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Are you a sucker?

8 secrets writers use to trick the smartest readers into reading their shittiest writing, backed by psychology and scienti-logical awesomeness.

Hello, dear reader.

Are you being made for a sucker on the interwebs? Do you find yourself clicking on random links only to be let down by crappy content?

If you find yourself nodding, it is OK. Many of the smartest readers have been tricked, time and time again, into reading junk.

Here is why. People think that on the web, content is king. This is B.S.

The headline used for the content is king.

The headline is an ad for any particular piece of content. This ad is placed all over front pages, within content aggregators, and within your various social feeds.

A cleverly created headline creates an irresistible urge to click.

They want your clicks. And by they, I mean the writers on the internet.

Your clicks drive page views, which drive ad impressions or sales, which means money!

To get your clicks, writers have devised many crafty techniques to sucker you into clicking on their stuff.

Want to know how they do it?

Here are 8 secrets that the best writers use to trick the smartest readers into clicking.. and clicking.. and clicking… and clicking…

1. Explain something.

The best headlines tap into an emotion.

Articles that begin with ‘why’ or ‘how to’ tap into a pretty good one:curiosity.

Don’t you want to know why or how something works?

OK, you might know.

But even if you do, is there something in the article that you don’t know?

Click and read the article!

2. Ask a question.

A good question creates an sense of curiosity.

A great question taps into your fears; usually the fear of loss, or the fear of missing out.

The widespread use of questions has lead to a well-known principle known as Betteridge’s law of headlines, Davis’ Law, or just the Journalistic Principle: “Any headline which ends in a question mark can be answered with the word no”.*

So next time, go ahead and ask yourself the question.

Is the answer no?

Maybe you don’t need to read the article.

3. Add a number.

You love lists. Writers love lists. Everyone loves lists!

Lists are easy to read, they are bounded, and they provide a sense of organization.

It gets better for writers. Lists let you write without requiring a cohesive point. Just collect several random points, and write them down with numbers next to them!

Sound easy to write? Yes, sir. We’ve got a good one going right here.

4. Overreach.

Have you noticed that many articles don’t just guarantee interesting information?

No, they guarantee success. They guarantee all of their dreams… and then some.

Writers know that if you are going to sell something, you might as well make it a strong sell. People won’t realize what’s up until after the sell anyways.

Next time, don’t be a sucker. Recognize.

5. Be negative.

Another good way to tap into emotions is to be negative. There are many ways to be excessively negative. The easiest way is to just add a swear word into a headline.

Want proof that negativity works? Just check out the trolls on any internet forum.

Writers use the same troll tricks. Don’t feed them.

6. Add unnecessary adjectives and qualifiers.

There are all kinds of ways that writers use unnecessary adjectives and qualifiers.

They add adjectives like ‘smart’ or ‘stupid’. The word ‘smart’ will get you reading to figure out why you are so smart. The word ‘stupid’ will get you reading to figure out why you aren’t stupid.

Do you see that trick? It works either way!

And there is more.

They may also use extra qualifiers tell you what to think or do. Have you seen headlines with “things you need to know” or “you must read” randomly in the title? It is because once they tell you to, you magically will want to.

Beyond that, any word that increases curiosity is good. For example, ‘secret’ is good. Once you read it, you have to know the secret.

7. Invoke authority.

People trust authority. Even if the writer isn’t an authority, someone is.

Now, this authority could be a person. It is easy to name drop a famous CEO, actor, rock star, celebrity, or any other big figure. This can work pretty well.

But there is better. We have a higher authority: SCIENCE.

Have you seen all those articles these days which are “backed by science”? Or “backed by psychology”? Writers do this because it works really well.

The infamous Milgram experiments have shown how susceptible people are to authority figures. That includes the authority invoked within headlines. Once you see the authority, it is trusted, and the content in the article must be legit.

Tread carefully when you see this.

Sometimes this is something interesting there. Other times, you will just see a crappy quote, graph, or citation. Or even worse, you may only get a link to a Wikipedia article about science.

8. Combine these tricks together.

All of the tricks work. And they work even better together.

That’s it folks.

Now you know.

Next time you read a headline, make sure nothing fishy is going on.

You can stop being this guy:

And start being this guy:

Your turn.

Do you know any other dirty secrets used to write catchy headlines?

Make the world a better place and share them in the comments!

 

 

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Statistics and IT Go Together Like Movies and Popcorn

Certain things in life are made for each other: cheese and tomato, movies and popcorn, rainy days and hot chocolate, and … statistics and IT. Imagine being a statistician with no computer programmes or fancy software to help you organise and make sense of all the data around you. Imagine being surrounded by reams of paper and having to create graphs and charts by hand. Oh yes, IT is a boon to statistical analysis.

Statistics combines scientific and mathematical principles to collect, analyse and interpret data. They also devise data collection methods to ensure that the information is collected in a quantifiable manner. If you’re not highly focused and don’t possess Vulcan-like logic then you should probably consider another career.

Becoming a statistician

It should go without saying that you need to have taken maths and science throughout your school career. Statistics is not a field that you spontaneously leap into after years of home economics, history and geography, but if you’re the kind of person prone to spur of the moment gut decisions then, once again, statistics might not be for you.

So, you need maths and science – with good grades – and then degree. Not just any old degree will do. A bachelor’s degree in maths or science is a good starting point, but then you need to up the stakes and get your master’s degree and, if you can, a PhD. Statistics is one of those fields where a PhD will stand you in good stead, rather than simply being an interesting way to occupy five years of your life.

Your degree programme should incorporate maths (particularly calculus and linear algebra, according to printonereview.com) and statistics (of course), computer science, probability, logic and even psychology. You’ll also need to fully understand all forms of research methodology and be able to define terms such as Chi-squared test, analysis of variance, mean square weighted deviation, and Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient.

It’s important to note that just because you’re going to be neck deep in numbers doesn’t mean you can’t combine your statistical skills with other subjects. Statisticians are required in a wide range of fields, including biology (biostatistics), economics (econometrics), geography (geostatistics), business (business analytics), psychology (psychometrics), health (epidemiology) and reliability engineering – Wikipedia.

One of the reasons why IT is so important to statisticians is that they rely heavily on software that helps them arrange, access and assimilate information. Software can draw on numbers and run complicated calculations based on even more complicated formulas to generate charts, graphs and tables that help statisticians analyse data and reach logical conclusions. These programmes also detect minor errors that might otherwise have been missed.

Some statisticians also find that they have to tweak existing software or write their own programmes so they can run the tests and formulas they require.

IT is a boon to statistical analysis indeed.

Sandy Cosser writes on behalf of Now Learning, which promotes online IT courses and an assortment of other degree programmes in Australia.

 

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The Internet’s Basic Premise

The advent of the internet was couched in the dissemination of information and to the widespread availability of the same. That it has morphed into a commercial tool, is but a side effect. However, this effect of the commercialization and the channel for marketing that is unprecedented has not diminished the value of the interned but instead enhanced it. The value of commerce has been combined with the expansion of information and that is exactly how search engines have viewed it.

The key to being top on search engines is to have content that provide copious amounts of information to users. To be successful it is a must to share knowledge with others and this act also has tremendous benefit.

As case in point, a dentist’s website should hold information that relates to tooth aches and remedies as well as tooth, dental and oral care. This then satisfies the intent of the internet which is to be a medium of sharing information. As an example when searching for any information, the page that usually comes out on top is something from Wikipedia. Wikipedia is the very embodiment of what the internet was meant to accomplish; the sharing of information. Wikipedia is designed to share knowledge by people who have it to people who are in search of it. Every website, especially a dentist’s, should take this cue form Wikipedia.

Knowledge Base

 

When a concept for any site is drawn up, especially a professional site like a dental practice, it should be noted that volumes of information pertaining to all things oral and dental should be planned in a way that is easily categorizable and searchable.

A person who has a symptom would first like to understand what it is so searching for symptoms should be directed to the information page. Once a rudimentary understanding of the symptom is accomplished, a person begins to have faith in the site and recommendations for dental practices in the area to alleviate the symptom or eliminate the root of the problem can be suggested.

Recommendations

Remember that when you understand and utilize the spreading of useful information you are participating in basic premise and foundation of the internet. It is indeed why the internet has attracted literally billions of people to it.

As life grows increasingly complex there will only be greater need for relevant and useful information. When people search for and are  in need of the information about what you offer you will stand a greater chance to get their attention and gain their trust when you can provide the best possible information you are capable of developing.

Your author is Elliot Pearson, he enjoys writing and editing Dentist Identity, who provides dental website services and dental seo marketing for dentists worldwide.

 

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Google: Bing Is Cheating, Copying Our Search Results

by 

Google has run a sting operation that it says proves Bing has been watching what people search for on Google, the sites they select from Google’s results, then uses that information to improve Bing’s own search listings. Bing doesn’t deny this.

As a result of the apparent monitoring, Bing’s relevancy is potentially improving (or getting worse) on the back of Google’s own work. Google likens it to the digital equivalent of Bing leaning over during an exam and copying off of Google’s test.

“I’ve spent my career in pursuit of a good search engine,” says Amit Singhal, a Google Fellow who oversees the search engine’s ranking algorithm. “I’ve got no problem with a competitor developing an innovative algorithm. But copying is not innovation, in my book.”

Bing doesn’t deny Google’s claim. Indeed, the statement that Stefan Weitz, director of Microsoft’s Bing search engine, emailed me yesterday as I worked on this article seems to confirm the allegation:

As you might imagine, we use multiple signals and approaches when we think about ranking, but like the rest of the players in this industry, we’re not going to go deep and detailed in how we do it. Clearly, the overarching goal is to do a better job determining the intent of the search, so we can guess at the best and most relevant answer to a given query.

Opt-in programs like the [Bing] toolbar help us with clickstream data, one of many input signals we and other search engines use to help rank sites. This “Google experiment” seems like a hack to confuse and manipulate some of these signals.

Later today, I’ll likely have a more detailed response from Bing. Microsoft wanted to talk further after a search event it is hosting today. More about that event, and how I came to be reporting on Google’s findings just before it began, comes at the end of this story. But first, here’s how Google’s investigation unfolded.

Postscript: Bing: Why Google’s Wrong In Its Accusations is the follow-up story from talking with Bing. Please be sure to read it after this. You’ll also find another link to it at the end of this article.

Hey, Does This Seem Odd To You?

Around late May of last year, Google told me it began noticing that Bing seemed to be doing exceptionally well at returning the same sites that Google would list, when someone would enter unusual misspellings.

For example, consider a search for torsoraphy, which causes Google to return this:

In the example above, Google’s searched for the correct spelling — tarsorrhaphy — even though torsoraphy was entered. Notice the top listing for the corrected spelling is a page about the medical procedure at Wikipedia.

Over at Bing, the misspelling is NOT corrected — but somehow, Bing manages to list the same Wikipedia page at the top of its results as Google does for its corrected spelling results:

Got it? Despite the word being misspelled — and the misspelling not being corrected — Bing still manages to get the right page from Wikipedia at the top of its results, one of four total pages it finds from across the web. How did it do that?

It’s a point of pride to Google that it believes it has the best spelling correction system of any search engine. Google even claims that it can even correct misspellings that have never been searched on before. Engineers on the spelling correction team closely watch to see if they’re besting competitors on unusual terms.

So when misspellings on Bing for unusual words — such as above — started generating the same results as with Google, red flags went up among the engineers.

Google: Is Bing Copying Us?

More red flags went up in October 2010, when Google told me it noticed a marked rise in two key competitive metrics. Across a wide range of searches, Bing was showing a much greater overlap with Google’s top 10 results than in preceding months. In addition, there was an increase in the percentage of times both Google and Bing listed exactly the same page in the number one spot.

By no means did Bing have exactly the same search results as Google. There were plenty of queries where the listings had major differences. However, the increases were indicative that Bing had made some change to its search algorithm which was causing its results to be more Google-like.

Now Google began to strongly suspect that Bing might be somehow copying its results, in particular by watching what people were searching for at Google. There didn’t seem to be any other way it could be coming up with such similar matches to Google, especially in cases where spelling corrections were happening.

Google thought Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser was part of the equation. Somehow, IE users might have been sending back data of what they were doing on Google to Bing. In particular, Google told me it suspected either the Suggested Sites feature in IE or the Bing toolbar might be doing this.

To Sting A Bing

To verify its suspicions, Google set up a sting operation. For the first time in its history, Google crafted one-time code that would allow it to manually rank a page for a certain term (code that will soon be removed, as described further below). It then created about 100 of what it calls “synthetic” searches, queries that few people, if anyone, would ever enter into Google.

These searches returned no matches on Google or Bing — or a tiny number of poor quality matches, in a few cases — before the experiment went live. With the code enabled, Google placed a honeypot page to show up at the top of each synthetic search.

The only reason these pages appeared on Google was because Google forced them to be there. There was nothing that made them naturally relevant for these searches. If they started to appeared at Bing after Google, that would mean that Bing took Google’s bait and copied its results.

This all happened in December. When the experiment was ready, about 20 Google engineers were told to run the test queries from laptops at home, using Internet Explorer, with Suggested Sites and the Bing Toolbar both enabled. They were also told to click on the top results. They started on December 17. By December 31, some of the results started appearing on Bing.

Here’s an example, which is still working as I write this, hiybbprqag at Google:

and the same exact match at Bing:

Here’s another, for mbzrxpgjys at Google:

and the same match at Bing:

Here’s one more, this time for indoswiftjobinproduction, at Google:

And at Bing:

To be clear, before the test began, these queries found either nothing or a few poor quality results on Google or Bing. Then Google made a manual change, so that a specific page would appear at the top of these searches, even though the site had nothing to do with the search. Two weeks after that, some of these pages began to appear on Bing for these searches.

It strongly suggests that Bing was copying Google’s results, by watching what some people do at Google via Internet Explorer.

The Google Ranking Signal

Only a small number of the test searches produced this result, about 7 to 9 (depending on when exactly Google checked) out of the 100. Google says it doesn’t know why they didn’t all work, but even having a few appear was enough to convince the company that Bing was copying its results.

As I wrote earlier, Bing is far from identical to Google for many queries. This suggests that even if Bing is using search activity at Google to improve its results, that’s only one of many signals being considered.

Search engines all have ranking algorithms that use various signals to determine which pages should come first. What words are used on the page? How many links point at that page? How important are those links estimated to be? What words appear in the links pointing at the page? How important is the web site estimated to be? These are just some of the signals that both Bing and Google use.

Google’s test suggests that when Bing has many of the traditional signals, as is likely for popular search topics, it relies mostly on those. But in cases where Bing has fewer trustworthy signals, such as “long tail” searches that bring up fewer matches, then Bing might lean more on how Google ranks pages for those searches.

In cases where there are no signals other than how Google ranks things, such as with the synthetic queries that Google tested, then the Google “signal” may come through much more.

Do Users Know (Or Care)?

Do Internet Explorer users know that they might be helping Bing in the way Google alleges? Technically, yes — as best I can tell. Explicitly, absolutely not.

Internet Explorer makes clear (to those who bother to read its privacy policy) that by default, it’s going to capture some of your browsing data, unless you switch certain features off. It may also gather more data if you enable some features.

Suggested Sites

Suggested Sites is one of likely ways that Bing may have been gathering information about what’s happening on Google. This is a feature (shown to the right) that suggests other sites to visit, based on the site you’re viewing.

Microsoft does disclose that Suggested Sites collects information about sites you visit. From the privacy policy:

When Suggested Sites is turned on, theaddresses of websites you visit are sent to Microsoft, together with standard computer information.

To help protect your privacy, the information is encrypted when sent to Microsoft. Information associated with the web address, such as search terms or data you entered in forms might be included.

For example, if you visited the Microsoft.com search website at http://search.microsoft.com and entered “Seattle” as the search term, the full address http://search.microsoft.com/results.aspx?q=Seattle&qsc0=0&FORM=QBMH1&mkt=en-US will be sent.

I’ve bolded the key parts. What you’re searching on gets sent to Microsoft. Even though the example provided involves a search on Microsoft.com, the policy doesn’t prevent any search — including those at Google — from being sent back.

It makes sense that the Suggested Sites feature needs to report the URL you’re viewing back to Microsoft. Otherwise, it doesn’t know what page to show you suggestions for. The Google Toolbar does the same thing, tells Google what page you’re viewing, if you have the PageRank feature enabled.

But to monitor what you’re clicking on in search results? There’s no reason I can see for Suggested Sites to do that — if it indeed does. But even if it does log clicks, Microsoft may feel that this is “standard computer information” that the policy allows to be collected.

The Bing Bar

There’s also the Bing Bar — a Bing toolbar — that Microsoft encourages people to install separately from Internet Explorer (IE may come with it pre-installed through some partner deals. When you install the toolbar, by default it is set to collect information to “improve” your experience, as you can see:

The install page highlights some of what will be collected and how it will be used:

“improve your online experience with personalized content by allowing us to collectadditional information about your system configuration, the searches you do, websites you visit, and how you use our software. We will also use this information to help improve our products and services.”

Again, I’ve bolded the key parts. The Learn More page about the data the Bing Bar collects ironically says less than what’s directly on the install page.

It’s hard to argue that gathering information about what people search for at Google isn’t covered. Technically, there’s nothing misleading — even if Bing, for obvious reasons, isn’t making it explicit that to improve its search results, it might look at what Bing Bar users search for at Google and click on there.

What About The Google Toolbar & Chrome?

Google has its own Google Toolbar, as well as its Chrome browser. So I asked Google. Does it do the same type of monitoring that it believes Bing does, to improve Google’s search results?

“Absolutely not. The PageRank feature sends back URLs, but we’ve never used those URLs or data to put any results on Google’s results page. We do not do that, and we will not do that,” said Singhal.

Actually, Google has previously said that the toolbar does play a role in ranking. Google uses toolbar data in part to measure site speed — and site speed was a ranking signal that Google began using last year.

Instead, Singhal seems to be saying that the URLs that the toolbar sees are not used for finding pages to index (something Google’s long denied) or to somehow find new results to add to the search results.

As for Chrome, Google says the same thing — there’s no information flowing back that’s used to improve search rankings. In fact, Google stressed that the only information that flows back at all from Chrome is what people are searching for from within the browser, if they are using Google as their search engine.

Is It Illegal?

Suffice to say, Google’s pretty unhappy with the whole situation, which does raise a number of issues. For one, is what Bing seems to be doing illegal? Singhal was “hesitant” to say that since Google technically hasn’t lost anything. It still has its own results, even if it feels Bing is mimicking them.

Is it Cheating?

If it’s not illegal, is what Bing may be doing unfair, somehow cheating at the search game?

On the one hand, you could say it’s incredibly clever. Why not mine what people are selecting as the top results on Google as a signal? It’s kind of smart. Indeed, I’m pretty sure we’ve had various small services in the past that have offered for people to bookmark their top choices from various search engines.

Google doesn’t see it as clever.

“It’s cheating to me because we work incredibly hard and have done so for years but they just get there based on our hard work,” said Singhal. “I don’t know how else to call it but plain and simple cheating. Another analogy is that it’s like running a marathon and carrying someone else on your back, who jumps off just before the finish line.”

In particular, Google seems most concerned that the impact of mining user data on its site potentially pays off the most for Bing on long-tail searches, unique searches where Google feels it works especially hard to distinguish itself.

Ending The Experiment

Now that Google’s test is done, it will be removing the one-time code it added to allow for the honeypot pages to be planted. Google has proudly claimed over the years that it had no such ability, as proof of letting its ranking algorithm make decisions. It has no plans to keep this new ability and wants to kill it, so things are back to “normal.”

Google also stressed to me that the code only worked for this limited set of synthetic queries — and that it had an additional failsafe. Should any of the test queries suddenly become even mildly popular for some reason, the honeypot page for that query would no longer show.

This means if you test the queries above, you may no longer see the same results at Google. However, I did see all these results myself before writing this, along with some additional ones that I’ve not done screenshots for. So did several of my other editors yesterday.

Why Open Up Now?

What prompted Google to step forward now and talk with me about its experiment? A grand plan to spoil Bing’s big search event today? A clever way to distract from current discussions about its search quality? Just a coincidence of timing? In the end, whatever you believe about why Google is talking now doesn’t really matter. The bigger issue is whether you believe what Bing is doing is fair play or not. But here’s the strange backstory.

Recall that Google got its experiment confirmed on December 31. The next day — New Year’s Day — TechCrunch ran an article called Why We Desperately Need a New (and Better) Googlefrom guest author Vivek Wadhwa, praising Blekko for having better date search than Google and painting a generally dismal picture of Google’s relevancy overall.

I doubt Google had any idea that Wadhwa’s article was coming, and I’m virtually certain Wadhwa had no idea about Google’s testing of Bing. But his article kicked off a wave of “Google’s results suck” posts.

Trouble In the House of Google from Jeff Atwood of Coding Horror appeared on January 3;Google’s decreasingly useful, spam-filled web search from Marco Arment of Instapaper came out on January 5. Multiple people mistakenly reported Paul Kedrosky’s December 2009 article about struggling to research a dishwasher as also being part of the current wave. It wasn’t, but on January 11, Kedrosky weighed in with fresh thoughts in Curation is the New Search is the New Curation.

The wave kept going. It’s still going. Along the way, Search Engine Land itself had several pieces, with Conrad Saam’s column on January 12, Google vs. Bing: The Fallacy Of The Superior Search Engine, gaining a lot of attention. In it, he did a short survey of 20 searches and concluded that Google and Bing weren’t that different.

Time To Talk? Come To Our Event?

The day after that column appeared, I got a call from Google. Would I have time to come talk in person about something they wanted to show me, relating to relevancy? Sure. Checking my calendar, I said January 27 — a Thursday — would be a good time for me to fly up from where I work in Southern California to Google’s Mountain View campus.

The day after that, Bing contacted me. They were hosting an event on February 1 to talk about the state of search and wanted to make sure I had the date saved, in case I wanted to come up for it. I said I’d make it. I later learned that the event was being organized by Wadhwa, author of that TechCrunch article.

A change on Google’s end shifted my meeting to January 28, last Friday. As is typical when I visit Google, I had a number of different meetings to talk about various products and issues. My last meeting of the day was with Singhal and Cutts — where they shared everything I’ve described above, explaining this is one reason why Google and Bing might be looking so similar, as our columnist found.

Yes, they wanted the news to be out before the Bing event happened — an event that Google is participating in. They felt it was important for the overall discussion about search quality. But the timing of the news is being so close to the event is down to when I could make the trip to Google. If I’d have been able to go in earlier, then I might have been writing this a week ago.

Meanwhile, you have this odd timing of Wadhwa’s TechCrunch article and the Bing event he’s organizing. I have no idea if Wadhwa was booked to do the Bing event before his article went out or if he was contracted to do this after, perhaps because Bing saw the debate over Google’s quality kick off and decided it was good to ride it. I’ll try to find out.

In the end, for whatever reasons, the findings of Google’s experiment and Bing’s event are colliding, right in the middle of a renewed focus of attention on search quality. Was this all planned to happen? Gamesmanship by both Google and Bing? Just odd coincidences? I go with the coincidences, myself.

[Postscript: Wadhwa tweeted the event timing was a coincidence. And let me add, my assumption really was that this is all coincidence. I’m pointing it out mainly because there are just so many crazy things all happening at the same time, which some people will inevitably try to connect. Make no mistake. Both Google and Bing play the PR game. But I think what’s happening right now is that there’s a perfect storm of various developments all coming together at the same time. And if that storm gets people focused on demanding better search quality, I’m happy].

The Search Voice

In the end, I’ve got some sympathy for Google’s view that Bing is doing something it shouldn’t.

I’ve long written that every search engine has its own “search voice,” a unique set of search results it provides, based on its collection of documents and its own particular method of ranking those.

I like that search engines have each had their own voices. One of the worst things about Yahoo changing over to Bing’s results last year was that in the US (and in many countries around the world), we were suddenly down to only two search voices: Google’s and Bing’s.

For 15 years, I’ve covered search. In all that time, we’ve never had so few search voices as we do now. At one point, we had more than 10. That’s one thing I love about the launch of Blekko. It gave us a fresh, new search voice.

When Bing launched in 2009, the joke was that Bing stood for either “Because It’s Not Google” or “But It’s Not Google.” Mining Google’s searches makes me wonder if the joke should change to “Bing Is Now Google.”

I think Bing should develop its own search voice without using Google’s as a tuning fork. That just doesn’t ring true to me. But I look forward to talking with Bing more about the issue and hopefully getting more clarity from them about what they may be doing and their views on it.

 

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Who owns Wikipedia?

Who owns Wikipedia? by Seth Godin.  Too good too pass up!

You have probably noticed the big banner ads with Jimbo Wales‘ smiling face on them… they show up whenever you visit Wikipedia, the single most useful destination online.

The question: why are they there?

After all, if Wikipedia ran Google ads in the sidebar just three days a year, they’d pay for all of their operating expenses.

I haven’t talked to Jimmy about this, but here’s my guess, one that applies to other community-funded efforts: If the user supports it, she owns it. If support comes from anonymous government money, or some corporate sponsorship, then the interactions don’t matter so much, and it’s more distant from you.

I would bet than any charity or cause that gets involvement from its supporters (and I believe that volunteer support is worth more than cash) outperforms equally well-funded organizations that don’t have as deep a connection.

In other words, you own Wikipedia.

 
 

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