A few days ago, while at work, there was a fairly interesting programme on CBC Radio One that discussed Collective Intelligence.
CBC Radio One is the only station I can listen to since the radio's dial is broken (I can pick up a music station if I stand up and raise both my arms in the air, but that gets tiring after a while). It is mostly dull and boring (just like any Crown Corporation should be), and unless you enjoy listening to gardening tips or how birds sound, the conversations are usually so dry you could mop up spills with them.
Anyway, Collective Intelligence is a term that refers to things that the majority of humanity will know, a common knowledge, not their actual brain power.
For example, almost everybody would (or should) know who Von Braun was and what he did. Where the nation of Iraq is in the world. That toast will always fall on the buttered side. How when you search for something on the Internet, the best search engine to use is Google.
Interestingly enough, during the show, they also interviewed the creator of the Google search engine who described how they were able to witness this Collective Intelligence at work due to the spikes in searches they would receive.
By spike he would mean the similar type of searches people would perform at any given time due to an event that affected all these users indirectly from each other. When you consider that Google serves some 150 million users a day, you can see how these spikes are significant.
Here at CoN I've had the pleasure to witness our own version of these spikes, or collective intelligence, though the term "intelligence" seems to be completely inappropriate in our case.
After Google spidered our new site for the first time, I started to notice several patterns of what people (all unaware of each other) looked for that brought them to CoN. Some of the results, especially the sheer number of them, significantly reduced my hope that humanity wasn't all that bad and that maybe, maybe we could still be saved.
While sometimes it is puzzling to see what combination of words have somehow managed to bring a rather disturbed person on our site (much less the fact that we do have those combinations of words), it would seem that the majority of the searches performed by people who land on our site are rather monotonous. I can assure you that if I was to look at the web logs right now, they wouldn't be any different as to those of a week ago.
So without much further ado, here is the top ten search queries that lands people on CoN:
Nasty. a very common search item. You can see why people would arrive on our site. I?m unsure as to what people expect to see when they search for that, but I gather they are mighty disappointed judging by the duration of their stay on CoN.
If there is a drug problem in this world, it must be crack. The type of queries we get range from how to make the pipe, sex with crack, how to smoke it, how to obtain it, the list goes on. It's pretty scary that an article written as a joke about crack not only is one of the most sought in the entire magazine, but also causes people to openly admit how they smoke and love their addiction.
Someone who was under the impression that there was a problem with marijuana, should take a good look at the number of visits the article about it has: hardly any. Either the so-called War on Drugs is working or the various drug enforcement agencies are barking up the wrong tree.
Eminem. In an article about Shaft, there happened to be two words. One was "address", the other "Eminem". Despite this, the article was about Shaft. One could argue that technically it still is.
This caused some clueless AOL user to land there and seeing as how there was absolutely no reference of Eminem there, posted a comment asking with a tone of desperation for the singer's contact info. This stimulated other fans to write their pleas as well. Not just a handful -- ARMIES OF THEM.
Comment after comment, whether public or sent to the editors, about Eminem's where-abouts, his phone number, his address, about his mommy, including queries for photos of his genitals. People were so obsessed that some went as far as leaving their name, address, e-mail address and phone number.
All it took was those two words and search engines immediately popped us up on their list whenever you looked for Mr. Shady's address.
Anime'. Not just anime' per se. We're talking the uttermost form of perverted desires, such as naked Sailor Moons being raped by tentacles and other things I can't repeat without risk of attracting more of these folks.
I should point out that the majority of those that take a rather defensive stance about my verbal abuse of anime are the same ones that land on my article looking for anime+girl+raped+tied.
Shit eating.Yes this lands people on CoN as well. The actual article was a review of Scream 3, but a search engine isn't going to care whether the page is really about one's passion for a scatological appetite or if it's an honest and down to earth review of a movie.
Jury duty. Or how to get out of it. If these results are any indication, it means that an average of ten to twenty people a day receive Jury Duty letters. Crime in the United States must be rampant. The American judicial system must be working over time for the many, many letters it must be sending to people to be possible jurors. If a search that lands people on CoN isn't about eating shit, raping anime' girls, Eminem or assorted pedophilia, you can rest assured it's about getting out of jury duty.
Ugly breasts. This lands people on an article titled just that way that has absolutely nothing at to do with breasts -- ugly or not. But believe me, if you want to draw attention to an important matter, those two words are a magical attraction and should be made part of any webpage you really want people to visit.
Stories of men wearing lingerie. These range from female underwear down to the whole apparel. I'm not sure what to make of these. I notice that many, many a people look for this and somehow this lands them on CoN.
Large, juicy cocks. Especially if they are from daddy. There is this disturbing pattern of little boys being forced to stare at (or worse, suck) daddy's power tool. Queries that range from "I saw daddy's cock" to "I sucked daddy's cock" to the traumatic "no daddy no your cock is so big". So far, on what we call "The Cock Count", AOL users are well in the lead. I bet they even have a keyword for this on AOL: cockdaddy.
Naked Olsen Twins. A disturbingly popular query which is a little more ?precise? then those folks simply looking for your average, everyday material appreciated by thousands of pedophiles everywhere. Why would anyone want to see two girls that resemble two pink, shaved chimps is debatable. On the bright side, it would seem that their popularity in the search engines is decreasing. At least until their next "Mary-Kate and Ashley in Action!"
All I can do now is sit back and wait for Google to spider this article. I can assure you that in a few weeks, this will be among the most visited. Chances are, the majority of those visits landing here will be from the twisted, the demented and the perverted.
And AOL users.