What? A Provoking NYTBR piece?
An interesting essay by Steven Johnson in the NYTBR this Sunday about the power of internet keyword driven culture to shape and define the very meanings of our language. Although I find his premise that the average blogger or webbie could possibly compete with big money companies for "ownership" of such words as "liberal", "sex", "blackjack" or "cheap Canadian meds" (his choices) very unlikely. Small market words or phrases such as his "Raymond Williams" are certainly within the determined blogger's capabilities to own and define. His notion that search engines like Google quantify the number of links to a particular site and therefore rank them accordingly is correct, however, the number of links required to unseat the top searches for the above keywords is mind-boggling and I'd guess, an impossibility. Search engines like Google use many, many constantly morphing parameters, not the number of links, to determine the best, most popular pages. The only parameters that don't change are money and corporate status, which the average blogger does not have.