Navigating in a Sea of Ambiguity
Link Love vs. Tags, and how we find content that brings Value, Context and Relevance
I miss the old days of blogging and link love too, Tony. When was it? 2008 — 2011? Ages, in internet years.
Tracking great content and great writers are the huge unsolved questions for me. Links will always be important. But is proliferation here to stay? Or does the problem “turn a corner” because of a platform like Medium?
I worry most about finding each other, and keeping track, once we do. On the open sea of content called the internet, it’s easy to lose our way.
With consistent and expanded use of hashtags to establish context, there’s hope. With accurate tags, both human and algorithmic searchers will continue to have improved prospects for finding relevant content. Medium and Instagram are far more hashtag focused than say Twitter or Wordpress, so content creators on the newer platforms should benefit. Sure you can tag on the older platforms too, but for many it’s an afterthought, and searchability suffers.
How many of us are skilled at indexing? It’s a talent once mastered by librarians (remember those?) and honed by taxonomists (ok, what are those?) but I think it’s a gap. The ability to accurately tag our own posts and topically search posts of others is lost on most. I doubt it’s being taught in senior-year English. Getting smarter with Google searches can help. But knowing how your own content may be relevant, and importantly, relevant to whom, is not a given. Many writers will leave the hard work of inference, context setting, and knowledge building to their readers. As long as writers shrug off tagging, the problem proliferation and the deepening ocean of content will tend to drown our best work in the shifting tides of ambiguity.
Sure, I’d be a fan of link love coming back.
I just don’t know if we can count on it.
State your context. Declare you’re relevance. Why not get smarter about getting noticed by the people you care about?