Bartle – and the power of You Tube.

For the last few days, my blog has been really popular.


I’ve been getting hundreds of hits on a post I wrote a couple of years back. Now, I don’t expect hundreds of hits. I’m lucky if I get a couple of thousand a month. so my first thought was that it was some sort of new spam bot, testing WordPress’ defenses. But I didn’t have any new spam comments to trash, so I checked out where these hits were coming from. – mostly search engines. But there was something interesting about the search terms. Nowadays, more and more people opt to keep their search terms private, but the vast majority of the known search terms were “Bartle Taxonomy.”

My post on Bartle has always attracted a steady stream of hits, but most of them come from searches for “the Bartle test” (which is what my post is called). This time, whilst there were still some people searching for “the Bartle test”, most were using the “taxonomy” word. Something, somewhere had caused a spike of interest in “the Bartle Taxonomy” but what?

I googled it. There was the wikipedia page on Bartle at the top of the list, a bunch of other preferences, and my own post about 6th from the top. (Not bad – but Goggle knows who I am, so I wouldn’t put it past their logarithm to place my own posts higher when I’m searching. So I tried a couple of other engines too, who wouldn’t now me, DuckDuckGo and Quant, and I’m still up there, sixth or seventh. With is cool.)i

But I couldn’t see anything in particular that had prompted the spike in my visitor numbers. Until today, when this YouTube video was brought to my attention:

Its a good video, with a simple history and explanation of Bartle’s four type taxonomy. Interestingly, it doesn’t cover his revised eight type version – but who does? Where it excels though, is looking through the gamer types to the world/player and acting/interacting axes. They are going to “delve even deeper into Bartle’s world next week.” Looks like I’m going to have to subscribe. 🙂

Which brings me to my final point. This video was uploaded on the 14th of October, co-relating exactly with my visitor spike. That the publication of such a video can have such an impact on my little back-water of the web, suggests to me that search engines like Google are losing their power to navigate (or uncover?) knowledge. Instead subscribed publishers like YouTubers are introducing a new generation of web-users to all sorts of concepts, effectively becoming “curators”. Digital music companies are all about curation  – but there’s a an opportunity for the traditional publishers, of all sorts of media, to leverage their own skillbase as curators, if they are not already too late.

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