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Lonely, Lonely Bloggers Don’t Despair

Lonely, Lonely Bloggers Don’t Despair

I’ll own up to this fact: I subscribe to the New Yorker for the comics.  Looky here:

blogging with no comments

Need I say more?

Maybe it’s funny b/c I’m a social media junkie… and here’s proof of that:

The funniest thing about this is that blog comments are almost extinct. That’s mostly good — but there is a downside. Either way, this comic is out of touch or this was drawn 3 years ago!

Mostly Good

The conversations that are happening in response to an article or sentiment are happening in the social channels — and that can be either through sharing or through social plugins. This is way better for content — content wants to get bounced around and go viral.

The Bad

What’s great about the time when all comments happened at the foot of a blog is that search engines had an easy time delivering to you great search results from the comments of blogs — they used to be a treasure trove of nuanced thinking branching off from the h1 tag– but now, comments are scattered, splintered and strewn about the (social) universe wily nilly.

I think Googlebot is probably panting like an old dog by the time it gets back to its house.

Last comment: it’s quite possible that a “follow” is the most salient and compact participatory event in the content space. Is it a comment? Dunno. Is it an affirmation? Sure thing! And, of course, dare I say: it’s desperate to be monetized.

Ok, it’s late and there are more questions pouring into my head than answers. Here’s a biggie: it seems like blogs are going to be extinct — lead by a fleeing of the comments (and feedback). But how can blogging really go extinct — we desperately need longer-form writing!


PageRank Should Be Demoted–And Why Google Search Is Broken Until It Is

Part 1

If I search for “The New Pornographers” I AM LOOKING FOR The New Pornographers’ website!

But instead of delivering me to it Google serves me this: Wikipedia, MySpace, three YouTube videos, Matador Records,–then

Strange. Not intuitive. But not a huge inconvenience either, but there’s no mystery around what I’m searching for–so why does Google serve me a few 3rd party sites first?

Perhaps they’re smarter than me, and with all the data at their fingertips they know most folks who search for “the new pornographers” end up at Wikipedia?


Part 2

Today I searched for “panico’s cape may”–a great Italian joint in Cape May, NJ. Here’s what I got from Google: Yelp, Tripadvisor, Restaurant Passion, Google Maps, Urbanspoon, JerseyMenus… the restaurant’s website ( isn’t even on page 1!

How could that be?

So, here’s what I think is happening: PageRank’s importance is faulty–or, more specifically, Google’s reliance on it is. It just shouldn’t matter how many inlinks there when there’s an instance of clear intention in the search query. I’m not sure Google is dynamically applying PageRank: when search query is focused/sharp > demote it; when it’s muddled > rely on it.

Perhaps my intuition about what natural language search scientists should be able to do with my queries is grandiose.

Let’s see if this changes with an upcoming update.