Note: This post was migrated from my old blog software. It hasn't been cleaned up yet (and might not ever be). Don't be surprised if the formatting, links, images, etc... are messed up.
The web has its own version of the time/space continuum. It's kinda
two dimensional when you look at it on a screen, but those
dimensions are fluid. It's also kinda no dimensional since the bits
and electric pulses that make it up aren't really physical. The
sense of Time on the web is getting slipperier every day. You have
to push out something new all the time if you want to get noticed
and stay relevant, but all that content can stick around in weird
Case in point, I just
googled "camera bits"
which is the company that makes
Even though the link I wanted was the first result returned, the
fifth link on the page caught my eye because it had a long title.
"Rob Galbraith DPI: Camera Bits announces Here I Am photo tracking".
I glanced at the article and it didn't make sense, it's about
tracking software that can be slid into photos that allow them to
be tracked. Because of the way photos are stored on computers this
shouldn't be possible, so I started to read for real. Then I
noticed the date the article was published: Friday, April 1, 2005.
Dates in articles are generally blind spots that we blow right
past. In this case, it created a little dissonance since I wasn't
ready for an April Fool's Day joke on March 11. Welcome to wobbly
The good news for the folks at Camera Bits is that their actual
company still gets top google results, but it's not too hard to
imagine the fake article getting the top billing. While most users
would make it to them eventually, it would be a tough break to try
to deal with. If you run a business and you want a reminder of why
you don't want to piss off search engines, this should do. Imagine
if customers searching for your site were all directed to joke
pages about your company on other web sites.
The internet is a wildly powerful communications tool, but we'd all
do well to remember that just a few companies and organizations
have immense control over the direction of that power.