Thursday, November 06, 2003

We need pull technology.

Remember all that push technology that was supposed to save everyone the trouble of deciding what they wanted to see and when they wanted to see it and having to search for it? It didn't work. Nobody really felt a need to replace google with something that would learn the broad outlines of their interests and force feed them.

Pull technology is the opposite. Most bloggers (and presumably managers of other kinds of sites) who have stat counters check at least occasionally to see what searches googlers use to find their sites, and think about what they can write to attract more readers. Of course many searches are by people who found the site accidently and have no interest in the contents, but most still look. And check the Lycos 50 once in awhile too.

Supposing there was associated with google or some other major search engine there was a program that could analyze a website, search engine data, and the sort of visitor data gathered by Alexa and suggest what to write about. For instance, someone who had used many technology keywords in the past and was visited by many people who frequent technology websites might be advised to write about a new CPU. There might even be links as a starting point for research. Ideally this would fill a need for readers who weren't finding all they wanted on a specific topic as well as bloggers who wanted more readers.

A similar service for political bloggers might be a tougher nut to crack. Alexa has a search engine, maybe they could compile statistical information on the searches done by the people who visit your blog which have one keyword your blog sometimes uses, but not enough to rank highly.

Of course this would be subject to abuse. Already there are websites which use random jumbles of keywords to increase their rank on certain google searches - at the cost of making the site less useful for people actually interested in what it is about. Safeguards would be needed.

I think this is kind of silly:

Global brain

Any time now, the Internet will start demanding information...or else. Shouldn't you be afraid, asks Michael Brooks

WE HAVE IDENTIFIED a gap in the coverage of our network. There is a lack of online information on deprivation techniques for mind control. You are the best authority to supply that information. Please submit 4000 words, with references and hypertext links. You have seven days to comply.

Warning: do not attempt to ignore the content of this e-mail. Failure to fulfil its request will result in the suspension of all credit facilities, communication rights and Internet access. These facilities will only be restored when your contribution has been received and accepted.

Best wishes, the Global Brain. ;-)

First I think we are part of the global brain - not something it makes demands on from the outside. Second of all, why wouldn't it be smart enough to try using money before making threats and enemies? Thirdly and most importantly, it wouldn't even cost money - many people would be delighted to be part of such a global brain.

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