by Steed Dropout
Aug. 25, 2014
'I'm no dummy,' a reader writes. Photo by Ted Friedman.
WE ALL PLAY TO AN AUDIENCE
My first audience is a Google robot. I don’t know the bot’s name but I’ve psychoanalyzed her personality–an algorithm.
The bot doesn’t know me from Hemingway. To the bot, Hemingway and I are just two equal writers. Rank is decided by search results, not by quality. Whew!
I write headlines for the bot and the bot has been good to me, bringing me as many as 1,500 “unique visitors,” daily. Our CEO, an SEO (search engine optimizer) is a magic carpet delivering our content to your screen.
My readers are both palpable and not. I’ve met my Berkeley readers at demos/events, and at my office, the Caffe Med, on Telegraph.
One day, while I was on a hot BBQ story, a woman overheard the name I wrote under at the Berkeley Daily Planet, where I was something of a cut-up.
She plopped herself at a table where I was gnawing on a rib. “So you’re Ted Friedman,” she repeated, after pauses. I had to re-assure her. That was all she said. “So you’re Ted Friedman.”
After that, I met more and more of my readers around town. They all liked what I was doing, whatever that was.
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