Website<Twitter> web = new Website<Twitter>();
web.PukeContent("tweet, tweet. Rockin Robin, tweedle-e-deet.");
//Yes, the web is generic!
I must admit that after working closely with ZTMC, a firm that prided themselves as search engine experts, I thought I new a little something about optimizing a website for top-notch ranking and placement. However, I'm confused by the decision Google Search has made to continue listing my old MSN Spaces' blog in search results, like "eric swanson". I removed all content and updated all links to point to my new blog website and despite the severely trimmed and lacking content of the current version of the old blog, it continues to be ranked and placed highly.
Industry's concept of "content is king" may cease to apply to established urls. In other words, if you build a content-rich website and establish a high-value link network (lots of focused inbound links from other websites) and then simply remove the value content, it looks like Google will still consider you an ideal resource, despite your web pages consisting of only out-bound links. Now, this theory I've devised may not be entirely precise, since my old blog is really a sub-domain of a single, larger domain (a network of websites under one umbrella). I have not researched how engines like Google have effectively managed the use of sub-domains and if they can accurately identify them as seperate websites, or if they all fall in the same pool of related content. I can say with certainty that my early experiments showed that targeting search engines with content on sub-domains of extremely large domains did help ranking. So, I wouldn't be surpised if the affiliation with other sub-domains is negating the impact of my lack of content on my Google placement. Time will tell...
I have configured a lot of software in my career and I have learned a great deal that could probably be of some benefit to someone out there... As always, my knowledge will represent that of a programming god to 1 or 2 people, guru to few, an expert to some, average to many, and a novice to my peers. I will attempt to document all of my personal computer settings, including operating systems, internet browsers, development environments, web servers, database servers, etc. *This will be an on-going attempt, so check back if you find it at all helpful.
Google recently released "Google Trends", a service that identifies broad regional and lingual search patterns. Check out Google's other products and services and be certain to play in the expirimental Google Labs.
Indeed, the glamor and glitz of starting up a "blog" on the internet has worn off. In some cases, this is a good thing, since any reduction in internet content production helps making the distinction between good, bad, and pointless content easier. But, those people that simply stopped typing are still there, lurking among us, simply searching for the next fun reason to share. Enter video blogging or "v-log". It's been around since forever, but, as a fad, it still has yet to fully realize its potential. Pod casts certainly got their year or 2 in the spotlight. The trouble I have with these video and audio media blogs is that they are inaccessible. I don't expect that blind or deaf people or flocking to my website, but search engines certainly are and they won't have a clue how to index that content without real contextual stories or transcripts. But, who has the time to type descriptions of what's on video or audio? I certainly don't. So, any entries as v-log or pod-casts will certainly be limited or even avoided.
I signed up for an "advanced" blogging account on Google's Blogger.com, which actually stored the blog files on this website! Pretty nifty feature. I'll play around with it, but I doubt I'll end up using it. I'm not that fond of 3rd party blogging software after hosting my blog on MSN Spaces.
How rude of me to ignore the fact that you may have stumbled upon my site looking for another Eric Swanson! Well, I have compiled a list, although not entirely comprehensive, of others that carry my name:
A suggestion to ALL e-mail programs... keep your "Junk E-mail" folder working the way it works, but add a "Really Bad Grammer" folder as well and dump everything that has more than N grammer errors (user defined) in it.
I just got a piece of junk e-mail in my inbox that passed 1) my company's expensive SPAM filters and 2) Outlook's junk e-mail rules engine. It started something like this:
"subside sill as transpire a is agreeable southern but annexation, blackmailer a altar a was medication an playmate humid become the of peak, ..."
Now, sure, all of my sisters', friends', and boss' e-mails will get thrown in the "Really Bad Grammer" folder from now on, but I'm willing to accept the consequences.
My list of personal websites has grown and shrunk like a roller-coaster of whimsical domain name purchases. Here is a list of what they were / are and what has happened or will be happening to them:
Anything you type can and may be saved. If you're walking down the street and you get the feeling that someone is shadowing your steps, don't you get nervous? What could they possibly want from you? Why?! Well, the same goes for internet browsing...
Tools are contantly evolving to expose difficult or "hidden" tasks. Computers are only 1 example. A method for gaining entry to a secure location and / or information. Devices for enabling malicious intent. There's always a spike in illegal or mischievous activity when something comes along that makes it easier for the general public to perform an activity deemed unacceptable by society.
We're all going to see a radical shift in the way most websites look and function in the next few years... The concepts of personalizing a website to meet your own needs is no longer a desired feature that only major website portals can afford to implement. Both the experience of people involved coupled with the evolution of web technologies is going to allow people like me to build websites unlike those regular internet visitors have ever experienced.
So, I joined a host, creating a new and, as of yet, undiscovered "strand" with all sorts of wonderful "meals" in it. Hopefully one or more spiders will come along, gobble up my meals, and possibly link the "strand" into its own "web". If not, I will have to attempt to personally feed each spider my meals and hope they then link my strand. Once linked, I plan to create even better meals for the spider and hope that I can convince the spider that my linked strand should be moved to a more prominent spot in their own web, so that outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy my spectacular strand! I also hope that other "chefs" like myself will find my strand interesting and create meals that incorporate my delicious recipes, linking their strands to mine without the spider's involvement! Or, if the spider finds a recipe someone has created using my original recipies, the spider will remember my savory meal and give me the credit I deserve. Then, when an outdoor enthusiast is searching for the best meal in every spider's web, they will see that I am the best spider meal chef they've been looking for!
Cons of the "web" and "spider" Metaphores
Ever hit the wrong computer button, mouse button, software icon, menu item and had to wait for the software to do its thing before moving on? Kinda like a web page that takes forever to finish loading? What if you clicked the link on accident and it took forever? Well, usually you can tell web pages to just stop what they're doing and they do. Programs are different... You usually can't just stop them. (for good reasons some of the time)
I just hit the quick tray icon for "MS Visual Studio 2003"... gawd... That monster software program takes forever to finish loading... I wrote to them a long time ago, "MODULARIZE!" Actually, the letter was quite a bit more professional, but it leads you to wonder, why don't software developers make traditional software products more modular? Kinda like MSN Spaces or any good website these days. Unfortunately, people on my side of the fence are still realizing the benefits of a web-like interface in many aspects of traditional software. There are benefits to both sides, let's all find a happy middle-ground.
Yes... I know you hate these colors, but I hope it conveys the hideous nature of how "traditional" software and just plain bad software works
FYI: I think Visual Studio is a wonderful product! Great idea... awesome programmers... bad user experience.
Raven is hounding me for answers on how to generate traffic to her website. Use Google AdWords. You will also want to contact websites with similiar content and see how you might get a link on their website, possibly trading links (if necessary). Spread the word. Only advertise if you really think you want / need to pay for some play. Now... I shall proceed to babble endlessly...
So you want to be popular?
Well, if you were already popular, you wouldn't be asking this question and the people who consider you popular now are not enough to satisfy your overwhelming need to quench this thirst that is parching your personality.
In all reality, if you are not popular doing what you are doing and you have tried everything and you have been patient to no avail... If you think that you will die before anyone realizes the "truth" of your injustice... That people may not ever recognize your contributions to this world and that your identity on Earth may be forgotten. Then... you just don't realize how popular you are! Everyone's like that! Well, almost everyone. At some point in all of our lives, we tend to sit back and our brain kicks into overdrive with the question, "Who cares? No... really.... WHO? WHO CARES?!". We start freaking out or whatever and we usually realize "nobody". That's not true of course. The answer is ALWAYS "somebody".
Looking back, painters, musicians, artists... let's just sum them all up into "The Artists". An incredibly large population of artists are never popular for what they wish to express through their work, but yet, the erosion of time often widdles these works into priceless gems that either touch a new generation in a new way or simply remind us of expression's purity through personality. Okay... now I'm talking like those people in "modern art" galleries around the world that try to find some fantastic explanation for why an artist decided to splatter 3 colors of paint on the wall and glue a tree branch in the middle.
So, the point I'm making is that you will be forgotten and that's okay. This need to be popular is not a need at all, unless its root is to be loved and touches on your personal insecurities. Then, you need to do some deeper soul searching and shouldn't be wasting your time reading mindless blogs.
But, I want to be Internet Popular!
You know... the kind that gets hits from all over the world! Well, then, I might suggest that you first make certain that the world wants what you have, even if it's like a grain of sand under God's feet. At least make them feel impacted as they pass by. Where do you find people that will find you interesting? Do the legwork! Write, call, talk, communicate your message... Find others to do it for you! But, stay involved in the communication process and keep up-to-date on how it's going. Plan ahead, review what's behind. If, afte
- Posted On: 7/2/2005
Search Engine Optimization — Odd Results
It's so great to see people searching for such odd things all of the time and some of them arriving at my website because of it all...SEO stands for "Search Engine Optimization"... Some of my first entries in this blog had to do with experiments regarding ranking / placement in the popular engines. It was scary how well they worked. Many web-heads have tested the wonders of the Blog and even non-techies have realized how often they get "indexed" for a certain search term or phrase.I encountered my most interesting search result so far... Check out this search: site:spaces.msn.comNumber 7!!! I thought that was pretty cool, considering all of the incredible blogs people have now on Spaces. I feel like others should be given this wonderful privelage, but will enjoy the fact that I have been granted the honor. The link above limits all search results to the "spaces.msn.com" domain and doesn't specify any terms or phrases to look for. Simply asking, "Give me all the results you've indexed for this domain." You can use this to your advantage if you are looking for a specific thing in a specific domain. Simply specify the place to look and what you are looking for... Example: "Politics site:theonion.com"
- Posted On: 6/10/2005
Not much to say other than that it is REALLY cool to see MS developing stuff in front of your very eyes. http://www.start.com/3
Let's get technical...
Which brings me to a software development issue I've run into recently... Versioning web applications. Obviously, it would be nice to simply upgrade everyone to the same platform, which is a really a key feature of web applications. However, what about drastic changes to interfaces? For web applications that have active membership througout the year, this issue can apply, but usually doesn't.
For web applications that have paying membership for a set period of time (begin and end dates), you have the flexibility of selling them use of the product and they go away. During that time, it may or may not make sense to upgrade them to the new interface. If it makes sense to keep existing customers on the version they paid for, then that brings up the issue of how to version a web application, interfaces, and even parts of an interface.
Obviously, you can version a web application by simply copying the new version to a different url and having new customers use the new url. Interfaces present the unique problem of identifying which customers see what. Obviously this can be controlled through a database of customers and a pointer to which interface they end up with for the same page. The concept of "skinning" an application also addresses this issue. I have yet to see a truly elegant solution to web application skinning (because I believe XSLT ought to be a big part of it, but that it should be independant of the programming technology and allow dynamic content replacement and possibly even support for things like ASP.NET controls). The Community Server Forums application provided on ASP.net made a good attempt and DotNetNuke definately made an incredible tackle. PhpNuke was a mess. Skinnable controls can be purchased on the web which are also "good". However, I felt they all fell short.
Having tried my hand at tackling the problem in a limited amount of free time, I also fell short of the goal. Learned a few good things, but all-in-all ended up with a bunch of code I'll likely never use. Developers are welcome to point me toward examples they feel best exemplify web application skinning and I'll try those out when possible...
- Posted On: 5/24/2005
Did you ever care to wonder what percentage of the world you, as an individual, represent? Income, social status, career position, culturally, spiritually, etc. Here's an interesting read about trying to create a sample representation of the world's population using ONLY 100 people.
Met with the co-founders of a fascinating organization in New York yesterday that is trying to identify 100 people who would statistically represent the population of our planet. The organization is set up as a charity, and is called 100 People. The concept is both artistic (Carolyn Jones, who is one of the partners is an amazing photographer) and has aspirations of helping us understand in visual and personal terms who our global neighbours are. Sometimes it's easy to get lost in statistics like the ones below. But if we can see, read and hear the stories of the actual people, we might be more inclined to both be energized by the diversity and richness of mankind, as well as the shame of how isolationist our species has become. Anyway, take a look at the website, even if only for the great photos.
If the World were100 PEOPLE:
50 would be females
50 would be males
There would be:
14 people from the Western Hemisphere
30 would be children
There would be 70 adults,
7 of which would be aged
70 would be non-white
30 would be white
33 would be Christian
18 would be Muslims
16 would be Hindus
6 would be Buddhist
1 would be Jewish
11 would believe in other religions
15 would be non-religious
1 would have a college education
1 would own a computer
80 people would live in substandard housing
14 would be unable to read
50 would suffer from malnutrition
1 would be dying of starvation
15 would be overweight
75 people would have some supply of food and a place to shelter them from the wind and the rain, but
25 would not.
17 people would have no clean, safe water to drink
Sources:The Global Citizen, May 31, 1990, Donella H. Meadows, Hebei University 2001, Zero Population Growth Seattle, Unheard Voices: Celebrating Cultures from the Developing World, Returning Peace Corps Volunteers of Madison Wisconsin, 1992
- Posted On: 2/16/2005
Yes, the internet sucks the very life from your lungs! Information overload is an every day occurence. I was re-visiting the ideal, "web standards" this morning. Staying on top of web development is a difficult chore and demands continuous education. Although an excellent foundation and "foot-in-the-door" for employers, college degrees are bunk for the world of technology (though I wish I had mine, so employers didn't have an immediate excuse to discard my resume).
So, I wanted to find out how much support the most recent versions of internet browsers out there have for "the standards". I have always admired the work Mozilla has done to adhere to standard compliancy. I was also very impressed with the tremendous success FireFox had in its recent release. Netscape 7+ seems to have good support for standards. IE simply hasn't changed for a couple of years. I hate to say it, but although Microsoft hasn't completely supported the standards initiative (which they should!!!), I really enjoy working with the fact that their browser hasn't changed (yes, despite TONS of security vulnerabilities and REALLY BAD reliability of standards implementation). I am currently in Opera 7 and haven't used their browser for more than minutes at a time for several years now. WOW! Congratulations Opera! I really enjoy this experience. With recent statistics showing that Opera is currently one of the fastest browsers for Windows, I may even convert. Who knows...
Let me get this straight standards-lovers... Your idea for a solution is to accept that browsers currently provide too much backwards-compatibility and so, your solution, is to simply embrace standards "as best you can" by compensating TONS of browser-specific workarounds and overly-simplifying websites so that you do don't have to do any work to display your website on multiple operating system platforms and browser software? hmm... NO. I simply can't embrace traveling back in time to use design elements of the 20th century with the code mark-up of the 21st. It seems like everyone who pushes CSS standards is also pushing site design like, AListApart.com and "Little Boxes". I commend these organizations and individuals for their hard work at adopting standards and attempting to wade their way through the muck-entrenched browser-incompatibilities by designing simplified websites that work for "everyone". But, I accept that 1) my website isn't for everyone, 2) Some people may not be able to view my website, and 3) I am providing some means of indirect support for Browsers to not fully comply with standards. NO. Well, not entirely on #3. Sure, they can spin a story saying that "Since Eric and a million others still use old, deprecated HTML mark-up to build their websites, we must support them." NO. Drop support for deprecated HTML completely from popular browsers a
- Posted On: 2/3/2005
What a company to work for! GoDaddy.com is constantly pushing the bounds of the domain registration industry and continues to branch out into other venues. They are just down the street from the company I work for. Hmm...
They have purchased 2 spots for the Super Bowl this weekend and even pushed the bounds of censorship by getting their 2nd ad submission to Fox rejected. Bob Parson, founder and president of GoDaddy.com, embraces Blogging and writes regular updates on the company, politics, and his own personal life. With odds of 25-to-1, their ad is expected to be the best Super Bowl commercial (scroll to the VERY bottom) according to Bet World Wide TeleSports.
I am tremendously grateful for Bob's personal convictions regarding community out-reach programs within his company. I have learned quite a bit about the domestic violence that occurs hourly with children not yet in the foster care system. As Bob points out, "It saddens me to know that a child is a victim of serious abuse in Arizona every hour, and that nationally a child dies every 12 seconds as a result of child abuse." Amazing. Truley a tragedy of humanity that these issues even exist.
Being an active participant in their industry, I can certainly say that GoDaddy.com is headed in the right direction. I have used Register.com, Network Solutions, and other registration companies in the past and I am convinced that GoDaddy is the best solution out there. Too bad my hosting company has an internal partnership with Network Solutions. Sorry Bob.
Check out GoDaddy's great service below:
- Posted On: 2/2/2005
If you are into MSN, Microsoft, Google, or internet business, you need to check out this guy's blog once in a while...
QuoteTalking about MSN Newsbot Revamped
Several of you have emailed/IM'd me in the last couple of weeks to talk about how you've disliked the changed being made to MSN Newsbot on MSNBC. I've agreed with that view, but it looks like they were just tweaking things "live" in advance of the revamp.
Check out the updated MSN Newsbot on MSNBC @ http://newsbot.msn.com. I only have one major request...and that is that they add a "sort by date" or allow some way for users to know that the items they are seeing are the freshest available. While MSN Newsbot has more content sources than Google News, the lack of control is unnerving to someone like myself who searches for particular news items several times a day. This is a feature that the Google News Beta has.
To my Canadian friends/visitors, check out http://ca.newsbot.msn.com/!
Here is the word from the official MSN Search blog
As some of you may have noticed, MSN Newsbot, our personalized news aggregator, has undergone some changes as a part of the MSN Search launch. The UI is now integrated with the search product. In the US this means moving easily between Newsbot Search and our partner MSNBC. For all our international markets Newsbot is wholly integrated into Search.
- Posted On: 1/28/2005
I don't know why I hadn't found GetNetWise.org before... It's a website wealthy with information to help you get to know the vulnerabilities of using your computer! Privacy, SPAM, Spyware, Kids Safety, Security, and more...
The best part about GetNetWise? It's not run by a single company!!!
Their Glossary of Terms rocks!
Every web site ought to link to it!
- Posted On: 1/10/2005
ABC News calls "bloggers" the people of 2004! Merrium-Webster calls "blog" the word of 2004 as well. Because of the popularity of this internet phenomenon, more and more valuable information can be gleamed from the volumes of information posted in blogs. Abbie's MSN Space introduced me to the idea of entire communities of related blogs, like law-related blogs.
The future is indeed exciting.
- Posted On: 1/6/2005
Microsoft released their beta AntiSpyware software today. Many rumors are floating about that they will start charging for this software in the near future. Check out their AntiSpyware FAQ and you'll see their answers hint that they will eventually charge you for the full release. (see questions "How much does Windows AntiSpyware (Beta) cost?" and "Do I need to register Windows AntiSpyware (Beta)?") Should you use it? Well, let's see...
- Microsoft - They work hard at making their money, so their software is decent and sometimes great!
- It protects your computer more than if your not using any AntiMalware software
What is malware? - Spyware is a type of malware (bad software)
- It's a beta... not fully "ready" yet.
- There are better alternatives currently
My vote? Not yet. Get more information on protecting your computer.
- Posted On: 1/3/2005
Okay... apparently my BLOG is generating some kind of interest. 1) By Eric Swanson's in the world, and 2) by Betta fish owners. If you are here for bettas, then read #2 below.
- Perhaps I am to blame for a Mr. "Eric T. Swanson" appearing out of seemingly nowhere as 2nd in Google's results page for the term "Eric Swanson". Perhaps not... All I know is that I have moved up to 4th place. Yippee! I must concede first place to the photographer. And, I must follow 3rd place, the network consultant.
- I have been analyzing where my BLOG visitors come from and surprisingly I am getting regular searches from Google based on the term "betta fish care"! I suppose this validates my search engine experiment to see if I could get indexed for the term, and for those looking, you want to visit http://www.bettatalk.com/. After successfully running my experiment, I've renamed my BLOG from "Betta fish (read about my experiment)" back to "Eric Swanson's Blog". Thanks to you who endure the struggle of betta fish care only to find me.