It just hit me how real the culture war really is. I understand now that my upbringing did not prepare me to even be aware that this culture war existed, even as a potential. Or perhaps, it was not relevant enough to the life I was living to register as a “real” thing, the way you know that humans landed on the moon, but it was in such distant past, before my lifetime, that for all purposes it has the same mythical status as the building of the pyramids or the Bolshevik revolution. Yes, they happened, but I’m not one of the Egyptian slaves, and I’m not one of the proletariat revolutionists. No matter how much it actually did connect to me in a genetic lineage sense, it just didn’t connect to me on an intellectual or spiritual sense—certainly not enough to cause worry.
But I understand now that it does. I understand the difference between individuals who were “programmed” in the public education system to believe in the scientific method and evolution as fact, versus those who were raised with religious faith, pulled out of the “evolving” mainstream system, and programmed differently. I just didn’t understand the rift that had been developing between the two cultures, characterized by such anchors as Pat Buchanan on one side and Stephen Colbert on the other. I didn’t understand that the news events I was reading about were shots being fired in this culture war, such as Pat’s speech in the 92 RNC, and Colbert’s appearance at the 2006 White House Correspondents Dinner. These two events, 14 years apart, were inextricably interconnected, as if by quantum entanglement.
I get it now.
Pretty inflammatory stuff for a HitTail post, huh? Nah, not really. I’m not taking sides. Rather, I’m enabling both sides with the next generation bully pulpit—the hyper-effective political blog site. Yep, that’s right. On first glance, it feels like the Internet is the ultimate super-weapon on the liberal side of the culture war, planting the seeds of victory generations ahead, by virtue of allowing the free and unmitigated interchange of ideas—the enemy of the “faith” crowd. But observation of actual practice shows that it’s just not true. The Internet has proven to be just as effective of a tool allowing the God-and-Country crowd to hold power for 8 years, the early dawn of the Internet itself. I used to think that net neutrality was merely about Verizon throttling BitTorrent, but now I completely understand the much deeper stakes, and why one side will soon feel that mesh networking must be squashed before it takes hold via the disruptive $100 laptop.
Suffice to say that HitTail is a very effective tool on either side. Political bloggers, wake up. Blogging alone isn’t enough. Having superior ideas alone isn’t enough. You need an edge that only early adoption of radically new and effective tools can provide. You need a megaphone that converts Google into your own personal free marketing campaign. You need to blog equipped with superior competitive intelligence and insight as to how Google is going to behave and why.
Let’s try an analogy.
Have you ever played those games at the Ski-ball joints where you slide quarters into shaking, raked platforms, where if your quarter pushes other quarters over the edge, they fall out the bottom, and you get a net gain?
It’s sort of like gambling, but you can make very educated decisions about where to drop your quarter, because you can see into the inner workings. You can tell where the built-up potential resides (untapped natural search potential), where with just a simple quarter-drop (blog post), you’re going to get a significant return, greater than the investment and energy you put into it (incrementally more free traffic). It’s gambling with skill, but with rules so simplified that anyone can participate. You don’t have to count cards, like in Black Jack, and you don’t have to play against very formidable house odds, like Roulette. You simply have to walk along the row of machines, looking for the ripest pile of quarters hanging most precariously over the edge, and drop a quarter in.
That’s HitTail. It’s that simple, and it works.
The “quarter-rake machines” are the data being collected in HitTail. The blog posts are the act of dropping quarters. The selection of which machine is most wise to start with are the keywords that appear under the suggestions-tab in the HitTail user interface. It’s like HitTail is a legal card-counting machine that you can take into the Casino with you. Yet, it’s 100% ethical and moral, because the decision-making process is derived from data that is 100% yours already. HitTail just examines your log files, and gives you expert advice. That’s the brilliance of HitTail vs. the AdWords and Overture keyword suggestion tools that use other peoples’ data. HitTail is truly a website optimization technology, rather than a “me-too” let’s-all-be-sheep tool, so popular in the blogosphere.
I’d hop to it and give HitTail a try, while it’s still not against the rules to use tools like this.
I guess the final point of this radically different post, is that instead of throwing my hat in the ring of the culture war, of which I just internalized and became excruciatingly aware, I will turn HitTail into a neutral-zone. It’s a weapon-of-ideas, benefiting both sides equally. It facilitates the interchange of idea, and extends the reach of the “little guy” with the “little voice”.
If you’re feeling passionate about your subject-matter, and just feel like shouting louder than the state-of-the-tools can provide, you should jump on the HitTail bandwagon. Perhaps you don’t have the equipment or panache to do a YouTube video. Maybe you’re not a celebrity or a journalist, have no editorial background, no money, no high-profile friends who will link to you, no Google PageRank, and no established readership.
If that’s the case, then you HAVE TO tap into the free and ubiquitous potential that is Google’s natural search engine results. You have no choice. It’s your ticket in the door.
And the line is a very long, long, long line indeed. And there are no cuts…
…no wait, there are cuts!