Gates Guns and iPods

I’ve been spending more time on the blog lately. I’ve come to accept that regardless of how many people read my posts at the very least the bad writing is therapeutic. It keeps a part of my brain alive and that can’t be a bad thing.

Updating the blog theme, templates, and reviewing old posts for dead links, etc. has been a chore. It takes quite a bit of time to do that. Each morning and a few hours each weekend I do a little at a time. It’s tedious but also fun.

I’ve been looking over my Google analytics too. LAN isn’t a hotbed of web traffic. My one visitor checks in every so often and I like to see what type of content he or she is reading. So imagine my amazement when my few visitors each day went to over 100.

Actually, around the time of the Newtown shooting my blog traffic skyrocketed. The page pulling all this traffic was a post written in 2007 about losing my digital licenses to Napster tracks called “Mixin’ Disaster“. It’s a sarcastic post blaming Bill Gates for my loss of digital rights to 100s of Windows Media files.

As you’ll see in the post I used a picture of Bill Gates holding a gun to an iPod. This was his infamous declaration of war on Apple over MP3 players that never really materialized. Guess Gates turned out to be more of a lover than a fighter.

Oddly enough my post with Gates doesn’t appear in web searches. The picture however is #1 in the image search.

Keywords used to find my site in less than a month went from phrases using “Auburn” and “Beat Bama” to “Bill Gates Gun and iPod”.  I wasn’t able to confirm any valid search trend related to those searches using Google’s Keyword Tool. However a Google search did explain the anomaly.

It turns out an excerpt from the book “Dumbing Down our Kids” by educator Charles Sykes started circulating online once again.  You may remember these “Rules Kids Won’t Learn in School” were falsely attributed to Gates years ago. In December various bloggers suggested the “Gates speech” somehow influenced the Newtown event.

100s of people found my site through this picture being indexed in search. I’m guessing 1000s more conducted related searches. Searches conducted on rumor and unchecked facts on other blogs no doubt.

I’ll be honest, I mostly avoided the Newtown story and the aftermath. Read into that what you will. I just felt sorrow for those families and didn’t’ want to reward the media coverage with my participation. So I don’t see how Bill Gates or the failure of our school system have anything to do with a nut job hell bent on creating terror.

What do these searches really tell us about the state of digital media today? What does it say about the people that conducted these searches, that they would be searching for Gates with a gun after a tragedy? What does it say about the state of Internet search in general? And how the hell can my posts about barbecue NOT show in search results but this obscure meaningless post from 2007 can?

I don’t know the answers to those questions. I only know what my next blog update will be this weekend: I’ll be hooking in my Google AdSense account so I can earn a couple of bucks the next time 100s of Internet truth seekers hit a five year old piece of content.

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2 Responses to Gates Guns and iPods

  1. MS January 5, 2013 at 3:20 pm #

    I used those search terms but it had nothing to do with Newtown. I just saw the photo on Facebook, accompanied by the supposed speech. I knew the speech was fake so I went looking to see if the photo was too.

  2. Tom January 5, 2013 at 3:27 pm #

    Thanks for the comment. Newtown may be completely coincidental. I can’t recall where I picked up the photo.

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