Man Clicks on Banner Advert 9 Years ago. Still Clicking Today.

A New York man was discovered in his apartment yesterday after being presuming missing for the last 9 years. Billy Temple was found sat at his terminal, unwashed and malnourished, with his hand gripping tightly his computer mouse and his finger metronomically clicking away.

Shoe

Shoe

It turned out that nine years ago Billy conducted a search on Altavista for a pair of size 10 Timberland boots. He clicked on a seemingly relevant flashing banner on top of the search results which directed him to a Geocities page also covered in adverts. Not finding a way of buying his boots, he continued to click on the ads in the desperate hope that one day he’d find an online shoe retailer with his size in stock.

Pop-ups then lead to parked domains with spyware being installed on his machine and toolbars hijacking his home page. On his journey  over the years, he encountered pop-unders, overlays, the rise of Google AdSense, and useless shopping comparison sites.  He clicked a linear path from ad to page to ad to page, never getting closer to finding his shoe, never closer to an end.  He ignored family, friends and his own health, as his sole purpose became to finally click on a relevant advert which would bring him together with the shoe he originally wanted.

Industry experts estimate that he contributed to around $1m of direct ad revenue for website owners and spammers over the years and unwittingly kept several zany start-ups afloat during the 2001 and 2008 internet bubbles.

While medical experts have requested to take Mr Temple into care, Google and Microsoft have pooled funds and bought Billy and his home. He will remain in his chair wearing a Google branded T-shirt and continue to click endlessly in a bid to prop up both companies 2009 revenue numbers.

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