John Gallagher introduces the concept of writing for algorithmic audiences, which he argues is really writing for algorithmic procedures (Gallagher 25). However, I think a more clarified explanation this would be writing for the algorithms that your audience is most likely to interact with. For example, content created specifically for teachers should have keywords like “education” or “learning” in the title so that this audience is more likely to stumble upon the content when they search for educational materials (which is addressed more on page 26). This idea permeates many fields, I have had recent discussions on this concept in a marketing class as well as International Theory, in relation to research design and methodology. Many style guides for academic writing (such as APA) include a keyword section on papers’ front pages that fulfill this idea of algorithmic audiences.
Keywords and other strategies that are used in relation to algorithms should be tailored to the method of distribution to maximize circulation potential (28). This reminded me of the height of the hashtag era and its spread across media platforms. I was first exposed to hashtags on Twitter around 2010, even though they had been used by chat rooms and other sites for a good amount of time prior to Twitter. Apps like Instagram and Facebook followed suit in allowing users to insert hashtags and search through public posts by hashtags. In my experience, hashtags are usually used ironically nowadays on Twitter, and on Instagram people hide them by leaving several lines under their captions, because they don’t really want their followers to judge them for using multiple hashtags to increase their visibility and “likes”. Facebook’s use of hashtags confuses me the most. I typically don’t search for anything on Facebook with the exception of names of people I am internet stalking. I sometimes see people use hashtags in their posts but I always question what’s the point of that. Facebook was designed as a social media for people to share things with “friends”, not to search for keywords with hashtags. If you’re using hashtags in your Facebook posts, you either don’t expect them to serve any actual purpose, or your using the wrong platform to reach your algorithmic audience.
Final Word Count: 365