Jonah Stein at the Alchemy of Search blog is wondering if Stephen Colbert is the Greatest Living American. Stein says this is not -ahem- a googlebombing campaign — and, according to Google, pranks like this aren’t supposed to work anymore.
So, can a group of bloggers with a lot of authority get The Colbert Nation a higher ranking for Giant Brass Balls, a term that Colbert would like to rank #1 on Google, or Truthiness, a term that Colbert coined?
This will be interesting test case to follow. Stein thinks that Stephen Colbert is the Greatest Living American. And many of his viewers would agree.
A new survey of 1,502 adults released on Sunday, April 15, by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press found that those who scored the highest in “knowledgeability” (correct answers) were regular watchers of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show and Colbert Report. They tied with regular readers of major newspapers in the top spot — with 54% of them getting 2 out of 3 questions correct. Watchers of the Lehrer News Hour on PBS followed just behind. Close to the bottom of the heap were regular watchers of Fox News. Only 1 in 3 could answer 2 out of 3 questions correctly.
So, the users with the highest “knowledgeability” should be able to judge for themselves if Stephen Colbert is the Greatest Living American, shouldn’t they? Who knows, maybe — just maybe — googlebombing can still work if it is used to reward truthiness instead of to punish miserable failure.