He Sent Me Searching (Title used with apologies to Lynyrd Skynyrd)

There’s a little feature on these WordPress blogs that allow you to see what terms people who come here via search engine actually typed in to Google or what have you.  I check that list out periodically because, well, it’s fascinating to see what people are looking for when they find little old me.  Plus, it’s always gratifying to see someone out there somewhere just did a Google search for me.  I think.  Of course, I’m not exactly sure why the searcher is looking for me, but hopefully, it’s not a bad thing.  But I have, probably, annoyed a few people, so who knows?

Over the past year or so that I’ve been writing here, I’ve put up 135 posts (this will be 136) totaling somewhere in the neighborhood of 200,000 words  (yeah, I’m long-winded, I know it) about anything from media criticism, to movie reviews, to sports, to television shows, health care reform, road construction, what have you.  I always find it intriguing to see which posts that I wrote six, seven, even eight months ago turn up in someone’s web searchings.  One thing I’ve  learned is that a lot of you out there can’t spell the word “chronicle”.  There’s an H in there, people.  And a lot of you have an odd preoccupation with death.  I wrote a piece a while back about the then-upcoming release of Apple’s iPad, and titled it using a biblical reference to everybody’s favorite Horseman of the Apocalypse, Death.  “He rode in on a pale horse and carried an iPad” or something like that.  Well, it originated as a Biblical reference, but I swiped it from the Clint Eastwood movie “Pale Rider.”  Great movie.  You would be surprised how many times the phrase “He rode in on a pale horse” gets plugged into search engines.  I doubt most of those folks are looking for technical analysis of how the iPad may negatively affect the publishing industry, but hey, nobody ever said web search was perfect.

Another thing I’ve noticed is that there are still more than a few of you who are stuck in the 1980s.  At the end of November last year, I wrote a piece called “The Grand Influence of1980s Television” recounting some of the TV shows from my youth that affected my approach to things to this day.  Well, apparently, I’m not the only one who fondly remembers such luminaries as Night Court, Family Ties and MacGyver.  Hell, there’s even a MacGyver spoof movie coming out in a couple weeks some 18 years after the show was put out to pasture, and a remake of the A Team hitting theaters later this summer, coming out on my birthday, no less.  Now that’s what I call influential.  Anyway, hardly two days go by without someone, somewhere searching for “1980s television” or “the influence of ’80s tv”.  Who knew?

I’m writing this now because, after posting another long-winded run down of the NBA playoffs this morning that I’m absolutely certain I enjoy writing much more than anyone else enjoys reading (Hey, it’s my blog, I’ll write what I want), I scanned over the list of search terms people used to get to this site today.  Yesterday, I wrote a piece titled “Wow, The Times Must Be Tougher Than I Thought” about an upcoming award reportedly being granted to a somewhat less than deserving party.  Well, to this point, I’ve had numerous people search for terms like “Dan Meadows Wow article”, “watershed cronicle wow” (I told you, people can’t spell chronicle), or “Wow by Dan Meadows”.   I just thought it was cool.  Somebody, probably more than one somebodies, read it, told somebody else about it and apparently built up enough interest that multiple folks have searched specifically for my name, my blog’s name or the word wow in multiple combinations.  I always find it interesting when things start to move in oddly organic ways outside of my control.  I write something up, release it out into the world like stocking trout into a pond and see what happens.  Sometimes, this technology stuff really amazes me.  We really are at the very beginnings of a total shift in the means of human communication.

So, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go see what else is coming up in search engines.  Apparently, ‘the best sci fi shows” and “noreaster magazine” are pretty popular subjects, even though I haven’t written about either in months.

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