To what Google Base uses may we return, Horatio!

In which I contribute to Business 2.0.

Today Google Base, Google's semantic indexing service, launched. The blogs are abuzz with the news, including B2Day, the official blog of the magazine Business2.0. In their posting on this great event, B2Day included an image from a speculative essay on my own website, Ftrain.com. B2Day did not copy the image beforehand, nor did they link to my site via the image, nor did they provide attribution for the image. They simply incorporated it into their own page, applying my bandwidth to their own needs.

This means, I thought, that they want me as a contributor! I had only a few minutes before I needed to leave for work, so I worked fast and kept things simple.

This is how the page looked when I visited it for the first time.

Moments later it carried a message.

I should keep the discourse elevated, I thought.

Next, I decided I'd leave a message for the blog's proprietors--a word of warning.

And then a commentary on their content.

But finally, I figured it would be in keeping with the spirit of their blog if I created a sizeable ad for my new novel, [Gary Benchley, Rock Star]. Obviously the folks at B2D agree with my capitalist impulses, because that ad is up several hours later. Viva commerce!

Looking back, there are so many things I could have done. Bare breasts. Organ transplants. Swear words. I remember the sweet day when I replaced [this image] with [this one], thus confounding a few corporate websites. I've matured, I guess. Not much, but some. Or maybe I've lost my edge.

.  .  .  .  .  

Update, November 18: Business2.0 has graciously asked for permission to include the original linked image on their weblog, attributed—which permission, of course, I gladly granted. Sadly, they erased the numerous amusing comments about stoats that people posted to their comment board. I am very glad that someone posted a comment that read: “Stoat riot! Stoat riot! Stoat riot!”--if Gary Benchley ever starts another band, it'll be called Stoat Riot.




Ftrain.com is the website of Paul Ford and his pseudonyms. It is showing its age. I'm rewriting the code but it's taking some time.


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About the author: I've been running this website from 1997. For a living I write stories and essays, program computers, edit things, and help people launch online publications. (LinkedIn). I wrote a novel. I was an editor at Harper's Magazine for five years; then I was a Contributing Editor; now I am a free agent. I was also on NPR's All Things Considered for a while. I still write for The Morning News, and some other places.

If you have any questions for me, I am very accessible by email. You can email me at ford@ftrain.com and ask me things and I will try to answer. Especially if you want to clarify something or write something critical. I am glad to clarify things so that you can disagree more effectively.


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© 1974-2011 Paul Ford


@20, by Paul Ford. Not any kind of eulogy, thanks. And no header image, either. (October 15)

Recent Offsite Work: Code and Prose. As a hobby I write. (January 14)

Rotary Dial. (August 21)

10 Timeframes. (June 20)

Facebook and Instagram: When Your Favorite App Sells Out. (April 10)

Why I Am Leaving the People of the Red Valley. (April 7)

Welcome to the Company. (September 21)

“Facebook and the Epiphanator: An End to Endings?”. Forgot to tell you about this. (July 20)

“The Age of Mechanical Reproduction”. An essay for TheMorningNews.org. (July 11)

Woods+. People call me a lot and say: What is this new thing? You're a nerd. Explain it immediately. (July 10)

Reading Tonight. Reading! (May 25)

Recorded Entertainment #2, by Paul Ford. (May 18)

Recorded Entertainment #1, by Paul Ford. (May 17)

Nanolaw with Daughter. Why privacy mattered. (May 16)

0h30m w/Photoshop, by Paul Ford. It's immediately clear to me now that I'm writing again that I need to come up with some new forms in order to have fun here—so that I can get a rhythm and know what I'm doing. One thing that works for me are time limits; pencils up, pencils down. So: Fridays, write for 30 minutes; edit for 20 minutes max; and go whip up some images if necessary, like the big crappy hand below that's all meaningful and evocative because it's retro and zoomed-in. Post it, and leave it alone. Can I do that every Friday? Yes! Will I? Maybe! But I crave that simple continuity. For today, for absolutely no reason other than that it came unbidden into my brain, the subject will be Photoshop. (Do we have a process? We have a process. It is 11:39 and...) (May 13)

That Shaggy Feeling. Soon, orphans. (May 12)

Antilunchism, by Paul Ford. Snack trams. (May 11)

Tickler File Forever, by Paul Ford. I'll have no one to blame but future me. (May 10)

Time's Inverted Index, by Paul Ford. (1) When robots write history we can get in trouble with our past selves. (2) Search-generated, "false" chrestomathies and the historical fallacy. (May 9)

Bantha Tracks. (May 5)

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