Bits and Bytes for September 17, 2004

Amazon Gets Viral With A9 Promotion is pushing its new search engine through a viral promotion involving its e-commerce Web site and reportedly involving email.

Visitors to A9 who subsequently turn up on see a special version of the Amazon logo that has followed by a mathematical symbol — the pi sign divided by 2, followed by a percent sign. Users who mouse over the mysterious symbol see a notification that says “A9 instant reward on.” Clicking on that results in a pop-up window.

“[User name], since you’ve been using recently, virtually everything at is automatically an additional π/2% (1.57%) off for you,” the pop-up says. The company goes on to encourage users to tell their friends about the discount, saying, “We don’t advertise this additional discount that we give in exchange for using, so if you want your friends to know about it, please tell them.”

Amazon’s targeting the promotion to people who have used A9 — early technology adopters who will presumably be intrigued by the mathematical puzzle involved. The company is using the discount to encourage users to use as their regular search engine, and sign in to use the advanced personalization features. Thus far, the meme does appear to be spreading, with several prominent blogs pointing to the discount.

inGamePartners Debuts Online In-Game Ad Server

Online gaming ad company inGamePartners has developed ad serving technology for use in online games, console-based games, and the mobile market.

The company, which represents online gaming networks PHXX and GriffinRun, says its server can deliver branded advertising, sponsorship, loyalty, and reward programs, original vignettes, entire custom-branded game environments, and lead generation opportunities. InGamePartners also says its solution boasts real-time tracking and robust reporting capabilities.

“Functionality aside,” said CEO Darren Herman, “I wanted my tech team to develop an ad server so robust and so flexible that other companies would want to license and deploy it under their own labels. The surest sign of success is when others claim it as their own.”

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