“Rap Genius Co-Founder Mahbod Moghadam tells me “Google wants to index all of text. But what’s more interesting is to try to explain all of text, anything that lends itself to line-by-line analysis.” While a lofty ambition, the bootstrapped startup site is off to a good start, receiving several million unique visitors a month.” – Josh Constine
This is just a quick post but I couldn’t resist commenting on this. The great thing about Quora is that there’s a conversation going about any topic you can think of. People share information and communicate in addition to helping people understand certain subjects. I will become very wary of an Internet that tries take that one step further and explain everything to me. Critical reading is part of the SAT for a reason – its a critical life skill.
I think Rap Genius is a cool idea. I think some rap lyrics are indecipherable. Unfortunately, I think an online repository of explanations about any and all texts is a mistake. The article mocks annoying ad-based lyrics sites; while they’re not the best sites, if you’re looking up lyrics to sing along they work just fine. My favorite site, LetsSingIt.com does rely on unreliable fans to put up the lyrics but that has lead to a strong community of music fans sharing their idea of the lyrics and rating and discussing music together.
Maybe my fears are too late – the Internet is an all-access 411 to any topic you can bring to mind. I guess I don’t want sites like Rap Genius to think for people too. Explanations (most likely from a few dedicated people willing to update the RG Wiki, like on the Wikipedia itself) are a far cry from a simple exchange of facts.