1) I like interesting photography.
2) I am a stumbler.
3) Most websites allow comments now.
4) The internet is filled with goons and other silly people.

As I was stumbling through the internet a moment ago I came across an interesting photo of an underwater restaurant that is enclosed entirely in glass such that the diners have a constantly changing view of underwater life while they eat. Looked really cool. There was the obligatory comment as the third or so on the page:

“Definitely photoshopped. I can tell by the pixels, and I’ve seen a lot of ‘shops in my time.”

Given the fact that goons are known for stockpiling clubs and hunting dead horses for years at a time, the comment should come as no surprise to anyone. But I just thought of something, three little letters that are like gold to any business: “EAV”.

EAV stands for Equivalent Ad Value. When companies get positive face time on large networks such as a news network or paper or a highly trafficked website, they are essentially getting ad space for free. And it’s extremely valuable ad space, because it is placed in content spaces where people are actually looking to read the content. Here’s an example: My company, TripAdvisor, got mentioned a couple months back in the show “The Office”. If anyone remembers, it’s the episode where Dwight Schrute opens an Agrotourism Bed and Breakfast at Schrute Farms. Its page is still at tripadvisor, and the clip is up at both tripadvisor and youtube. The mention cost us very little, but the value of it is exceptionally high, since it is in front of millions of people across the US who watch the show.

for an even better, slightly less biased example, Research In Motion says it estimates that it had millions of dollars of EAV from the whole “Barackberry” debacle, and I’d believe it. Think of him what you will, there is no denying our President’s intelligence and simultaneous stardom, and if he uses a RiM smartphone, then hell, shouldn’t I look into it. They paid nothing for that plug, and they didn’t even expect or look for it. The fact that Obama didn’t actually use a blackberry doesn’t matter at all.

So now we go back to this meme: it seems there are like 20 goons or farkers or the like who spend hours a day going across thousands of websites and delivering equivalent ad value to Adobe with this tired joke, and you know what? They hit all the highest trafficked images first. I’ll bet it’s worth tons.

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