Bad Fucking Move. Thanks for trying to kill social media, and jack up the whole internet though. Couldn’t have done it better if I’d tried.
See, it’s oft thought that I have much love for the Big Wiki. However, I don’t. On many levels it goes more for the love of the concept of it. The concept that people could come together, share their knowledge on any given subject and the general consensus of whatever the topic is… is pretty much just that. It’s not an authority. It’s not the be all and end all, in-depth view of whatever. It’s much more of a gauge. A social gauge of opinion on something.
Let’s look at it like this:
Imagine 5000 reviews of 1 movie. You won’t read them all I guarantee it. But if all 5000 reviews could be rolled into 1 cohesive review.. then you would get the general sense of what the public opinion was of this. You would understand a bit of the history of the film, it’s players, it’s background, if it did well in the box office or whether it’s widely considered a joke. This culmination of opinions presented as fact is just about what every individual on the net is going for. It’s what the multi-billion dollar industries known as Google and Yahoo strive for every day. It, regardless of what what people say Web 1, 2, 3, 4, or 20-POINT-OH, stands for is really what it boils down to: People coming together and sharing of themselves.
It’s the struggle of humanity, personified on the web, and brought to you by decent, yet antiquated open source software. But whoa be to thee who is in charge of moderating humanity! Seriously, what a fucking jip being a moderator there must be. It’s like being a leased out whore of a god who considers himself ruler of it all, only to find out that there are countless other gods who are just as unaccountable and just as likely to flunk their junior year of high school if they “don’t stop screwing around and ‘get down to business, young man.” Seriously. What a racket.
Having this knowledge and knowing that you are reading this likely means that you’ve sought (in one form or another) to exploit the system. Welcome to the club. It’s humanity, remember. Any attempt not to force your opinion on someone else would lead you to not posting shite on the interwebs in the first place. So to you selfless folks I say: You are too noble.. go away now.
For the 99% of you still reading, pay attention.
Yesterday Wikipedia rolled out this:
Any URL on Wikipedia that points to a location other than it’s own site is now followed with the SEO’s evil stepchild, the rel=”nofollow” attribute. Meaning the Big Wiki won’t help bring any relevancy to your site in the eyes of the search engines.
I get it. I really do. From the viewpoint of 10,000 sixteen year-olds, the vantage point could be no clearer. People try to exploit the system. The devil tries to get into heaven. Rick Santorum tries to get elected again. I know it’s hard to moderate a wiki, ’cause I do it myself. But this is a move that creates a rift in the spirit of giving and getting that is supposed to be represented by the very essence of it all. In the eyes of a search engine, say Google, where relevancy and followed links allow the order of the interwebs to fall into a hierarchy, it places unequal weight on the back of a social media giant.
Lets say you work your ass off in a certain industry. For shits and giggles we’ll say it’s the world of web marketing. Let’s say, after years of labor, you get a heads up and you see something new. Let’s say you name it. Maybe you even name it: “Social Media Optimization”. You sit down, coin the phrase, explain your reasoning and come up with maybe, what.. 5 rules for this new frontier?
The next day, the Wikipedia contributors append the details of Social Media Optimization (your discovery, nomenclature, and set of rules) to a Wikipedia page on the subject. They do give your site props as a reference but search engines will never see that ascription or find any relevancy of what you’ve done through the Big Wiki because of the rel=”nofollow” attribute.
Since the Big Wiki enjoys a higher level of trust (hello Pagerank!), the Google will show the Wikipedia SMO page higher than yours in the SERP’s because the search engine spiders don’t know that the content on that page is actually based on yours. What? You don’t believe me? Now you get potentially far less traffic on your work than Wikipedia does and the weight of the internet shifts. The balance gets all out of whack. And something that is supposed to build on the backs of everyone to give to everyone evenly suddenly becomes the leech of the net, giving back less than what you put into it.
Penalizing the whole for the actions of the few. One step forward and two steps back.