Related Links, or THAT’S NOT MY FAULT!

One of the things that always fascinates me about the internet is the automatically generated links. Now, a human being… they have a pretty good idea what’s related to what. They can bet that if you’re looking for desert recipes with chocolate, you’re game for pies, cakes, and tortes, and that maybe you’d settle for brownies.

The internet? Well, left to its own devices, it’ll find some off the wall connection between your searches. Yup. She’s definitely looking for recipes where salt is an ingredient.

I subscribe to a blog that focuses on Strong Language. Yup. The all-dirty words all the time blog. It’s an academic approach–it highlights the origins, the usages, and the cultural differences–and it’s a riot. It’s also not appropriate for children, or the squeamish, and sometimes… well, it’s not guaranteed safe for work.

Yesterday, the specific word was “cock” and the various adjectives, verbs, and adverbs that come with it.

The writer does note–rightly–that this is the kind of Google search that will lead to a wide variety of pornographic content, and–to save you from that horrifying experience–has aggregated the data into some really spiffy actuarial tables.

(Well, we’re not trying to be obscene here.)

The related links–obviously computer generated–led me to a linguist led me to a conservative Christian minister. Well, check that. I’m pretty sure the minister would consider himself a linguist, and I’m pretty sure there’s a copy of Bauer on his desk.

Well, that got me to thinking about related links and sales.

For instance, I bought a case of soup on the internet, the other day, and in the same order, I happened–no real correlation–to order a bottle of my favorite anti-diarrheal medication. So… does the soup now come up with “People who bought this also bought…”

There’s not that much to control that kind of links, as far as I know.

But it would still be cool to be recommended as something people who bought Arduino or a pet dinosaur also bought.


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