Herb’s Blog, Herbdate 22261 – 780:
Here’s the haps:
I recently started following the blog of an author and poet named Chel Owens at a site called, strangely enough, chelowens.com. I haven’t read all of her stuff yet but I have liked what I’ve seen so far. She does occasional poetry contests and the posts that I’ve read are really pretty good. She’s definitely worth checking out and perhaps following. Anyway, she had a post with the title “Monkeys, Happy Place, Iceland” which caught my attention.
The WordPress Reader, with which I have a sort of like/hate relationship, generates search suggestions at the top of the page when you open it up and she just took those and turned them into a post. I don’t know what sort of searches she does or keywords she uses but I thought I should give it a try. When I looked at mine, however, I got “Sharks, Colorado, Parenting.” I follow a couple of bloggers who are from Colorado but not really Colorado blogs. I can’t remember the last time I read about sharks on a blog and most of the time the blogs I read are not about parenting, although there are some that relate incidents. It strikes me as odd that even though none of the blogs on my Reader page are about these things, yet I might want to search them?
About halfway down the Reader feed or when you finish reading a post using the Reader they offer you suggestions of recommended posts on other sites you might want to read. Sometimes I have seen these and clicked on them and found nice little-known blogs, and other times I have said, “What in the world did they think I would want to read that for?”
Then I started to wonder about how these things were generated. So I tried opening it and refreshing it. I got a large number of differing results. I did a screenshot of the first one to show its position in relation to the search bar. Here are some samples:
“Writing, Groovy, Inspiration” – I guess I can dig those suggestions, man.
“Flowers, Cute, Woodworking”
“Technology, Hiking, Pride”
“Mathematics, Politics, Sous vide” – I had to ask The Google what Sous vide was. Mathematics? Me? Really? I’m gonna search for a blog about math? Not so much.
“Bloom, Overwatch, Colorado” – Another Colorado. I had to look up Overwatch, too. I’m not the “vibrant, team-based shooter game” type.
“Iceland, Poetry, Community Pool”
“Fashion, Mountain Biking, Cute”
“Parenting, Vegan, Homesteading”
“Anime, Health, Farm”
“Tibet, Zombies, Toddlers”
“Sharks, WordPress, Groovy”
Mostly fairly random although there are a couple in there that would be viable suggestions. Then I made the big mistake. I tried to find out what an algorithm is. Those who know my relationship with math will know that I was immediately in over my head but did find a simple explanation that it is a set of instructions for a computer and used in certain conditions. If you have a WordPress account there is an article that shows all the different data they use to generate these. It was kind of interesting to me. Algorithms, Search, and Recommendations.
“So, um, Herb,” I am sure someone meant to ask, “when are you going to write an actual post using these search suggestions as prompts?”
Well, I’m certainly glad you asked me that question. Yup. Yes indeedy, weedy. Oh, quit drumming your fingers all impatient-like. I’m thinking about it. I’m thinking about it.
I think the problem is the commas. Instead of writing about Iceland, Homeschool, Health writing about Iceland Homeschool, Health would very different. So would Iceland, Homeschool health. Fashion Mountain Biking, cute. That one you could do Fashion Mountain, Biking Cute. You could even combine a couple of different ones. Iceland, Poetry, Community Pool with Parenting, Vegan, Homesteading. Community Pool Parenting? Parenting Vegan? Iceland Community Pool Poetry. Beautiful, Cocktails, Chickens.
I’ve often worried about my writing
Could I, in fact, find groovy inspiration?
Should I quit and study WordPress sharks?
Or Tibetan zombie toddlers?
I don’t drink but what will I do
With beautiful cocktail chickens?
Maybe I should visit Overwatch, Colorado
and see the vegan homesteaders from Iceland
parenting their chickens
It was like funny technology flowers
Meh. That was a bunch of junk, but I may revisit the idea again. Maybe write a story instead. Hmmm…I just need Motivation Sharks. with Flowers.
Remember, the good book says, “If flying is so safe, why do they call the airport the terminal?”