Women and Communication
Women have been the indexers and organizers of human life for, literally, ages. Google is attempting to mimic the natural process of organizing and accessing information about what we do, what we want, based on a more natural model that takes social relationships and context into account. Real attempts at tapping the structure of the semantic web are probably integral steps in the creation of it. It is all very heady stuff and we are not yet up to the task knowing what we are doing.
But… women have already changed the web just by creating content with mommy blogs, social networks, e-commerce, and Pinterest, Instagram and on and on. We first teachers of human language are uniquely positioned to consciously take advantage of creating content for the web and providing gateways to it because we have already been doing something like that since before the dawn of civilization.
Of course savvy men can do the very same thing, and if they do take process building into account as well as product manufacture, they could also be successful.
Get your nuance on women! Escalate your quality content creation, create what you know, and do it well, it is the content Google wants. We are the change we have been waiting for. I think women are uniquely well positioned to take advantage of core data within the ever evolving web – what web gurus call the semantic web, the ever more nuanced and context sensitive search algorithms.
Women understand context and know how to balance competing priorities. Women understand that comments are actually conversations. Women also know when someone is trying to hose them. Women create the daily stories that accumulate into culture change. The semantic web is attempting to recreate the way we humans understand things. Women are experts at this.
For at least the last several tens of thousands of years women have raised up new generations of humanity to prioritize sustenance, dangers, and recreation. A critical mass of women are now using the web to organize and orchestrate their daily lives. Women have been creating blogs, networks, and bazaars and markets via the web for the last decade in a way that used to be done via the telephone or in person at a community gathering point such as a church, or market. Daily life has come to the internet. Who better to create and utilize daily life through the web than the women who have always tended to daily life, through the nuanced interplay of education, shopping, cooking, cleaning, budgeting, care-giving, record keeping, clothing, shelter, family and community communication.
Basic Google History
Google rose to prominence and finally dominated the market a couple of years into the new millennium. Checking your page rank on Google became as common place for individuals with web pages as checking the number of hits your website received. Almost immediately search engine “professionals” emerged from the primordial info slime and the 21st Century’s first group of snake oil sales persons integrated themselves in amongst the few real SEO professionals. Lots of people who pass themselves off as experts are con artists, but most SEO sellers are just well-intentioned people who do not know as much as they think they know. Real SEO requires staying on top of what are essentially trade secrets – the proprietary algorithms that are used to fuel web search.
What are called link farms and content farms were some of the major problems for the search engine companies. Link farming attempted to create higher rank or search page result listings by trading or selling links that would increase a site’s supposed credibility or authority as at one time incoming links were treated as valid reflections of the authority and influence of the site. Linking just to increase links inflated the number of links while decreasing the worth of a link.
Search engines, such as Google, began to do battle with link farms mid-decade into the ’00s. Link farming slowly withered as search engines began to cut the weight links had in search, and content was declared king. Then sites had to have content or articles or blog posts to rank highly in search results. Content rather than links then began to be farmed, or more accurately ranched, as major content farms used two main strategies to produce content for sites that would fake out the search engines.
One type of farm hired individuals to write lots of stuff for very little money, so the quality was not that great, but the quantity of the content was enough to feed lots of sites, many actually used regurgitated content. The content farms then sold to sites so that the sites would have lots of fiber for the search engines to digest.
Another type of farm hired people to write posts and articles that seeded keywords at just the right frequency in pieces that did not even have to make much sense. This was done because keywords are used in meta tags and should be reflected in the content that the meta-tags describe. This was the juncture at which content became confused with key words.
Now we entered a new focus phase for search engines. I like to think that while content could still be king, the power behind the thrown has been recognized, and she is queen in all of her contextual glory. It is good to be the queen, in the Mary Englebreit sense of the word., because all those cherries and patterns, color, attitude and relationships are what matter in the process of getting the searcher connected to the information he or she wants. Social authority is the new buzzword for search. To rank well in the brave new world of search you need have quality content and that translates, according to the word on the street, to often updated, non-keyword seeded content that is accessed by important people.
The “important people” aspect of the new search is reflects the increasing awareness of the heavy hitting nature of social media. The recommendations of people you trust, as measured by your info stream and whether you actually interact with them is the “new” and secret ingredient of Google search.
High Level Similarities
Some folks, such as the women who started the BlogHer network, Lisa, Elise, and Jory, were paying attention long before Google began to pay attention and these savvy women had launched conferences and networks based on a feminized understanding of information in the digital age. Sites that foreshadowed the coming changes, which some people are only now “getting,” and all the concomitant changes to search that have resulted reflect what I like to think of as the feminization of the internet.
Rephrasing this, Google, as a search engine company, tries to outmaneuver scam artists whose sole purpose in life is to get you to look at stuff in which you have absolutely no interest. Deceptive ads, promises of free prizes, and manipulation of search engine results are three of the most common ways such “marketers” do this. This practice gives real marketers who work to deliver a good product a bad name, but be that as it may, everyone does want your attention on the web. So while some of us may be expressing concern as we mull privacy problems, at the very same time, some things Google is doing are very much in our interest as women, household managers, content creators, and savvy private and public consumers of information. Google appears to be using relationships and networks (of both creators and consumers) in the algorithms that determine what the authority is of individual chunks of information on the web. And women are the mavens of communication and relationship networks.
Women understand context and know how to balance competing priorities. Women understand that comments are actually conversations. Women also know when someone is trying to hose them. Women create the daily stories that build most our culture. The semantic web is attempting to recreate the way we humans understand things. Women are experts at this.
Deciding to work together to build a globally linked, and interactive, organic network to store and access a cumulative wisdom of generations so that new challenges can be met by new generations is just the sort of new intelligence that a Gaia -concept system would have her children build.
Day 7, Letter G, April A to Z Blogging Challenge