Content Farms

Garson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Mon Nov 1 19:15:11 UTC 2010

There exist other "farm" terms for activity on the internet that may
be relevant to the emergence of "content farm":

An existing term for the manipulation of search engines is: Link farm

The menial pay given to workers is reminiscent of: Gold farming

The ADS archive contains a 2009 mention of gold farming and playbourer, n.

On Mon, Nov 1, 2010 at 2:34 PM, Victor Steinbok <aardvark66 at> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Victor Steinbok <aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: Content Farms
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Sounds like a web content equivalent of a puppy mill or a quarterback
> stable. And "X farms" does not sound a bit unusual these day. "Mill" and
> "stable" sound almost archaic, by comparison, and "stable" must involve
> living things, mostly people.
> The meaning is quite transparent, though. I am not entirely sure if I
> heard the specific combination "content farms", but that's precisely the
> point--if I /had/ heard it, I would not have found it a bit unusual and
> likely would not have flagged it. And I flag quite a few things that are
> "ordinary" by others' measures.
>     VS-)
> On 11/1/2010 12:17 PM, Federico Escobar wrote:
>> A popular NYT article on a new search engine, Bekko, used a term I hadn't
>> seen before, and that didn't come up in the ADS archives: "content farm".
>> Here's the quote:
>> "Blekko's search engine scours three billion Web pages that it considers
>> worthwhile, but it shows only the top results on any given topic. It calls
>> its edited lists of Web sites slashtags. The engine also tries to weed out
>> Web pages created by so-called content farms like Demand Media that
>> determine popular Web search topics and then hire people at low pay to write
>> articles on those topics for sites like"
>> And this is the link to the NYT article:
>> There's also the new "slashtag" created by Bekko, which may soon start a
>> profitable career as noun and verb.
>> F.
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