Now I get it...

rehajm said...

Somebody is trying to make money from the shooting by collecting eyewitness testimony and cellphone videos that can be sold to the news networks

Both WhenHub and, if there were any takers, eyewitnesses. How offensive. They should know better to leave the mass murder profiteering to the professionals in cable and network news, print news, and politically motivated 501(c) organizations...

rhhardin said...

Scott is covering it in his periscope today.

Ralph L said...

I'm not quite sure that Adams isn't seriously advertising this app. Sorry for the double negative, but satire doesn't seem like the right word.

tim in vermont said...

I was traveling around Europe a little bit this spring, and you get tired, pretty quickly I might add, of the cloying Instagram cuties posing everywhere trying to keep people out of their pictures.

I usually allow a lot of leeway for pretty girls, like most men, but like everything else, this generation has carried it too far.

CJinPA said...

Adams responds to criticism on Twitter:

It’s a news gathering tool, like CNN and FOXNEws (among other uses). No fake outrage necessary. This is one of its intended purposes.

As for the photo, it is the photo on the banner of the website and is automatically generated when he posted the link to his site. It was not selected to go with the text Adams wrote, but that is obviously how it appears.

Nonapod said...

I'm not quite sure that Adams isn't seriously advertising this app.

Apparently he's a co-founder of WhenHub.

buwaya said...

Correct, it is a stock photo and a stock model.
Two other points - its quite popular to be a bit ethnically ambiguous (this one could plausibly be in Mexico City), but not too much so, and she has to look somewhat up-market, bourgeois, aspirational.

bagoh20 said...

"Honestly, men are just trying to imagine her naked."

THAT just might be the truest thing ever said.

bagoh20 said...

My guess is she's looking at porn. I've seen that look on a woman's face before

Gigitty!

Beasts of England said...

'Honestly, men are just trying to imagine her naked.

Isn't that the whole idea?

Char Char Binks, Esq. said...

The ad targets witnesses, not victims. Since when do we have to treat mere witnesses with kid gloves?

Limited blogger said...

persuasive

rhhardin said...

Mass shootings are clickbait gold, being the most entertaining tragedy.

100 people died in traffic accidents yesterday. Not clickbait gold.

Hari said...

I have no idea what this post or the tweet are about.

rhhardin said...

Honestly, men are just trying to imagine her naked.

Inexperienced men. Women look better and can be appreciated better clothed.

rhhardin said...

Scott Adams was disappointing in apologizing to any victims or family members (but not others) hurt or offended. To hell with them, if such exist.

Moilere had a play about it.

rhhardin said...

Moliere

Ann Althouse said...

"I like her dimple. And the flowers in the vase behind her head..."

What about her eyebrows? I believe that 20 years from now, people will look at pictures of women from 2019 and say "What's with the eyebrows?" Everyone looks insanely surprised. How could they not know how ridiculous they looked? And the eyebrow style will persist in older women and people will feel sorry for them for not realizing, like everyone else, how stupid it looks.

And now that I think about it, that woman has an AOC look. That's deemed to be exactly the right look these days.

Ann Althouse said...

"Scott Adams is suggesting people who were witnesses to a horrific shooting use one of those get "advice from an expert" apps to charge people who want to talk to them about it."

And it's HIS start up that he's been promoting on his podcast for a long time.

vanderleun said...

1. Does Ann, whose whole schtick here relies on reading WAPO and NYT, understand that the "News" is a "for profit" business that benefits by her linking to items and that benefits by getting witnesses to speak for free on their American platforms?

2. Does Ann, the sophisticated traveler, know that in England and Europe paying people to contribute to news stories is a thing of long-standing?

3. Does Ann know that this morning Adams estimates that under best-case scenarios he stands to make "5 to ten bucks?"

4. Does Ann profit from her spinning the news up or down to suit her need for dopamine hits more or less than 5 to ten bucks off her free-platform blog?

5. Does Ann understand how the Internet works enough to know that to make a quick response tweet to a shooting a person really doesn't have the time to make up "appropriate" art but has to take from what he has?

madAsHell said...

"I don't know what to do!" is a red flag for Daddy issues.

Ann Althouse said...

"Scott is covering it in his periscope today."

Yes, he'd already tweeted his spin on it. People are doing "fake news" about him.

Wince said...

rhhardin said...
"Honestly, men are just trying to imagine her naked."

Inexperienced men. Women look better and can be appreciated better clothed.


But isn't part of that enhanced clothed appreciation imagining an idealized nude form, agreed more so than if there were actual nudity?

Ann Althouse said...

WhenHub needs better graphics experts.

That photo is SO stock photo.

The typography and the logo are terrible.

Does anyone who works there have a feeling for design?

Jeff Brokaw said...

Adams explained his intent on his periscope today. The app connects people who have information with people who want it, and the price is negotiable (including free) and with changing circumstances that price can move up or down. He also believes his revenue would be tiny from such uses (during a tragedy like that).

Free markets at work spreading information better than the lousy MSM coverage we always get. I have no problem with it.

Remember: the MSM loves tragedies because the ratings go through the roof. They profit immensely from any and all such tragedies. As such they should be your first target if “immoral profiteering” is your complaint.

Ann Althouse said...

"She is white, so this is racist."

I think she was chosen as racially generic. Not white and not not white.

gilbar said...

What about her eyebrows? I believe that 20 years from now, people will look at pictures of women from 2019 and say "What's with the eyebrows?" Everyone looks insanely surprised.

wait! it gets BETTER! eyebrow tattooing is a BIG THING these days, so 20 years from now people will look AT YOU and say "What's with the eyebrows?"

Ann Althouse said...

"Adams explained his intent on his periscope today. The app connects people who have information with people who want it, and the price is negotiable (including free) and with changing circumstances that price can move up or down. He also believes his revenue would be tiny from such uses (during a tragedy like that)."

LOL.

Adams has explained his app on his periscope what I think may more times than anyone has ever explained anything in the history of the universe.

Ann Althouse said...

"wait! it gets BETTER! eyebrow tattooing is a BIG THING these days, so 20 years from now people will look AT YOU and say "What's with the eyebrows?""

Eyebrow tattooing — "micro-blading" — is not permanent:

“Cosmetic tattooing, unlike body art tattooing, is much more superficial to the skin... The inks are also much more degradable. Your own immune system will digest the ink and also push out the pigment as well. Over time these looks tend to fade.”

You don't want to commit permanently to a style of makeup. Dark eyebrows and high, arched eyebrows and thick eyebrows have all gone in and out of style many times. You'd have to be very stupid to take an extreme style and make it permanent.

Jeff Brokaw said...

A CEO using his own Periscope to promote his own app at appropriate times? The horror.

He explained it again today because some people think he’s being a douche for promoting it during a time when people could get immense value from using it. He was attacked by anti-gun Twitter trolls so he had to explain it, yet again.

All the explaining in the world won’t get to those people but I’m not going to fault him for defending himself against trolls.

Jupiter said...

I hadn't had my coffee yet, and I just figured someone was looking for help with a video shoot at a garlic festival.

gilbar said...

Our Beloved Professor Althouse schooled me, saying...
Eyebrow tattooing — "micro-blading" — is not permanent:

Thanx Prof! I did NOT know that! You'd think i would, since i flyfish with a lady that does cosmetic tattooing (and eyelash extensions) for a living.

Ann Althouse said...

"He explained it again today because some people think he’s being a douche for promoting it during a time when people could get immense value from using it. He was attacked by anti-gun Twitter trolls so he had to explain it, yet again."

Did he explain promoting it with a photograph of a woman smiling and gazing into her phone?

I listen to his show, but not live. I listen to it as a podcast, and I've listened to HUNDREDS of hours of it, so I know his shtick very well. The things I don't like about him are beginning to get off putting. I hate all the promotion of WhenHub and his pushing of various male friends of his who've got their own promotions (like that guy who is giving away $1000). And I'm tired of the superlatives and the exulting how he was the only one who said something or other.

Ralph L said...

If you go to the site, her head is chopped off so that unfocused splotch is gone. The search bar cuts right across her decolletage.

My poor SIL has to paint on eyebrows. She has (had) dark hair but her natural brows are barely visible.

buwaya said...

rhhardin,
Re naked women -
Speak for yourself. Naked is best, by far.
And naked in person is so much better than any photograph.
And as for experience ...

Ann Althouse said...

The tattooed eyebrows that you'd get when you're young — even if they never went out of style — would look bad as you get older. You just can't do the same dark definition on an older face.

Ralph L said...

I've listened to HUNDREDS of hours of it

And I thought I needed a life.

rhhardin said...

Scott Adams is dull in refusing to attack women. Staying PC is necessary in certain areas for a public figure.

Also some philosophy courses would have been nice, to prevent believing things that are too weird.

rhhardin said...

Scott Adams thinks a guy being smart by itself draws listeners. You've got to have some just word to offer.

chuck said...

Does Vanderleun realize that Ann has a competitive streak that would embarrass an Olympic athlete? Don't get her started... on second thought, go for it :)

tim in vermont said...

"Also some philosophy courses would have been nice, to prevent believing things that are too weird.”

This! But philosophy too is just another wasteland ravaged by the left.

Jeff Brokaw said...

AA - I get what you’re saying and can agree to a point. He annoys me sometimes too, but for different reasons.

On balance though I like what he does and I think it’s quite valuable.

The photograph thing maybe is a little odd but I just don’t care. To each their own.

rehajm said...

That photo is SO stock photo

Perhaps the SO stock photo is SO SO stock photo it has a sophisticated appeal amongst the target audience?

Bill Peschel said...

This reminds me of a true crime podcast hosted by two girls, one of whom worked with the author of the recent Manson book, and they're talking about the murders with this ... glee in their voices that was unnerving.

(And I say this as a guy who has about 200 true crime books in his library.)

Fernandinande said...

Apparently he's a co-founder of WhenHub.

Oh. Now I'm going to imagine him wearing different clothes and co-founding a less-dopey looking website.

Perhaps the SO stock photo is SO SO stock photo it has a sophisticated appeal amongst the target audience?

The style is probably popular because it works.

Bill Peschel said...

"and the exulting how he was the only one who said something or other."

He does that a lot in his books and I found that off-putting. IIRR, he brags about how he used his mental powers to change his life.

At least he's also honest about how Dilbert was created with the help of his co-workers at Pac Bell. He got very lucky and caught the mood of office drones at the right time. He just can't parlay that into anything else (I remember he was using his theory of humor to help a cartoonist friend who set his strip at a gym. Didn't go anywhere.)

His support for Trump was an outlier that paid off, but it doesn't indicate that he's any smarter at reading the public mood than any pollster. We forget all the things he was wrong about (check out his book on the future of the workplace and count all the wrong predictions). We just remember the two (Dilbert, Trump) that paid off.

Yancey Ward said...

If only Stormy Daniels had access to Whenhub, Hillary would be president today.

Earnest Prole said...

The stock photo makes her look like she’s being stalked.

n.n said...

I have no idea what is going on in this tweet.

Apparently, he is advertising for a service on the back of a criminal event.

Nonapod said...

Bill Peschel said...but it doesn't indicate that he's any smarter at reading the public mood than any pollster. We forget all the things he was wrong about (check out his book on the future of the workplace and count all the wrong predictions). We just remember the two (Dilbert, Trump) that paid off.

While some of his predictions have been wrong I think that over the past few years he's made several compelling arguments that I personally find difficult to refute. For example he's driven home the importance of persuasion and how to be more persuasive when making arguments. He's made fairly trenchant observations about the appeal of Trump to his supporters, the various motivations and failings of the media, and many others.

Now you might argue that anyone could have made those arguments and observations, but it's easy to say that once they've been made effectively. What is difficult to comprehend can often end up seeming obvious once it has been explained cleary and thoroughly.

That's not to say that the guy is flawless. He's been wrong a lot. He's failed to be convincing in his arguments at times. I for one think this shameless promotion of his app on the back if a tragedy is not a good look. I think he doesn't always have the best sense of the immediate public response to such things and can come off as a bit cold and careless as a result.

gilbar said...

Professor Althouse,
i just talked to my friend Leah, the cosmetic tattooist , and she said to me:

well, technically you are correct. Not all the pigment molecules go away. They just get lighter in color. So we can’t legally say “semi permanent” because there will always be molecules left in the skin.
So you are correct sir, not the professor.


I thought it was cute that she calls me sir :)
Just 'cause i pay for the fishing guide, and i'm 25 years older than her :)

Rabel said...

A mistake by Adams in several ways.

One way is that it reveals Whenhub as being unprotected from scammers. If you go to the website and search for experts on "Gilroy" you get a posting by a person claiming to be an expert on "Gilroy, Scott Adams being vile, journalism basics, Blockchain scams."

If the "experts" aren't properly screened then the app is useless. You might as well just ask questions on Twitter. Or the Althouse blog.

PluralThumb said...

Poor girl, she's probably seeking any type of help for her damaged self esteem. All to make an extra buck from a photograph. I summon the femenist movement to scoop this broken child and completely overhaul her personality. Amish manners, computer programmer intelligence, emotional numbness of an assassin or an alienist. Beauty that only attracks envy and jealousy unless she is underbid by teenage blowjob for a car ride. A non blond Taylor Swift ? Sorry Taylor but you got reimbursed for your life fuckery. Pardon my language the MeToo movement. Sorry for causing Althouse disturbance. I may need to seek help for this new addiction. After I stop off at a pub this evening. Trump is the best, period. He just get sidetracked by other people's Beavis and butthead statements. Those 2 get girlfriends yet ? I figured if the blog is not always politics anything outside that torso is either piss and shit or maybe a rainbow. Rainbows clean themselves. Only politics can kill rainbows. Good day.

jg said...

Isn't it naive, Bill, to say that Adams' humor coaching is low value simply because he coached one person who didn't make it big?

Char Char Binks, Esq. said...

"I think she was chosen as racially generic. Not white and not not white."

Yes. She looks like she could be Santino Legan's mother.

vanderleun said...

Althouse states: "The things I don't like about him are beginning to get off-putting. I hate all the promotion of WhenHub and his pushing of various male friends of his who've got their own promotions (like that guy who is giving away $1000). And I'm tired of the superlatives and the exulting how he was the only one who said something or other."

In those things we are in complete agreement and total accord. His schtick is starting to seem dull and overdone. Except I think the guy was giving away a lot more than $1000 in total and in specific instances. I'm still waiting for the female kind of guy to offer to give away lump sums of money to the needy on twitter.

D 2 said...

Ok we're on.

I videoed news today, oh boy
I'll be a lucky man, and get paid in grade
And though the news was rather sad
Well, I just had to laugh
I saw the stock photograph

Are the Zapruders rich? I never thought about that before. Something to read up on later. If I can find a reputable source for free on the internet.

Krumhorn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nichevo said...

I listen to his show, but not live. I listen to it as a podcast, and I've listened to HUNDREDS of hours of it, so I know his shtick very well. The things I don't like about him are beginning to get off putting. I hate all the promotion of WhenHub and his pushing of various male friends of his who've got their own promotions (like that guy who is giving away $1000). And I'm tired of the superlatives and the exulting how he was the only one who said something or other.


Dear Ann,


Go to the Amazon portal now,

And buy a mirror.

Krumhorn said...

Deleted prior comment due to poor taste after reading about the Garlic Festival event. Apologies to anyone who read it.

- Krumhorn

Ken B said...

I guess I don’t understand this post which seems pointlessly resentful.

I like Adams because he says things I had not thought of. But I find his coffees way too repetitive, both from moment to moment and day to day. So I check on him periodically.

PluralThumb said...

This is why the world needs mature professionals to debunk extremes. From my little knowledge, the site program likely siphons information from another source an posted asap on WhenHub. Automation doesn't distinguish understanding besides what it must do. I really don't want to talk about the shooting but my thought is the shooter could of used some professional conversation not only advice. At least a job @ WhenHub instead of computer automation. That's as far as I allow myself to talk about the shooting. I know nothing about eyebrow tattoos and that interests me more so.

rcocean said...

Its odd that Frank Luntz attacked Adams over this. But then Luntz just endorsed Climate Change. So, it looks Luntz figures there's more money in being an "Never Trumper" moderate than a conservative republican. No doubt its part of his new -every changing - image. Look for him to be a MSNBC contributor within six months.

I like scott adams, but everything is ultimately designed to market Scott Adams and make Scott Adams more money. He's very good at finding a Target audience and then making money off it. He's constantly trying to hit that sweet spot between being "Politically incorrect" and "Going too far". And he usually airs on the side of caution.

rcocean said...

Adams' point that its absurd to attack him for "making more money off tragedy" when all the Networks and News sites make $millions off "Tragedy" is well made.

Narr said...

I used to think Luntz was pretty smart. But the more I saw of him on TV, the more I wondered, "Why?"

Narr
I don't think the Zapruders made money, no

M Jordan said...

Luntz is a dunce.

Hazel saide said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kirk Parker said...

Bill Peschel @ 11:45 AM,

I remember being a bit creeped out by John Robb's comments about MEND's more-or-less terrorist activities in the Nigerian Delta. Pretty sure in his case he was jazzed that the situation proved his theories about 4th Generation War correct, not that he was happy about the actual attacks (or the oil-company excesses that they were responding to) but still it came off as creepy.