White Noise: News from inside the media bubble

by YES! Weekly staff

Death of the Google bomb?

Itwas easy: Start a website and then create a bunch of links to it, ortie a name or a company or a team to a derogatory adjective by linkingthe word to their sites. It’s called a Google bomb, and it was apeculiarity in the search engine’s algorithmic formula that allowedmanipulation of rankings on a given search. It’s been exploited, amongother things, to link Microsoft with Satan, tag President Bush with theassessment “miserable failure” and raise many an underviewed blog’sGoogle quotient. Google’s been aware of the problem, but hasbeen “reluctant” to intervene with the search engine results because,dammit, the internet wants to be free! But for the past yearand a half, Google has been tweaking its algorithm and now it says thebombs no longer work. That’s not stopping the Obamaniacs, however, whohave devised a plan to manipulate any Google search for “John McCain”to turn up nine articles critical of the senator in the top slots aschosen by Chris Bowers, a blogger for Open Left. — BC

Musical chairs

WFMYNews 2 promoted two anchors this week to prime-time spots in themorning and evening broadcasts. Tanya Rivera, formerly of “Two Wants toKnow,” will take the chair opposite Rosemary Plybon on “The MorningShow” starting Aug. 4. Rivera, an alumna of the University of Florida,has been at WFMY since 2002. Frank Mickens will take her place on “TwoWants to Know.” Mickens, who joined the station as the Guilford Countyreporter in 2003, has experience in print and broadcast that dates backto his days at the Clarion- Ledger and WAPT in Jackson, Miss. He earned his journalism degree from Syracuse University. — AK

Blogfight of the week

There’splenty of smack talk in the Triad blogosphere, but it generally comesfrom a finite group of perpetrators, a group that, I’m afraid, includesyours truly. But last week’s biggest dustup involved a couple outsidecontenders: Sue Polinsky and Billy Jones. You may know Polinsky, AKATech Mama, from her involvement with the ConvergeSouth bloggingconvention, her business dealings, her volunteer work or her blog,Sue’s Place, at Jones, who blogs as Billy the Blogging Poet at,is also civic minded — he has a plan to alleviate the gang problems inGreensboro and last year ran for mayor. It should be known, as well,that he rides around town on a bicycle converted to look like anairplane. The flap erupted after a thread at Dr. Joe Guarino’s blog,,in which he and a gallery of commenters made some disparaging commentsabout a recent Action Greensboro bus trip to Charlotte. Thecontroversy surrounded an insinuation by Jones that Polinsky is somehowunder the control of former Mayor Jim Melvin, who Jones refers to as“the Bobblehead.” The melee spilled over onto Sue’s Place and got soheated it attracted the calming influence of another blogger, CaraMichele Forrest, who operates got into a tangential tangle with Guarino commenter keith, who iskind of a hardass, before restoring a semblance of sanity and goodness.If this beef lasts until ConvergeSouth in the fall, expect sorefireworks. Or, more likely, one of those group-hug “un-lectures.” — BC