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<nettime> Re: Google's Weapons of Mass Destruction
nettime's_cache on Mon, 7 Jul 2003 00:08:57 +0200 (CEST)


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<nettime> Re: Google's Weapons of Mass Destruction


Re: <nettime> Google's Weapons of Mass Destruction
     Amy Alexander <plagiari {AT} plagiarist.org>
     Keith Sanborn <mrzero {AT} panix.com>

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Date: Sun, 6 Jul 2003 05:47:22 -0700 (PDT)
From: Amy Alexander <plagiari {AT} plagiarist.org>
Subject: Re: <nettime> Google's Weapons of Mass Destruction

i'm not sure the search engine is actually detourned in this case... 
it seems unlikely that the guy planned to achieve the #1 ranking for that 
searchterm and thus become the result of the "i'm feeling lucky" button...
seems more likely to me that he just put the page up as a joke (and 
possible moneymaker) without considering it as a google intervention 
or even much of a political statement... 
 
beyond that, i'm sort of debating whether i think google mucked with the 
results to make that one come out on top... on the one hand i guess with 
all its blog links it *could* have achieved the highest pagerank... on the 
other hand, it's convenient PR for google, and fits in with their 
"fun-loving" corporate image (like the "elmer fudd" language 
translations, etc... )  whether they also get some kickback from amazon 
i'm not sure.. :-) ... but, when i first saw the site, i actually thought 
it was a google plant at first, before learning it was an individual's site... 


On Sun, 6 Jul 2003, Keith Sanborn wrote:

> But this is an interesting case where the search engine is detourned, but
> then the politics are recuperated by a commercial impulse. Usually, they

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Date: Sun, 6 Jul 2003 11:26:37 -0400
From: Keith Sanborn <mrzero {AT} panix.com>
Subject: Re: <nettime> Google's Weapons of Mass Destruction (fwd)

Dear Amy:

It's an interesting point and one inquiring minds would like to know 
the answer to: how do you achieve number one ranking on Google; it's 
also one many people very clever people have been paid to think 
about. We've all seen the junkmail offering to shoot our website to 
the top of the search engine rankings.

Even with a phrase as commonly distributed through-out the net as is 
"weapons of mass destructive" it should theoretically be possible to 
achieve such status, more or less by plan. Previously, metatags were 
a big part of the picture. Perhaps, this was a calculated strategy 
which exploits the influence of bloggers. Given google's own 
corporate interest in blogging, this is not beyond the realm of 
possibility.

It's like engineering the number one hit single, an A&R man's wet 
dream. Hence the manipulation ("detournement" "recuperation" 
"manipulation" "appropriation to one's own uses") may still be a 
factor. But to take the bloggers by storm to the point that they 
could tilt the result to send him to the top of the charts is not so 
predictable I think. If this guy has his finger on the pulse of 
blogculture to that point, he'll be getting a lot of phone calls from 
corporate types and will be able to charge astronomical sums as a 
consultant, or if he can even create that perception, or if that 
perception exists, whether planned, or not. Shit, he'll be getting 
calls from the democratic and republican parties. Appearing at the 
top of the Google list could replace the "Letterman effect."

I agree with your characterization of Google and it is not 
impossible. It would certainly be interesting to know whether this 
was engineered behind the scenes to "succeed." It does certainly 
focus more attention on Google and in this case that is translatable 
into profits. However, if it did happen and word got out, it would 
immediately discredit them. One wonders why they'd risk so much when 
they're already at the top of the heap of search engines themselves. 
But then they didn't get there by not taking risks and by not 
innovating in information culture.

Keith

>---------- Forwarded message ----------
>Date: Sun, 6 Jul 2003 05:47:22 -0700 (PDT)
>From: Amy Alexander <plagiari {AT} plagiarist.org>
>To: nettime-l {AT} bbs.thing.net
>Subject: Re: <nettime> Google's Weapons of Mass Destruction
>
>i'm not sure the search engine is actually detourned in this case...
>it seems unlikely that the guy planned to achieve the #1 ranking for that
 <...>

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