The SEO project
Creating an example stigmergic system to demonstrate how biological strategies take effect
Stigmergic systems are based upon biological strategies that involve concepts quite alien to those usually encountered in computer technology. But, most people haven't the time to work through the theory to understand how they work...
... so, this project is about creating an example to look as much like a conventional computer application as possible, yet exhibit all the features that allow biological systems to evolve, self-organize and become increasingly efficient.
The example can then be used to explain the thinking behind the application of biological strategies, showing how the concepts differ markedly from those of more conventional approaches to information technology.
The example chosen is a system to produce an optimum information resource for "The search engine optimization of a web site".
This emerges from the combined efforts of a group of people sharing bookmarks. It looks naively simple, but this surface simplicity masks an underlying complexity that is the basis of every kind of biological evolution.
To fully appreciate this example, forget about the technical details of manipulating and sorting information. Think instead about the way people interact in a collaborative situation. Concentrate your mind on how the information content is likely to change over time. How people react to information. How redundant, inaccurate or irrelevant information is purged from the system.
By thinking out of the box, you will discover the real value of these biological techniques. It is not about algorithms or procedures, it is about creating a situation where organization and efficiency emerge spontaneously as a direct result of a group of people getting together to collaborate.
The revelation of this example is that although it appears to be producing an information resource consisting of links, it is actually creating an efficient team of collaborators. It is this aspect of biological systems that has universal application.