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Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Another Waffles Google Bomb Update

Esoteric Diatribe

The Wired story from yesterday brought in about 300 hits and led to a new article today in The Mercury News. It's neat that the Waffles Campaign is still getting ink. This new article, `Waffles' brings up Kerry site in prank, was decent enough, I suppose. Once again this effort is deemed a prank. Instead of being labeled a "prankster", as in the USA Today Article, this time I am being labeled a "computer geek on a mission." Hrm... I'm being called a computer geek by a guy who writes exclusively for the Silicon Valley crowd: I'm not sure whether I should be offended or honored. =p

Overall I think this is an interesting article. I did notice two minor errors, though:
1) A Google search of 'waffles' has led to Kerry for over a month, not only since last Thursday.
2) The article seemed to imply it was more difficult to get to #1 on Yahoo than Google. We were #1 on Yahoo in like 10 or 11 days. It is the easiest search engine to text-link-bomb, which is why Oliver Willis and his cronies had any success linking to the Bush campaign.

I was finally able to get the "Google Bombing is a potential National Security Threat" argument into print in the Mercury News Article. To put that argument into better context, consider my statements in the comments section a while back:
So why, you might ask, would I participate in a Google Bomb? Simply to raise awareness. I knew sites like Jew Watch were starting to learn to exploit the search engines. There are also sites not as objectionable that are also skewing search results... Agenda sites against the war in Iraq, reporting absolute falsities, and thereby swaying public opinion against a very important war that America must win if we are ever to be secure in the future... America's enemies can just as easily text link as Americans can... and If Al Quada wanted a cheap, effective, propaganda campaign, all they need to do is make a few blatantly false websites sown with enough seeds of truth so as to create a few perfect lies, and then Google bomb them to the top of the searches on terms dealing with the middle east. Viola, a free propaganda campaign that already appeals to half of the Americans in this country... and it can top off the most powerful search engine in the world (a source America's youth so readily jumps to for scholastic research or just to learn about what is going on in the world) This is such a troubling thought... I don't enjoy discussing it at all, but it is a real problem and it could be going on even as we speak.
So if you read the article and wondered where I was coming from with that statement, hopefully that will help. Read more about this in Cyber Warfare.

On a completely unrelated note, I received some flattering email suggesting I add a tip jar to the site or try to sell Esoteric * Diatribe Merchandise. I'd thought about doing this when I learned that USA Today was going to write an article about the Waffles Campaign. I'd decided against it at the time, in part because I didn't have enough time to put anything together and in part because I noticed how gaudy it looked on other sites when people would try to sell stuff or solicit donations. Hearing that (some) people think my site is worthy of a tip jar and that others might want an Esoteric * Diatribe T-Shirt, or Kerry Waffles Bumber Sticker made me reconsider. I will try out links to Amazon and Cafe Press for a few weeks. If it turns out that people want to buy Esoteric * Gear, then I will keep them up. If no-one shows any interest, I will take them down... but I do think the Bumper Stickers and Raw Deal Tote Bags/T-Shirts could catch on.

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