People, can you hear me?
Once upon a time, people were the gatekeepers for publishing, and even then, it was a difficult task to reach publication. There were obstacles to overcome, and the people that needed to be pleased had good or bad tastes. They were not machines and did not have some inherent algorithm for saying yes or no. There were ways to reach the decision-makers and perhaps change their minds or outright buy them out. Regardless of the ethics, the methods were always aimed at living beings.
These days, it's all about hashtags, meta-data, and keywords—all controlled by some systems in the cloud. Asking a writer or other type of artist to be a programmer is one thing, but it is frustrating to be told you have to do the work for the mighty search engines.
Hey nerds! Can you create a tool that will make this process easier? You at GOOGLE, how about taking a moment to help us out?
If you have the proper outlet, such as this one, finding readers is not so easy as losing you among so many others. It should be about what you are writing, not your skills in using techno-wizardry!
Now, this is a test; I will put in the next paragraph a bunch of keywords totally out of context to see if they will impact this article distribution.
If #JoeBiden would read this piece, would he send a text to #GOOGLE asking them to help, or would it take #ElonMusk, #BillGates, or #JeffBezos to do something about it? Do I have enough keywords in this paragraph?
I wonder how J.K. Rowling would have managed if she had been trying to get her books out now? If I recall it right, it took the attention of one woman to make the publisher read it, and the rest is history! Would someone at the search engine have done the same? Of course not, since they don't read the content; it is all left in the invisible hands of their computer system. What would have been the proper tags for Harry Potter getting noticed? Would he have needed a website, blog, NFT, or else get the proper respect?
I do appreciate the freedom of the web, but like anything else, it doesn't come without a price. Are we losing our humanity as fast as we destroy our planet? Selling our integrity to technology shouldn't be an option.
Technology can be an excellent tool, but we should use our creativity to give ourselves a human identity rather than allowing its use to take over our minds. We let giant tech companies make money from whatever we post on their platforms, even when offensive or misleading content. These companies are what they are because we allow them to be that way. Our use of the GOOGLE search engine empowers its dominance over other search engines. Machines have no way of knowing when we are deceiving or misleading them, as clever code can make us appear to be straight-talking, honest individuals.
It used to be that being a journalist was a noble vocation, not a job, a life commitment! We respected those people. Don't you think it's harder to fool a piece of software than someone who can think for themselves?
Yet, every day millions of people let themself be fooled by algorithms!
Do you know that they can write full articles just using keywords, no human input whatsoever? I know because I use such software to help me find the right way to say what I have in mind! Also, because English is not my first language. I use it as the tool it should be, but others can use it for other purposes.
Turning our back to our official media is not the solution. They are not perfect, but they have a pulse! Let's use this marvelous technology to let them hear what we think! As readers, we also have the responsibility to ensure the integrity of the source of what we read, listen to, or watch.
Let's not blame technology for being good or bad. Instead, let's think about how we use it. The next time someone tells you, "I heard that," ask who they heard that from before they continue.
As for all publishing platforms online, how about putting together a system that gives back the human input priority, even if it means being more selective. Also, why not put pressure on the GOOGLE of this world to work on a process that would be more accurate and easier for authors.
This action is the publisher's responsibility, not the authors'. We don't have the millions of subscribers you do so that they listen to us.
It's hard enough to work on your craft without having to switch vocations or pay for professional services to help you. Artists are usually financially unstable; this system is creating yet again another obstacle to pursuing a creative career.