Monday, October 12, 2009

Fortune Cookie Advertising has hit on a unique (at least to me) way to advertise some of their genealogy databases.

Go to Unfortunate Cookie ( and see what I mean. Here are some screen shots:

1) The home page --

2) Clicking on the image opens the fortune cookie which has a message inside:

In this instance, the message said "Love of money leads to your exile and disgrace."

3) I clicked on the "See more" link and saw:

A news article from one of the newspaper databases on opens, and the reader can see a part of the article. To see more, the user must click on the link to

4) The user can "Share this cookie" by clicking on the link - and sees a selection of social networking sites (3 screens worth):

What do you think about this? It seems harmless for users. The "fortunes" seem to be tailored to the news article or advertisement. At worst, it is a time waster. It may bring more subscribers to because casual researchers may see it, use it and go to and subscribe to it.

Some enterprising genealogy-oriented computer whiz could really do some interesting things with this concept, couldn't they?

For the record, I saw this promoted on Twitter by user who claims that they are harmless and fun.
UPDATED 7 p.m. John wrote that the URL was wrong - drat! Sorry! Corrected it.


John said...

The URL is actually

M. Diane Rogers said...

You don't think and are both part of Footnote? (On MySpace, the Footnote star is right on the cookie. It looks a little more obvious than the advertising banner on the cookie website.)
Cute gimmick. From the tweets and the bit of info on Myspace, etc., I'd say someone is trying to promote Footnote to teachers and schools. Kids would be attracted to the history cookies for a bit anyway.