Doc Searls links to a great post by Tom Coates on the need for bloggers to gain some control over being linked to. Links are associations, both for users and search engines in the Google era. Some associations are desireable, some are not, some need to be qualified and some imply guilt. Coates' idea, "using an .htacess file or something similar to serve up a page which declares that you refuse to be associated with the views of the person whose site you've just left," is what you could call an Anti-link.
An Anti-link provides a functional link between two pages, but votes or stands against the content of the other page. This would need to happen in three areas:
- When linked to, as suggested by Coates.
- When linking to. The content of most sites will provide its own disclaimer before forwarding the user.
- When links are analyzed. Perhaps most importantly, when either of the above occurs that link enhances the PageRank of both sites and creates an undesireable similarity. What's needed is an Antimatter site that you link through that provides link functionality to the user, but does not create an association for search engines. In other words, an Antimatter site doesn't exist to anonymize any association between you and an antiyou.
The Antimatter site could be cooperatively obfuscated with a search engine, or more drastic tactics could be taken to make the site not exist.
This above may or may not already exist, would like to know -- but these tools would be invaluable to Radio and Blogger users. The effect would be to raise the level of debate without negative externalities. To unbundle context from content.