Who Is that “Pop-Up Lady”?

You go to the Stratford homepage.

A bar rolls across the bottom of the screen, and suddenly a brown-haired woman in a conservative black dress pops up across the screen.

“Welcome to our website!  I notice this is your first visit here.”

The woman then asks you to take a short survey.

The anonymous woman has established herself as part of the routine when logging onto the Stratford website.

The “pop-up lady,” as Director of Technology Mike McCue calls her, was put on the website to “entice people to take a survey” about how they found the Stratford website.

McCue said the survey was created by NextAd Agency, a branch of CGI Communications.  The company sends monthly reports to the school about the survey data.

Director of Institutional Advancement Kathleen Medlin said that the pop-up lady was part of a packaged deal and came at minimal cost.

Medlin also added that the survey sent back annual reports on how visitors found the website, how the user was referred to the website, and where Stratford is listed on the internet.

Most students reflexively close the survey, often cutting off the pop-up lady in mid-sentence and ignoring the survey.

“She’s annoying, annoying, annoying, and doesn’t stop popping up,” freshman Mark Barrow said.  “I don’t see a purpose for her.”

But the unknown actress does have some fans.

Ms. Nancy Todd said that she’s “nice, sweet, and good looking, and also gives Stratford a great reputation for being an excellent school.”

McCue, who spoke fondly of the woman’s “mellifluous voice,” also noted that she “stays away when told.

Unless of course you clear your browser history, in which case you should expect another encounter with the persistent pop-up.