A blog post is a very long and complex search query to find fascinating people and make them route interesting stuff to your inbox

Link: https://www.henrikkarlsson.xyz/p/search-query

via Jim Nielsen

Explaining it to my daughter, [...] I tell her that the internet is like an alien intelligence. We don’t know exactly what it is; it has just landed, and only the first ship. We are trying to figure out how to talk to it.

Henrik expresses two ideas on how writing travels in the the internet:

  1. Words need to be precise and niche, so they can find the people the author wants to address and filters out the rest.
  2. The pleasant parts of the internet are filtered by humans, not algorithms. Information flowed from the periphery to the centers

If you follow your niche interests, it will likely be a lonely journey:

On the internet, Wonderland is recursive, with rabbit holes opening up to yet more rabbit holes; you never stop falling. And the further you fall, the less likely it is that anyone you’ve ever met is falling where you are.

So how do you connect with likeminded people? You write.

You ask yourself: What would have made me jump off my chair if I had read it six months ago (or a week ago, or however fast you write)? If you have figured out something that made you ecstatic, this is what you should write.

On the question of distribution:

The social structure of the internet is shaped like a river.

People with big followings, say someone like Sam Harris, is the mouth of the Mississippi emptying into the Mexican Gulf. Sam has millions of tributaries. There are perhaps a few hundred people Sam pays close attention to, and these in turn have a few hundred they listen to—tributaries flowing into headwaters flowing into rivers.


It turns out that if you’ve written something that _you_ find interesting, it is not unlikely that people you like will find it interesting too, and pass it on if you give them the chance.

A great read about information flow on the internet. Made me jump out of my chair.

21st Dec, 2023
© 2024 Chris Jarling