Today we have special guests at newthinking. Everything started with an e-mail that reached me last friday:
Why research yourself, if we would do the job for you for free? To celebrate the new MSN search engine, we want to give you a personal searching-expert for one day who looks up everything you are looking for.
The searching-experts have a laptop with vendor’s tray, spare batteries, an UMTS-card with wich they can access the internet from wherever (billing takes place on our account and are therefore flexible enough to use the search-engine everywhere. So you can place them comfortably on any free seat in
your office and will receive your personal search-results via mail directly from the search-expert. If you are interested in this free service, please send me the answer-fax below or a short email. I would be pleased about some feedback. Kind regards.
Of course I couldn’t say no and immediately sent out a fax in order to accept the offer for the free software press agency. As there was no reply by wednesday, I called them to ask if the fax had arrived. Of course not, or better: they explained the fax had been probably lost. But certainly the offer would still stand and they would be pleased to send us their look-uppers. Then we first thought about what to ask them, as we didn’t expect anybody with linux-experience or technical know-how. After a short brainstorm the following tasks came out:
1) Which Agencies work for Microsoft in the single EU countries and in Brussels in the public affairs – resort?
2) Which former politicians from EU countries are now working for Microsoft in the public affairs / lobby / public administration resorts?
3) Are there numbers how much money Microsoft spends in public affairs in europe per year?
4) How many employees does microsoft have in the public affairs / lobbying – resort in Brussels and in Germany and what are their names?
The’re really coming!
About 14:20 two people really arrived with full MSN promo-outfit and with own notebooks. We first briefed them on their task and gave them something to drink. Of course they got nervous when confronted with the task, our team was quite amused and we started to make some fotos.
At the moment the two are sitting nervously in our meeting-room and probably asking themselves how to get out of this situation. And we are of course waiting for the amazing search-results you can get with MSN search and are prepared to be surprised. I’ll post the results later, if the two haven’t disappeared yet. Just now some hectic telephoning is starting, they are probably talking to their agency about the situation.
(Please note the „Free Software“ on the glass wall just above the MSN-Logo. They are sitting in the middle of the first free software store. )
Update: They’ve left!
Just now the two left our office very quickly with the following excuse:
„Our search wasn’t successfull. We assume that the data is suppressed by the MSN website. On the other hand it is very difficult in general to get to this data. And sure, we know too that it wasn’t in the sense of microsoft to be here.“
What does that tell us? MSN obviously isn’t all too great for research, but it was worth a test.
P.S: The poor students just doing their promo-job had our sympathy from the beginning. Probably the agency couldn´t find our website on MSN…
Thanks to Julian Finn for the fast translation!