Friday, March 25, 2011

The Link is not the link - the Choice of words is the link

In an article here - entitled, "Tending the Web 2.0 Garden: WebSquared, Popsicle Sticks and Glue", I talked about a need for a greater "human signature" on the "Where" "Automata "content Web 2.0 is creating through the emerging "always on", or smart phone technology that produces gobs of data that describe place, direction, temperature, speed, orientation (up/down/sideways) etc. . I was worried that all this automated data would drown out the personal, the human qualities of the web that act as a mirror for human civilization and called on developers to step back from the leading edge of new media capabilities, and as best we can, bring to new content production the old media tools, "pen and paper, the cassette player/recorder, popsicle sticks and glue".

It occurs to me today that people are starting to use one of the 'old' systems of the web to enable a "Spirit Commons" cornerstone of the web as operating system - they are personalizing the emerging web by using the good ol' Search Engine in a new way.

Not too many of us are aware of it yet, but I've seen several examples of this lately - a article quoted, but no link attached. Is it laziness? Or another example of someone lagging behind the technology, a Hack still in ignorance of the capabilities of the technology? Or just shoddy journalism? There's a lot of that around these days - I am not sure, but the places I've seen this are usually places where the proper practice of the art of journalism is practiced (like; so it has lead me to the following idea:

Search engines have reduced the need to use the link tag 'href' - the tag that allows an author to high-light text and attach a web address to it; so a reader can click on it and look at the document the author is referencing (see example below).

If an author uses an exact quote, A Search Engine will find the document quoted.

If the writer chooses the exact title of another writers article - the reader simply highlights the quoted phrase and runs it in search. The search engine will then find that page with out knowing the HTTP address, but by using the words, in the order high-lighted.

So it is the human selection of words in a piece of creative writing that is linked, not the HTTP address.

A bit of the "Spirit Commons" enabled by new media technology.



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