Thursday, August 21, 2008

Geotarding, past and present

Yeah, I'm still catching up on some old stuff.

Steven Hodson:

[On August 13] I wrote a post expressing my more than mild irritation at bloggers who insist in embedding the Hulu player in their posts. My point was that while this might be really cool for readers of the blog who life in the US for the rest of the world it was enough of a turn off to skip right on past – not even taking time to read what might actually have been a great post. Needless to say the response to the post was quite varied but interesting enough that I want to take a look at this whole geotarding thing.

Geotarding? I hadn't heard this exact term before. Luckily, Hodson anticipated my puzzled look.

For those not familar with the term geotard is one of those made up words that the Internet is famous for coming up with. In essence the word and it’s meaning can be broken down down like this:

* geo – geographical area
* tard – a...stupid idea

(Hodson was a bit crankier when he described the suffix.)

While Hodson is Canadian, and thus is offended when we Americans forget about half of the Internet world, we should remember that these same restrictions bite Americans also. Want to see Olympic events live? If you live on the West Coast of the United States, there are few if any live Olympic events on your TV.

Hodson concludes:

I can understand why services are geotarded but that doesn’t mean it is right or that we should support services that are geotarded. By using them we for all intents and purposes are telling these companies that it is okay to cut off a large portion of your potential customer base.

However, geotarding is not new to the Internet. We've been geotarding all the time.

Down here in southern California, Disney geotards:

Now through January 2, 2007, Southern California residents may enjoy both theme parks in one day for one great price! This 1-Day Resident PARK HOPPER® ticket is valid for both DISNEYLAND® Park and DISNEY'S CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE® Park on the same day.

Southern California residents may purchase up to eight 1-Day Resident Park Hopper tickets per day with proof of Southern California residency (driver's license, utility bill, etc.; Zip codes 90000 through 93599) or Baja California residency (ZIP codes 21000-22999).

The American Legion geotards:

Eligible participants in The American Legion National High School Oratorical Contest shall be citizens of or lawful permanent residents of the United States.

All contestants must be bona fide students herein described as any student under the age of twenty (20) on the date of the National Contest who is presently enrolled in a high school or junior high school (public, parochial, military, private or state accredited home school) in which the curriculum of said high school is considered to be of high school level, commencing with grade nine (9) and terminating with grade twelve (12).

That's geotarding, agetarding, and schooltarding, all in one. The Legionnaires apparently have Tardiness Disease.

So what do you do if you're a 21 year old Legionnaire living in San Francisco, watching as Mexicans get into Disneyland at a reduced rate, and kids who can't orate get into a contest even though you orate better than them?

Let's face it, you're going to get someone mad no matter what you do. Let's say, for example, that you follow Hodson's advice and stop posting Hulu stuff, and then opt to post YouTube stuff instead. Well, you've just gotten me mad, because I can't view YouTube videos on my older cell phone. (The fact that I can't view any embedded videos on my older cell phone is beside the point.)

And if you really want to go back, take a look at the Americans in the 1760s, during which Parliament was making decisions about us, and we didn't have any voice in choosing members of Parliament. (Again, the fact that most English people themselves didn't have any voice in choosing members of Parliament is beside the point.)

So, if I may be poorly poetic:

Do what you wanna do
It's okay if you wanna Hulu
Or if you don't that's OK too

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