In the past couple of weeks the Gather most viewed list has included a bunch of cheesy pop culture-centric articles.Â Today's list has articles about Jessica Simpson, Michael Phelps, Nadya Suleman, and Christian Bale.Â Almost every day there have been articles about the guest of the day on the Howard Stern show.Â Authors include Gather employees likeÂ Pam Johnston.
I'm guessing that there's an exercise in search engine optimization being played out right here on Gather.Â One thing most of these articles have in common is a very high page view to comment ratio.Â Â For example, Phineas J'sÂ Amanda Beard PETA Playboy Swimmer Buoys Michael Phelps article has, at the moment, 456 page views and 3 comments.Â That's 152 unique views per comment.Â I'm guessing that this article is showing up in search engines and people are clicking on it.Â Based on the number of comments I don't think Gather members are captivated by this article.Â The maximum number of people who could have joined Gather in order to comment on this article is 3, so I don't see much gain on that end.
I don't know if people care much about Gather content these days.Â One thing I'm fairly certain of is that page views are a big contributor to point earnings.Â Another thing I'm reasonably certain of is that the pool of available points is finite at any given time.Â If I'm correct, people are earning Gather PointsÂ™ through these exercises in SEO, which don't spark much member interest, at the expense of members who post articles that stimulate discussion.
In spite of an article I published several months ago, I don't earn my living on Gather and have no illusions of doing so.Â My goal of over 6,000 points a day was really tongue in cheek.Â I've been chugging along at about 20 points a day, commenting on others' work and posting little pieces of my own now and then.Â I do find it annoying that the Gather point pool is being drained by SEO inspired articles that don't interest Gather members.
I'm amazed.Â After all this time somebody has discovered a new way to game the point system that doesn't involves naming things that begin with the letter "R."Â I'm always amazed at the lengths some people will go for a tiny reward.
So, folks, the rules are simple.Â One word per comment.Â As in all KatzGamesÂ™, thread jacking, digression, and non-sequiturs are encouraged.
Here's one to get it started: Â Johnny5K