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I grew up in Colorado at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, then lived in Denmark and traveled throughout Europe before coming back to Colorado. I have two adult sons, whom I cherish. I started my writing career as a columnist and investigative reporter and eventually became the first woman editor of two different papers. Along the way, my team and I won numerous state and several national awards, including the National Journalism Award for Public Service. In 2011, I was awarded the Keeper of the Flame Lifetime Achievement Award for Journalism. Now I write historical romance and contemporary romantic suspense.

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Seductive Musings

Sunday, September 20, 2009

What a weird, weird world!



The Internet has changed the world. There's no doubt about that. As a journalist, I remember the days when researching a story sent you to the library, where you spent hours poring over microfiche and to government offices to read through dusty old records. Reporters these days have it easy, thanks to the World Wide Web.

But the Internet has done things that aren't so helpful, such as making it easier for people to steal books, music, movies and photographs. It's also made it possible to get a glimpse into people's minds in a way that we couldn't before.

For example...

If you arrive at this blog because of a Google or Yahoo search, my blog software records your IP address, what search engine you used, the country in which your IP is located, what referrer brought you here, what you read while you were on my blog and so on. It also notes which search terms you entered if you arrived here because of an Internet search.

I suppose these data are intended to provide a wealth of marketing information. I don't have time to use it in that fashion. I do check once in a while just to see what topics seem to interest readers most, and I always look to see what this week's search terms have been.

And that's the really weird and entertaining part of it.

By far, most people arrive here because they have it bookmarked or because they did a Google search. And most Google searches are simply for "Pamela Clare" or "Pamela Clare" plus the title of a novel. But some are rather interesting, not only for what they say but also for what they reveal about human nature.

So I'm going to share some with you.

Here are some of the Internet search terms for the past couple of days. To the left is the date, to the right is the search term. Check them out. I've bolded some for discussion below.


09/19/09 18:53:48 pamela clare author (Yahoo)
09/19/09 15:20:26 strip search prison bend over (Google)
09/19/09 15:17:57 steal books from borders easy (Google)
09/19/09 15:10:41 "pam clare" (Google)
09/18/09 16:57:41 the course fabric her arousel (Yahoo)
09/18/09 07:04:48 casting couch sex stories (Google)
09/18/09 07:03:19 pamela clare (Google)
09/17/09 23:15:44 untamed spoilers (Google)
09/17/09 23:15:33 untamed spoilers (Google)
09/17/09 23:14:44 prison wank (Google)
09/17/09 22:15:38 pamela clare (Google)
09/17/09 18:01:56 pamela clare (Google)
09/17/09 14:33:59 project: naked edge (Google)
09/17/09 12:35:39 free download pamela clare (Google)
09/17/09 11:32:15 pamela clare (Google)
09/17/09 09:05:42 pinch nipple pregnant sex (Google)
09/17/09 07:59:00 casting couch uptated weekly (Google)
09/17/09 00:10:59 astatalk (Google)
09/16/09 23:39:27 pamela clare (Yahoo)

As you see, most people who end up here simply search for my name. But ever since I posted the Goldilocks Goes to Jail series just before Unlawful Contact came out, I've been getting hits from someone every week who enjoys reading about the strip search. Every week!

Well, I'm glad I can fuel their fetish.

There are almost always sexual terms that land people here — not surprising given that I sometimes post spicy excerpts.

But I also have drawn lots of hits from people who want to steal. My post "If you steal books you suck" continues to get lots of hits. As some of you have discovered, I've cut off comments to that post because it turned in to a free for all with lots of abusive language and nastiness that I don't feel has a place here on my blog. As recently as today, people have posted insults, trying to slam me because I think book piracy is wrong. Well, that's too bad for those people. Obviously, they have issues. (And if they show up here, their posts will be summarily deleted.)

Interestingly, the post has also resulted in lots of people ending up here accidentally when what they were looking for was a way to download one of my stories illegally. I'm sure they eventually find a place that enables them to do just that, but it also means they spend a few seconds at least looking at the headline, "If you steal books you suck." So at least they get to know what I think about what they're doing.

I find that funny.

But, sadly, it's clear from the search terms I see every week that people are looking for ways to steal in other ways. Yes, people actually try to Google for tips on how to steal books from book stores.

A-maz-ing!

I recommend that anyone who is inclined to try stealing from a book store to read about my stay in jail first, since that's where they'll eventually end up.

Someone out there is probably doing a PhD dissertation on search terms and what they reveal about human nature. But one thing they show is people's true impulses if they're given a sense of anonymity.

It just goes to prove that people's moral character can't be measured by what they do or say in the company of others, but rather by what they do when they think no one is watching.

But, of course, on the Internet, someone is always watching.

8 comments:

Mary G said...

Brilliant post Pamela. Too bad that the people it's meant for don't get it!!

Debbie H said...

This is so scary. The internet is such a useful, scary place.

People who steal do SUCK big time!

Ronlyn said...

*shaking my head*
the internet seems to allow people to be bluuies and idiots, since they don't have the face to face contact.
And you're hardly alone in thinking that downloading pirated copies of books is wrong. I have yet to hear from an author that approves of the practice.

Thanks, Mary. It's not very well written, but quality of writing wasn't really my point today, I guess. LOL! And it's true. The people who need to read it most either won't read it or will simply hide themselves behind 10,000 shoddy excuses rather than attempting to understand.

Useful and scary. That's the Internet in a nutshell, Debbie. :-)

I hope we learn how to maximize it's usefulness while curbing its potential for harm. It's still very much an infant technology. I have no doubt publishing and music will catch up one day.

LOL, Ronlyn, so true! Just read the comments on any newspaper's website. Our competing paper in town permits people to post anonymous responses. Inevitably, when there's an article about a brutal rape or domestic assault, guys queue up to call the woman a slut and bitch and everything else — even though they don't know here or the facts of the case. Anonymity doesn't promote "public dialogue," but rather a kind of lynch-mob mentality. Every sexist, racist, hate-filled sentiment in the human mind ends up online somewhere. It's disgusting.

We're about to add comments to our paper's site, and they won't be anonymous if I have anything to say about it.

People out to at least have the courage to stand by what they say. If they can't, then their opinion isn't worth a thing, IMHO.

linda said...

The more things change, the more things change the same. Do you think human evolution will ever catch up to human inventiveness? The worms will crawl out of the woodwork online just as surely as they will wherever they think they'll be safe.

Ronlyn said...

wow, my fingers and my brain were working on two different speeds there. Sorry for all the typos. LOL

ronna's said...

Whoa. That's scary. It's like having a ghost behind you. Nice article Pamela. ;D

JennJ said...

I tell ya people are just weird this is very true unfortunately. And yep there is always ALWAYS a trail and even if you "delete" your tracks they can still be retrieved from a hard drive if the person is very computer savvy. LOL something most people don't think about.

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