June 13, 2007

The Britannica Blog Learns to Link-Bait

I should write about Google and log retention, but as long as I haven't quit entirely yet, the following is too good to a traffic-magnet to let pass. It seems the Britannica Blog is having a link-baiting party, I mean a "Web 2.0 forum". As Karen Schneider reported, in terms of strategy:

... elevating Gorman to the level of expert pundit on anything related to the Web suggests that Britannica isn't seeking the intelligent exchange of ideas, but is looking to build its Technorati rankings through the now-tiresome back-and-forth of Gorman-says-X, now-we-disprove-it; I am sure Britannica is now busy finding people to "respond" to their manufactured controversy, like one of those episodes on afternoon TV shows I see at the gym where after the wife tells all, the dazed cuckold is brought onto stage to stammer his chagrin.

But, but, Karen, that's the blog way. The name of the game in this brave new net world is GET ATTENTION!. The louder, the more obnoxious, the most bombastic - the better.

So many paradoxes: is the Britannica Blog hypocritically disproving its own assertions, in terms of flaming for scholarliness? Or is it cleverly outhyping the hypesters, by using the knee-jerkiness of the attention-mongers for a kind of judo-maneuvering viral publicity, pushing the buttons of the blogger mindset so as to get its ideas spread much further than otherwise? Does the (Encyclopedia) Devil cite scripture for its own purpose?

One of the posts seems to be proposing a mass movement against demagoguery, a collective response for individuality.

Before anyone suggests I should try to get in on the action, note it probably wouldn't be good idea for me to make myself such a large target. It wouldn't help anything, and the inevitable attacks would be a severe personal negative.

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in cyberblather | on June 13, 2007 11:56 PM (Infothought permalink)
Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog (Wikipedia, Google, censorware, and an inside view of net-politics) - Syndicate site (subscribe, RSS)

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Like the concept of FUD, "link-bait" seems to be the charge thrown at any response-generating post that the thrower disagrees with... ;-)

I think Gorman's article, and Nick Carr's response are very worthy of attention.

Posted by: SpragueD at June 16, 2007 01:05 PM

It's not just that there was a post - it's the whole promotional aspect of the event, see the announcement which is reproduced in Karen's first post.

Not that that's a bad thing. But is it an example of co-option, or of beating the opposition at their own game?

Posted by: Seth Finkelstein at June 16, 2007 01:34 PM