[-empyre-] introducing Anne Helmond and Kazys Varnelis

Anne Helmond anne.helmond at gmail.com
Fri Oct 16 01:12:57 EST 2009

I think that when one is creating content in a networked environment
one is consciously or unconsciously aware of the networked properties
of the environment. Simon previously mentioned born digital content
and I would consider the networked book as born digital networked
content. Texts produced for and by the network have their own medium
specific properties. For example, they will be indexed by default by
search engines. This raises the questions to what extent or whether we
are writing for search engines? In the blogosphere it can be seen that
bloggers are increasingly blogging for search engines, in the case of
search engine optimization. We adjust the title, the abstract, our
tags and categories with search engines in mind. SEO is often
associated with making money or commercialization of the blogosphere
but it is a matter of production and distribution that matters if you
want to be found. Not only being found but also controlling how you
are displayed. If your texts are automatically indexed and possibly
syndicated to other parts of the network it is important to have a
sense of control of how your texts are displayed. Steven Johnson
describes this shift in producing content in an interesting article in
the Wall Street Journal about ‘How the E-Book Will Change the Way We
Read and Write.’ In the the part titled ‘Writing for Google’ Johnson
describes how the e-book is entangled in web relations with search

    Writers and publishers will begin to think about how individual
pages or chapters might rank in Google’s results, crafting sections
explicitly in the hopes that they will draw in that steady stream of
search visitors. [...] Perhaps entire books written with search
engines in mind. (Johnson, 2009)

I don't think it's a matter of perhaps. With the advent of RSS web
content is increasinly syndicating itself and the indexing fetish of
the search engines make the cycle complete.


On Mon, Oct 12, 2009 at 6:30 AM, Anna Munster <a.munster at unsw.edu.au> wrote:
> Anne, thanks for extending the question of networked writing into the question of search engines and the 'creatiion'  of content with your comment below:
> < Previous networked writing experiences on for example http://mastersofmedia.hum.uva.nl/ showed the major role search engines play in creating networked content.>
> Could you say a little bit more about how that might (or might not) happen in a book project such as Networked or were you mainly thinking about the blogosphere? Perhaps even to give us a little more insight into how this worked in the class/project you linked to in the above comment. I'd like to hear your answer to this before moving into the specific 'content' of your own chapter in Networked as I have a feeling the two issues are linked...
> anna

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