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Main > Archives > 2008 > August > Automatic Link Can Take You into Strange Places

Monday, August 04, 2008

Automatic Link Can Take You into Strange Places

Automating functions on the Web has always been a tricky business.

When you're constantly building and publishing Web content, you find yourself doing the same types of tasks over…and over…and over again. It can be mind-numbing work, hence the automated systems that add tags and other meta-data to your content.

The downside is that when you turn over decision-making capabilities to a piece of software, you lose that human touch. The Associated Press has a story about Yahoo Shortcuts, one of those automated systems, that provides automatic links in stories. For instance, it brought up a link for "underage girls" in a story about former New York Governor Elliot Spitzer.

Ouch.

Of course not all automation is bad. If it wasn't for search-and-count software programs, Google wouldn't work very well and the odds of anyone finding any website would be quite slim.

Still it's important to remember no matter how rote editorial tasks may seem -- choosing metadata, keywords and links -- it's okay to use software tools as a guide, but it's always better to have a human making the final decisions. You will always get better results.

By Brad at 09:15 AM | Comments (0)

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