Saturday, July 14, 2012

Google: Red In Tooth And Claw

Finding Women Do stories is sort of an art form. There are a few ways to go about it.

1. Google News, may it live and prosper. Googling news results for "women" (or, better yet, "women increasingly") usually yields a pretty good harvest. Then it's a matter of sifting the wheat from the chaff.

The top news results are often real, newsworthy, depressing stories about the various means by which women are, either physically or through extortion, prevented from acting like people. Have a glance at them, pour out a snifter for your embattled peeps, and move on. These are not the droids you're looking for.

The best Women Do story is usually a one-off near the bottom. It is not really news, so it has probably not spawned a legion of AP headlines or gotten too many commentators in a lather. Moms Rock. Paeans to in-home shopping. Women Sometimes Do Boxing.

Sometimes there's a big evo-psych study hot off the press, in which case, jackpot.

2. Read widely. Where I come from, the land is hard, and we have a saying about our mountains: Two rocks to every dirt. Newspapers are much the same. Two rocks to every news -- in some places three or four -- and a fair number of them are bound to be Women Do.

It is too bad that I don't live in Boston anymore. The Globe sat right on top of a very rich vein of this stuff. Is it still as Women Do-y as it ever was? I will have to start reading it on the regular again.

3. Write a blog making fun of newspapers writing about women. Lure in a bunch of smart readers. Get them to send you things.

Hint hint.

At any rate. This morning, I went and climbed to the top of the mountain, took a deep breath, fired up the Goog, and typed in "women," just to kind of get the lay of the land.

Conclusion: I hope to God Wikipedia can hang onto its Google-juice. Because if AskMen's Top 99 Women of 2012 makes it to #1, the zombies are well and truly coming, my friends.

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