I discovered a few days ago that the guy who does a podcast called Lore has a newer podcast called Unobscured. In Lore, Aaron Mahnke looks at fairly short stories from history and covers them in one episode that might be 30 minutes. In Unobscured, he’s doing much more in-depth reports about one subject for 12 full-length episodes. The first season was last October through December and it was a very deep dive into the Salem witch trials. I knew those trials took place in early American history, of course, but I didn’t have a deeper understanding of what happened until I started listening to this series. If you like history and strange tales of human nature, I highly recommend you try it. You might be surprised by how much you didn’t know about this dark and tragic story.
A few minutes ago, I arrived home and picked up my MacBook and a couple of other things as I got out of the car. Then I remembered that I needed to grab my camera, so I opened the compartment where it travels — but it wasn’t there. I knew I had taken it with me, so I panicked. Where could it have been stolen? Could I have left it somewhere? Just as I was starting to really get concerned, I realized the camera was in my arms with my laptop. I had picked it up when I got out of the car, but it had been so unconscious that I spent 60 seconds looking for something that was in my hands. I don’t know if anyone was around to hear me laughing at myself, but it was funny.
It’s scary that search engines are driving how digital content is written today. If you want the things you write to be found by more folks online, you have to consider what’s called “search engine optimization.” Experts in SEO can tell you how to rank more highly in Google searches, but they have nothing to say about connecting with real people with insights that matter. I want to do technical things such as make my pages load faster, but I don’t want to change what I’m writing so that a search engine will like it more. By the standards promoted by these SEO experts, none of the great books which have influenced me over the years would have been written (or discovered). Something is wrong with culture when software developers and geeks drive writing more than writers and thinkers.