Oh Self-Correcting Blogosphere…

04/05/2003

I’m going to be playing catch-up for a while here – picking up on things that I would have written about except I took a holiday (never again). First things first, let’s have a gander at this article: Anti-war slogan coined, repurposed and Googlewashed… in 42 days (on ‘The Second Superpower’). This is an extraordinary piece of work that manages to merge legitimate concerns with some of the most neurotically paranoid reasoning I’ve ever seen. The argument is simple – the phrase “The Second Superpower” originally referred to “World Public Opinion”, but because someone subsequently wrote some politically castrated techno-utopian article with the same name (and said article got taken up by some ‘significant’ webloggers) if you now do a search on Google for the term, you find no trace of the original meaning. All that remains is the knock-off.

The article seems to ascribe this change to a kind of weird A-list cabal of webloggers. This is true in that a certain group of people who are much-linked-to have linked to the article in question – that’s reputation-based rankings operating to save us from people writing “The Second Superpower” three-hundred times in their meta tags. Unfortunately it’s also rubbish in the sense that – as a vast conjoined semi-self correcting connected network of webloggers exists – all it takes is one Register article (picked up in turn by other webloggers) for this problem to self-correct. People get so tense nowadays… And about so very little… In the meantime, let’s all raise a glass to you, oh gloriously self-correcting blogosphere…

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