I have been largely avoiding the internet today merely checking in on occasion to see what you folks are up to and to bookmark some stories for later reading. I noticed, come the afternoon, that over a small amount of time I had accrued a ridiculous amount of notifications, like 120+ and, while I can occasionally make a witty or controversial comment deserving of these type numbers, there was simply no way I could immediately account for why this was.
Well, it turns out I was getting a shitload of new comments on a two week old mainpaged post of mine about the viability of senior citizens starring in JJ Abrams's new Star Wars film. This is not an unusual occurrence. io9 is constantly linking back to old articles and I was sure that mine just got swept up in today's quota of stories. But when I went to find what it was attached to, I was kinda surprised.
My post had somehow made it to the Best of Kinja and was linked to the whole cluster of those daily recommended stories from across the sister sites which I routinely ignore. I always just assumed that this was some algorithmic function of Kinja that weighed the popularity of the daily stories and spit out a cluster of recommends based upon its calculations. But I see now that an actual person appears to have this job:
Her name is Jessica Smith and all of her bundled list of recommends for the day linked to the initial Best of Kinja post which featured the picture I found online of an aged Han Solo at the controls of the Millennium Falcon. So basically this weeks old post of mine was rebroadcast all over the fucking place today and picked up a whole bunch of new eyes.
I never gave much thought to those recommended stories but they appear to be to curated by an actual human being (each post does name the author, after all). But Jessica Smith is a fairly homogeneous name and her picture could have easily been lifted from anywhere. It is still possible she is a sophisticated AI, possibly related to the program know as Agent Smith.