Gumbaby

"New Jamie Oliver Website."   It's not Jamie Oliver's website; it's a post from the developer of the website, mentioning his work. But the title is bait enough for commenters seeking culinary guidance.
From http://www.gyford.com/ . Filed under: celebrity,information seeking,senior —  Comments (0)
Hello
I am a pensioner and watching all the programs on Tv and looking at the many cook books none I have seen actually show how to prepare food from the begining,I do mean the begining, how to cut a large sweed, how much do you peel away, how to prepare a cabbage, or carrots even the basic potato. Start at the beginning not half way into the meal

Look, let’s just say, if you have a business relationship with a celebrity — if you’ve met a celebrity — if you’ve ever seen one on TV, or heard of one — let’s just say, don’t mention any celebrities in your blog. Like, ever. OK?

I guess I’m suffering from burnout. I’ve begun to look at the original blog posts which accumulate these comments and go, “Oh, he really shouldn’t have titled it that, of course people think this is the star’s blog” or “Well, I guess if this mysogynist article on singer A has attracted fan letters from twelve year old girls, it really becomes their thread, not the magazine’s, right?”

There are just so many gumbaby threads. The similarities become mind-numbing. I was loath to post another senior’s comment here, as I’d be loath to post another comment from a twelve-year-old, or non-native English speaker from an impoverished country, or frankly, from a middle-aged woman, as they seem to be over-represented as well. It seems too easy to write this off as “something ignorant people do.”

If this is a literacy activity, both sides may well be implicated in the failure to read. “New Jamie Oliver Website” is kind of a misleading title if you’re scanning headlines quickly and can’t distinguish the shape of a blog from the shape of other websites. I’m speaking as an editor, here — if the blogger was on my news staff, I’d tell him to alter the headline a little; if we were working on his website together, I’d wonder whether we might ought to do something about the post title showing up larger than the blog title.

But more to the point, all sides are implicated in the failure to read on gumbabies. Frankly, I think search engines are as much the culprit as the commenters. They’re stupider than commenters are. They know hardly anything about the syntactic or semantic content of the pages they include, yet they helpfully write us up a menu of them and present it in cold hard print. Print, the medium which just a few centuries ago most people never saw, except perhaps as it conveyed the words of God; the medium on which the empirical truths of science, the objective voice of journalism, and the official stamp of government base their authority.

Or maybe I’ve just spent so long reading over these things that I’ve gone crazy. Maybe I’ve “gone native,” and can’t read like a teacher anymore.

Despite the light drubbing I just gave him over his post title and layout, thanks to Phil Gyford for sending this one in. Contributions are greatly appreciated: in the immortal words of the NYC MTA, if you see something, say something.


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