Friday, July 29, 2005

Moths to the light, flies to the filth

ALLOW me to share reality temblors rumbling through the Journal Group website http://www.journal.com.ph.

Netizens -- that's for citizens of the World Wide Web -- are getting fed up with PBA: it shows in the number of page views notched to keep tabs on dwindling numbers that still stew through on Pinoy basketball. It likely turns out they don't love this ho-hum game. Maybe that's a basket case turning into casket case.

As the growing number of page views on sports staples show, Internet surfing readers are growing keener on games where Pinoys are world-class. Say, billiards, boxing, chess, why, even tennis. Not exactly in that order.

It's also likely that basketball fanatics would just log on to the NBA or PBA website for their fix.
Netizens aren't hung up on the mix-up blood and gore stories culled off metropolitan or provincial police and military blotters. More page views turn up on news stories in which culprits are getting caught, felons getting their just desserts, and, whew, corrupt cops getting sacked or getting it in the neck.

Why, I've noticed this. Give 'em readers a "feel good" news feature anytime and they'll read it.

Now, a culinary enthusiast would likely watch a cooking demo on cable to gather fresh ideas on cookery -- ingredients to procure, variant methods to work out, and new concoctions to try. A viewer like that has a sense of control -- recipes can be duplicated, differing tastes of various ingredients can be harmonized in a symphony of flavors. There's purpose there. And a sharp sense of competence, of charting directions and taking charge. Those are think-ahead types.

I'd say those who lack control and wait for something to happen to themselves will likely tune in to a telenovela awash with buhol-bulbol twists and turns of dysfunctional lives -- the reel life they ache to be in to crank out some color, maybe a whit of meaning in their mundane existence.

So, let us mourn this fact as an impakto drools over easy prey: Surfers' hits are tattooed like a nest of copulating porcupines on the soft section. Leave it is: dirty linen can be swished and swilled about like a national flag even in cyberspace. The star-struck and idol-stuck will salute in schmuck and awe. Open a can of worms; open 'em shapely actress' legs wide and wet like Laguna Lake -- and lap-snap that up surfers! There's no neural digestion challenge there.

An entomologist has a way of explaining away such tendencies. Built-in instincts rule. Moths flying in darkness are drawn to the light. Flies are drawn to filth and rotting carcass. De gustibus non est disputandum.

Aah, the Internet was birthed in 1969 -- yeah, that interesting period of intellectual ferment, wars of liberation and unrest -- as a Cold War project of the US government to create a communications network that was immune to a nuclear attack. The initial network had four western universities allowing researchers to use the mainframes of any of the networked institutions.

New connections were added to the network -- 23 in 1971, 111 in 1977, and up to almost 4 million by 1994. As network size grew so did its capabilities: In its first 25 years, the Internet added features such as file transfer, email, Usenet news, and eventually HTML.

See: tactical and strategic information were the ones that initially rode the lightning. Let's qualify that -- useful information. Make that: Value-added information.

From a smattering of visitors who welcomed the Journal website as it rode the lightning in the last week of April 2004, Journal Online via http://www.journal.com.ph enjoys as much as 2.8 million hits, or for the purists 576,844 page views.

I'm still a sucker for writing that packs tactical and strategic information that's fit to ride the lightning. Something for the moths drawn to the light.

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