Anti-Aging, a Term Lost to the Junkyard

A conversation, in the wider modern context, is something that wends its way across months of time and hundreds of thousands of minds via blogs, emails, other websites, letters, the spoken word, radio, TV, magazines and newspapers, to name but a few of the possible paths. Branching and joining threads of thought and ideas hop and jump from media to media - but the most recent, internet-era additions to the possible paths of conversation are what really makes it all froth and bubble. Important activities and advocacy coalesce from this conversation as a matter of course; meritous and popular ideas are far more likely to gain the support they deserve when the cost of communication is so low. The MPrize for anti-aging research and the all-volunteer Methuselah Foundation are excellent examples of firm and directed organizations that came from the foam of the internet; spontaneous self-organization in action.

Unfortunately, some topics just can't be discussed well in email, blog and website; they are drowned out by the efforts of those trying to make money. So it is with scientific anti-aging research and the vast sea of static produced by the purveyors of useless, all brand and no cattle "anti-aging" products. Just take a look at what is seen when searching for any sane, non-monetary, responsible discussion of anti-aging science on Google, Google News, Google Blog Search and Technorati - a blizzard of junk and nonsense. It's the same everywhere you look, a storm of short-termist profit seeking that destroys the primary utility of the internet for these concepts, making it impossible for diverse groups to collaborate, exchange ideas and build new organizations as a part of a serious, ongoing cultural conversation on anti-aging science.

So we all lose out - including the short-termists. How's it feel to be contributing to your own demise, you out there with the HGH ads, cherry-picked studies and spam sites?

I briefly set down a few thoughts on the future of branding and discussion last month. Anti-aging is beyond salvage as a term for discussion; we should move on and use other language to describe the technologies of healthy life extension and advanced medicine to extend healthy life spans.

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These search engines work by showing the sites with the most linking sites to it, ie page rank. There is already a big market of impressible people that are searching these terms looking for the latest cream. If we could overtake those creams in the search ranking we would have a vast larger audience.

Maybe instead of not using anti-aging any more we should make it our primary term. Try to take real science to this market of quasi-science. LEF already gets #10 on google for a search on anti-aging if other sites start using the term more we and cross linking we could really bring up our rank.

Posted by: Joe at April 30th, 2006 10:25 AM

My idea has aready worked. Your search in google blogs and Technorati has your post as number one when searching for "anti-aging". Your blog entry is 10 hours old and there are others only 1 hour old below yours.

Posted by: Joe at April 30th, 2006 10:31 AM

One of the implicit points is that the presence of the market means that a great many people are engineering these search results; a new post by me will be near the top briefly (especially in Technorati that defaults to a most recent sort order), but will quickly be drowned by the hundreds of spam posts. For the conversation to work, the relevant and useful stuff has be consistently easily available - and that would mean a head-to-head contest with those marketeers who are spending tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in aggregate to populate these search listings. Not too viable unless we outnumber them in terms of content production.

Posted by: Reason at April 30th, 2006 11:41 AM

We don't have to be #1. Just in the first page or two.

Posted by: Joe at April 30th, 2006 4:21 PM

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