It’s not a mistake that I was writing about practical communication earlier this morning, because on the Internet there are different rules if you’re concerned about traffic to your content.
There’s all manner of Search Engine Optimization stuff, from linking to similar content to being linked to from similar content, to using words and phrases commonly searched for… to… well, SEO is not as easy as it once was.
Writing with SEO in mind is not an easy task if one wants to have readable content. Sure, people might end up staring at your content because you’re a wizard at marketing your content through SEO and other means, but it doesn’t mean your content is actually useful. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried researching something and falling into what I call ‘ambiguity traps’.
For example, yesterday I was trying to figure out how to set the default volume on a Windows 10 machine when it boots so I don’t have to always turn down the sound. That got me finding things about everything but what I was searching for, and after interrogating a few search engines that gave me results about the drive volume instead of the sound volume, I realized that Microsoft didn’t seem to have the capability I was looking for.
A useful piece of content might have been, “Nope. You’re out of luck. You can’t do that.”. Of course, there’s the outside chance that there’s some secret setting hidden somewhere in the registry that makes it all possible, but I do not feel the need to sacrifice a farm animal and do the hokey pokey.
Generally speaking, on the Internet, it’s not as much about being useful as it is driving traffic to get advertising impressions. A few sites actually care about the content, and those sites aren’t commercial sites unless they’re hidden behind a paywall, which means their content likely doesn’t get indexed by the search engine bots.
And that’s what Web 2.0 gave us from the technological tropism. It doesn’t end there.
If you haven’t seen the BewareOfImages.com documentary (2016), just follow the link or click the image above to go see it. It’s 2 hours and 40 minutes long, but worth the watch so go grab a beverage and snacks when you do.
Somewhere during all of this, opinions gained traction over news, and then we got into fake news. If you watch the BewareOfImages documentary, you’ll see that this isn’t all that new either. It seems like a recurring theme.
All of this, quite possibly, makes it into the large language models that are so hyped right now.
What could possibly go wrong? In the broad strokes, that’s what some of us are worried about.
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