Kicks Condor

#spam

I use three main tags on this blog:

  • hypertext: linking, the Web, the future of it all.

  • garage: art and creation, tinkering, zines and books, kind of a junk drawer - sorry!

  • elementary: schooling for young kids.

08 Apr 2019

Reply: Not Google’s Fault

revvx

It’s not Google’s fault this time.

The problem is that Blogspam is now a (legitimate) industry much bigger than Google can manage.

Google Search became a playground for marketing firms to dump content made by low-paid freelancers with algorithmically chosen keywords, links and headers. It’s SEO on large scale. Everything is monitored via analytics and automatically posted to Wordpress. Every time Google tweaks its algorithm to catch it, they’re able to A-B test and then change thousands of texts all at once.

Personal blogs can’t even dream about competing with that.

In fact, those companies are actively competing with personal blogs by themselves: via tools like SEMRush and social media monitoring, they know which blogs are trending and use their tools to produce copycat content re-written by freelancers and powered by their SEO machine.

I know a startup that is churning 10 thousand blogposts per day on clients blogs, each costing from 2 to 5 dollars for a freelancer to write according to algorithmically defined parameters.

Just wait until they get posts written via OpenAI-style machine learning: the quality will be even lower.

Not only that: there’s no need for black hat SEO anymore. Blogposts from random clients have links to others clients blogs, and it is algorithmically generated in order to maximize views and satisfy Google’s algorithm. They have a gigantic pool of seemingly unconnected blogs to link to, so why not use it.

The irony is that companies buy this kind of blogspam to skip paying AdSense. Why pay when you can get organic search results? So not only they’re damaging the usefulness of the SERP, they’re directly eating Google’s bottom line. These blogs also have ZERO paid advertising inside them, since they’re advertising themselves.

That’s the reason Bing, DuckDuckGo and Yandex still have “old web” results.

That puts Google in a very difficult position and IMO they’re not wrong to fight it.

Well, I disagree. (Though I think your record of things is correct!) Certainly if you look at this as a bot war then Google’s actions make sense: we need our bots to outsmart the ‘bots’ (human bots even!) that are writing blogs.

But look at it another way: you have lots of humans writing - and it’s all of varying quality. Why not let the humans decide what’s good? The early Web was curated by humans, who kept directories, Smart.com ‘expert’ pages, websites and blogrolls that tried to show where quality could be found. Google’s bot war (and the idea that Google is the sole authority on quality) eliminated these valuable resources as collateral damage.

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25 Jul 2018

Reply: Feeds and Gardens

Kathleen Fitzpatrick

One of the things about the early community of academic bloggers that I’m so nostalgic for (nostalgic enough that I should know to be a little self-critical here) is that it was pretty small, and so could be pretty intentional. And even so, problems arose. Maintaining the care exercised in a known community while remaining open to other voices and inputs is an issue that the next wave of distributed but interconnected communication platforms are going to need to face head-on.

Well, I think this is why I really like Webmentions as an expression of intention. In order to send one, you need to have your own blog. And you need to link back to the post. (AND, technically, you need your post laid out with microformats!)

This acts as a kind of wall around the garden. It acts like a gate. If you’ve got the code, you can get in. But likely you’re going to move on. There are just so many other places to harass and cause mischief on the web today. (Contrast with the massive silo gardens—if you are a member, you have all access to everyone there.)

I think a great benefit of social media could be that it provides an outlet for the masses so that careful enclaves can still be formed on the open web. I mean, look, there will always be bad actors in a group—groups seem to have a half-life where they grow too big and destabilize, the birth of a whole new era of drama and rage.

As for discovery, I think every blog needs a list of links to other blogs in their community. It’s like your friend list, but can be so much better than that. I want to read what you’re thinking, but I also want to know where else the discussion is happening.

Webrings are opaque; I can’t see where I’m headed. But a link list (blogroll, whatever) is like a gift.

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11 Jul 2018

PLUNDER THE ARCHIVES

This page is also at kickscofbk2xcp5g.onion and on hyper:// and ipns://.

MOVING ALONG LET'S SEE MY FAVORITE PLACES I NO LONGER LINK TO ANYTHING THATS VERY FAMOUS

glitchyowl, the future of 'people'.

jack & tals, hipster bait oracles.

maya.land, MAYA DOT LAND.

hypertext 2020 pals: h0p3 level 99 madman + ᛝ ᛝ ᛝ — lucid highly classified scribbles + consummate waifuist chameleon.

yesterweblings: sadness, snufkin, sprite, tonicfunk, siiiimon, shiloh.

surfpals: dang, robin sloan, marijn, nadia eghbal, elliott dot computer, laurel schwulst, subpixel.space (toby), things by j, gyford, also joe jenett (of linkport), brad enslen (of indieseek).

fond friends: jacky.wtf, fogknife, eli, tiv.today, j.greg, box vox, whimsy.space, caesar naples.

constantly: nathalie lawhead, 'web curios' AND waxy

indieweb: .xyz, c.rwr, boffosocko.

nostalgia: geocities.institute, bad cmd, ~jonbell.

true hackers: ccc.de, fffff.at, voja antonić, cnlohr, esoteric.codes.

chips: zeptobars, scargill, 41j.

neil c. "some..."

the world or cate le bon you pick.

all my other links are now at href.cool.