Analytics Strategist

August 26, 2011

What’s wrong with BS-ing?

Filed under: misc — Huayin Wang @ 2:27 pm

Professionals who are BS-ing are lemon professionals.  They are fake or counterfeit of real professionals.

What’s wrong with fake product or any counterfeit?  Read on the market for lemon.

Is BS-ing still “not good, but ok” because a lot of people do it (even worse, relying on it for a living)?

I hope we all get serious about BS-ing, it is not a small thing.


  1. Huayin,

    This may not be the best place to ask this question, but can you direct me to an industry definition that is substantive in nature regarding view-throughs? For example, if I see an add for a product whose company name is somewhat generic so that I have to “search” is it still a view-through or does it now become a search-through or should this have shared credit? Any insights?


    Comment by steve terrell — September 8, 2011 @ 5:08 pm

    • I do not have a reference for any standard definition of view-through conversion. There are two common usages: the first one refers to when conversion is credited to display ads when audience saw but did not click on ads. The second version: when a conversion is credited to display if the audience saw the ad prior, within certain period (look back window). The first definition often used under last touch attribution rule, where as the second one is used in multi-touch attribution rule or fractional attribution rule. Let me know if you find definitions different from either of these.

      Comment by Huayin Wang — September 8, 2011 @ 5:43 pm

  2. Thanks Huayin but again, here’s where a little angst kicks in. All we’ve really done, is add a window of time which doesn’t really help discover a way to significantly give due credit to the banner ad that led to the conversion but needed search as a mechanical tool to differentiate spelling or other issues to identify the company related to the ad.

    For example, a company like annheiser busch where you may have seen a great ad, but couldn’t recall the correct spelling and wouldn’t take the amount of time playing with the direct url entry when you could simply perform a quick search and let google etc show the correct spelling with corresponding url. Or acronym combinations where AA can mean american airlines or alcoholics anonymous or the abbreviation for Alcoa. I’m simply trying to find a better way to create rules for appropriately crediting any ad that in fact led to conversion though it may have needed search to accomplish that end. Help!!!!

    Comment by steve terrell — September 8, 2011 @ 6:26 pm

    • You are right, steve. This is exactly why attribution is a hard to deal with problem. There is a recent article discussed an approach for solving attribution problem It does not address your issue here. I think you already layout a way to prove the value of display: if you can prove display increase branded search VOLUME, then you can calculate the indirect contribution of display, i.e.the assist value of display.

      Comment by Huayin Wang — September 9, 2011 @ 6:53 pm

  3. Huayin –
    I am glad you brought this topic up again. I would add another reference to Akerloff’s study: the philosophical essay ‘On Bullshit’ by Harry Frankfurt
    He claims that “…bullshit is a greater enemy of the truth than lies are”, which I completely agree with.
    In practce, I think that BS misleads, intentionally, or unintentially, resulting in waste of time, money, resourcces and reputation.

    Comment by Vladimir Lukin — October 24, 2011 @ 5:23 pm

    • Sorry – misspelled George Akerlof’s name 😦

      Comment by Vladimir Lukin — October 24, 2011 @ 5:32 pm

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