March 24, 2003
Blogfish or Perish - the finest unread news source I write - is of course not alien to the requirements of the media. They are unavoidable. Scans of my referrer logs reveal the strangest porn searches - searches for which I crop up as the umpteenth possible link - are still generating hits. And of course the default style sheet of moveable type looks positively ugly when the text doesn flow ad infinitum down the screen. That must be the blog version of dead air.

I think I've posted this before - but let me just briefly remind you that the sculptor Hein Heinsen has developed a beautiful response to the constantly escaliting attention grabbing nature of the culture of ideas, namely to produce only very few of them. In fact he tries entirely to avoid ideas - making only hard to define constantly shifting sculptures meant to be simple being as opposed to being about. A beautiful sentiment - even if it is a complete failure inasmuch as he is doing this in a museum as a proxy for actual being outside the museum, and in that respect merely being about being instead of being being (all with me sofar?)
As a darwinistic strategy for the attention or idea economy (same thing) that clearly sucks - which of course is why we don't see it much in the media. The people getting your attention are most definitely trying to do so.
This observation about the media is also the first warning against believing in the 1-1 society promised to us by the cluetrain people. Attention and networks constructed from it just don't work that way.
An indication of how skewed the world of attention is can be found in the beforementioned referrer logs. Basically the demand curve for information is so incredibly skewed that I get as many hits from being at the absolute periphery of some of the big ideas (like porn) as I get from being at the center of whatever is really about.
In fact it might be worthwhile to write down the math of search according to some decent model of site popularity distribution and search term occurence statistics. If the demand curve for information was flat I would all my hits from searches where my site was basically the single most important match (as evidenced by the surrender monkeys incident). If the curve was skewed excessively compared to 'supply curve' of page indexes, then mismatches from failed searches should outrank the relevant matches.
The end result is probably a slight skew towards relevancy, indicating that the web is more polarized than the demand statistic.

This seat of the pants math may be all wrong (it's late) but it should be good fun to examine this in more detail.

Posted by Claus at March 24, 2003 11:38 PM
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