Archive for the 'search engines' Category

Some Tuesday night links

Here are some media-related links for your amusement:

1. There’s a subculture in New York that digs through old buildings and dumpsters to find rare old books.

2. A scientist talks about his experience being interviewed by Stephen Colbert. He actually tried to anticipate Colbert’s faux arguments beforehand for preparation.

3. Note to self: If I ever become an editor of a major magazine, I should probably refrain from using the image of a noose on the cover.

4. Search Atheism on the rise: “A new study from the University of Southern California’s Center for the Digital Future has found that a growing number of people no longer believe that search results are reliable and accurate.”

5. Techcrunch has a rundown of the fastest growing websites on the web compared to the websites that are decreasing rapidly in visitors. Let’s hope that Myspace will soon join the latter list.

6. Speaking of Myspace, they should take a lesson from the New York Times: Visitors hate annoying advertisements.

7. We’ve heard of the Nickelodeon Kid’s Choice Awards, but one geared towards the presidential primary? I think there should be a photoshop contest of Ron Paul trying to appeal to kids voters.

8. Salon blogger Glenn Greenwald made a good catch: Passive Voice Journalism. How could so many mainstream journalists mention the 2000 John McCain smear without talking about the source of the smear?

9. More reports that UK news sites have more readers outside the UK than in.

10. This is pretty cool, The Atlantic Monthly is releasing all of its content for free online.

Some Thursday links

Here are some media-related links for your amusement:

1. Clearasil has started to run some clever magazine advertisements where you’re able to remove “pimple stickers” and place them on all the beautiful models in the other ads.

2. Are you a cable news junkie but tired of seeing 24-hour-a-day coverage of OJ Simpson? This restaurant may be for you.

3. Websites that were once cool but now they suck.

4. Google vs. Microsoft: No longer are they content on competing for search engine business, they’re now fighting over who can be the bigger philanthropist. For once, Microsoft is winning at something.

5. As was predicted, the Church of Scientology has issued take down copyright notices to Gawker for posting their promotional video online.

6. In other news, has gone from the website that loves Ron Paul to the website that hates Ron Paul.

7. A cool blog post by Nicholas Carr titled “Is encryption a right?“: “As the Washington Post reports today, the encryption conflict is now coming to a head. A guy in Vermont, accused of storing child pornography on his computer, has refused to provide police with the password required to unlock the encrypted files on his hard drive. He claims that disclosing the password would violate his Fifth Amendment right to avoid self-incrimination. A judge backed his claim, and the government is now appealing that ruling in the federal courts.”

8. What’s with all the bizarre stories about Hilary Clinton having awkward encounters with her press bus? (via joel)

9. I might write more about this later, but a writer at the Columbia Journalism Review wonders why bloggers don’t form unions.

Let’s ditch Google for a month

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales is launching Wikia Search, a new search engine, on Jan. 7. Like Wikipedia, it’ll draw from crowd wisdom to produce its results. Not much has been released on how this will work exactly.

It has an advantage over Wikipedia, however, in that it won’t have to start from scratch. The site will no doubt receive a deluge of links on its launch date, and this will be a good chance for us all to be early adopters. I’m going to try my best to give it a month-long test run, though I have a feeling I’m going to resort to using Google from time to time.

It’s not that I’m against Google or anything, I think it’d just be cool to be one of the early influencers of what could potentially be a major search engine. And who knows, maybe it’ll stick.

So who’s with me?

Related posts:
1. An area of Search Engine Optimization often overlooked: Google News
2. Google’s employees transported to work in their own buses
3. The politics of Wikipedia

The increasing irrelevancy of Technorati: Sacrificing usability for pageviews

What is our obsession with continuing to use the blog search engine Technorati? Is it because of its ranking system — which allows us to receive an ego boost every time we compare our popularity to other blogs? For years, the search engine has tried every which way to alienate its users with a multitude of error pages and poor usability.

Case in point: Recently, Technorati has made it harder for its users to access its search results by forcing them to make redundant clicks and pageviews. Let’s say you do a search on those blogs that have linked to Bloggasm. If you then want to click through to any of the links in the search results, does it take you to the blog post in question? Absolutely not. Instead, it takes you to yet another technorati page with one tiny link to the blog post that produced the content. There are links on the main search results pages but they’re also tiny, faded, and unnoticeable.

Imagine if Google were to try and pull this crap: Every time you do a google search, rather than the links taking you to the webpage with the content you’re looking for, you have to first go through a redundant Google page. They wouldn’t even consider such a thing, much less implement it.

So again: Why do we continue to use Technorati?

UPDATE: Technorati CEO Richard Jalichandra responds to my criticisms in the comments section. Immediately following his comment you’ll see my response.

Related posts:
1. The text-advertising wars

Google explains how it wants to spend $4.6 billion to open broadband platforms

We heard a few days ago that Google is thinking about spending billions of dollars for the auctioning of the wireless spectrum through the FCC. Though I don’t understand all their intentions and goals, it seems that they want to make both wireless and broadband options more open, making it harder for large corporations to lock their customers in to their own devices.

For instance, it’s rather silly that in order to use an iPhone you have to buy an AT&T phone plan, you should be able to choose any service you like.

Anyway, Google went into much more detail about their plan over at their official blog.

Some quick media news links

1.eBay Quietly Unveils New Classifieds Site For U.S: “Online auction powerhouse eBay is hoping you might want to advertise online, on its new site meant to rival the popular Craigslist. The Wall Street Journal says the U.S. version of the site, called Kijiji, has gone live.” EDITOR’S NOTE: Kijiji? WTF? Could they have found a more inane, hard-to-remember title for the website?

2. Voting Begins on For Simpsons’ Hometown: “Voting began today on the Web site of the USA Today newspaper for which of several Springfields will host the premiere of ‘The Simpsons Movie’ later this month.”

3. Gay Paper ‘Out & About’ Now Back In At Nashville Kroger Stores : “One month after Out & About Newspaper was removed from racks inside Nashville, Tenn.-area Kroger supermarkets, the regional gay and lesbian free weekly is coming back to some of the stores. In an announcement Monday, Kroger said DistribuTech, the free newspaper distribution company, had misinterpreted the supermarket chain’s policy against displaying free papers that promote specific religious, political or other agendas.”

4. Personal Traffic Alerts, With Made-to-Order Data: “For many people, getting away for a holiday means sitting in traffic while listening to staccato radio reports about rubbernecking delays and cascading backups. But during the next few days, as Americans extend their Fourth of July celebrations, tens of thousands of motorists around the country will receive up-to-the minute accident alerts and guidance on end runs around bottlenecks — without ever having to turn on a car radio.”

5. Can She Turn Yahoo Into, Well, Google?: A profile of Susan L. Decker, president of Yahoo.


Related posts:
1. Interview with Brian Flemming, director of The God Who Wasn’t There
2. Even gay princes aren’t safe
3. The case of the mystery gadget
4. Why is Technorati so unreliable?
5. PR companies stalking journalists
6. The text-advertising wars
7. Journalists trying to investigate Chinese businesses

Google will become carbon neutral by the end of 2007

Google announced on their official blog that they will become carbon neutral by the end of 2007. Of course this carbon “neutrality” involves them buying “carbon offsets,” and there’s been much doubt and skepticism on how much real effect these carbon offsets have. To calculate their carbon footprint, they added up “emissions from purchased electricity, employee commuting, business travel, construction, and server manufacturing.”

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