Tech

Missing Link: Free beer for everyone – Trump triggers world war with Linux

The headline is of course sheer nonsense. Have you fallen for it, have you clicked or tapped on it and are you now disappointed, even angry? I have already gambled away my leap of faith and possibly that of my entire publishing house; You, dear readers, go further, because there is nothing to see here – and you may never come back.



What is missing: In the fast-paced world of technology, there is often the time to rearrange the many news and backgrounds. At the weekend we want to take it, follow the side paths away from the current, try different perspectives and make nuances audible.

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The headline is only supposed to help test whether I can jumble on Google’s keyboard to my heart’s content and get the search giant to push this post right to the front in its news overview – or all the way back because it doesn’t like it.

It may be that the term “Linux” no longer lures you out from behind the stove, as it was back in the days when Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer saw the sheer evil in Torvald’s operating system and, in the heise forums, especially on Fridays, flamewars broke out. His successor has long since come to terms with the open source operating system. “Trump”, on the other hand, is certainly well suited, because he polarizes strongly, and “free beer” is liked by everyone who drinks, and that is the vast majority. In the field on which I report, there has not yet been an opportunity to put the word into a heading.

I will shortly be able to read the success of my efforts from the differentiated statistics of our access numbers. That was different, there was a time when the IVW and the publishing server were only able to provide information; They only showed how many clicks there were over a longer period of time, the equivalent of the sold circulation of the print media. Today we have up-to-the-minute statistics and can test just as accurately how different headline variants of a message are received, so that we can learn from them and attract as much attention as possible.

Attention from people – and above all from Google, the provider that most Internet users go to when they want to find something. You can often tell from the number of hits that the company has tweaked its algorithms. Then specialists like augurs bend over innards over columns of numbers and graphics in order to decipher the cause of a clear kink, because Google’s mechanisms and automatics are secret. SEO experts warn to design headings, images, scribble and message texts according to certain criteria so that they can be better “found”. Nice-sounding, but cryptic headlines, as some colleagues from the print sector still like to use, are obsolete online, they fall through Google’s grid.

In writing this, I am aware that this will attract those who have questioned the credibility of “traditional media” on previous occasions. Perhaps I will feed some of the cries of the “lying press”. I certainly cast doubts among those who have been well-disposed towards us media workers up to now, but this is exactly why I am writing it here. I am aware that all media have to compete for as much attention as possible and that my own professional existence depends on it. But for me there is another, more important impetus: to collect as much information and perspectives as possible for the good of the community – in search of objectivity.

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