Here’s how an article I was reading started:
WHAT do a bicycle that goes faster over bumps, a lever that allows car pedals to be operated by hand and a pedal-powered washing machine have in common?
I know, I’m easy that way. I was hooked, so I read on. You can find a stub to the article here, the New Scientist is not yet new enough to let me share the whole thing. [Are you listening, New Scientist?]
The article itself makes a simple and oft-repeated premise, that necessity breeds invention.
For some time now, I’ve tried to express the premise in today’s context. And it goes like this:
Opensource people don’t ask “What’s the business plan?”, “What’s the exit strategy?” “How shall we make money with this?” Opensource people build things to solve problems that they see and understand. Opensource people intuitively get the Because Effect: they don’t expect to make money with the solutions they build, they expect to make money because of those solutions.
Incidentally, there’s a YouTube video showing one of the inventions quoted, so it will give those who are paywall-blocked some idea of what the article is about. Like most other inventions, I am sure it didn’t happen in a vacuum, and that similar ideas sprung up in similar times all over the place. But that’s not the point of this post.
What this post is about is three things:
One, the article was about “deviant research”. And you know something? I took some time thinking about precisely what I would enter into Google as my search term. I took some time to make sure all my filters were DefCon Five. I thought about it, then decided that all I needed to do was to enter “deviant research” with the quotation marks.
Two, I thought about the headline I would associate with the article. Somehow I did not relish the idea that someone else entering the term “deviant research” would be led to my site. So I decided to leave the term out of the headline. Sure, someone may tag it that way and still foil my plans, but that’s what folksonomies are for. And I will live with the outcome.
Three, I thought about ways to expose more of the article. I would normally not do that, but I was spurred by reading another article in the same issue. Can you imagine the irony of someone sticking an article headlined “Information Wants to Be Free” behind a paywall? [As Don Marti said,Â Information does want to be $6.95]
Worrying about the search terms you use. Thinking hard about how someone else might index your post. Scurrying around behind paywalls. I wonder what people in the 22nd century will make of all this. Fossil fools, Chris?