American Idol

Yes, I’m a fan of this silly show. I’m also fascinated by what appears to be one of the top – if not THE top – online community created by American Idol. I’ve been tracking users online as reported by fox and have seen numbers approaching 800,000 users. This would even top Myspace for the (short) periods of high American Idol community participation, which seem to peak the evenings of the shows, Tuesday and Wednesday.

Alexa graphs are interesting for this, the top TV show in the USA. The spike is remarkable.

My top choices for the eventual American Idol winner are Chris Daughtry and Kellie Pickler.

guns or butter?

This clever site offers some insight into the cost of the Iraq War in dollar terms.   Human costs are of course ultimately more important than money, but most people simply refuse to recognize that when you are talking about things like war and hunger the *human costs* often boil down to dollar costs.

You can save  LOT of people in the developing world by allocating a relatively small number of dollars, especially if they are spent on famine or health items. More about that later as politically and emotionally motivated spending is a fascinating examination of human irrationality.

The human death toll in Iraq (or even the total global WAR death TOLL) simply pales in comparison to the global hunger OR health tolls.   It's a factor of many thousands of preventable hunger deaths for every ONE (arguably NON-preventable) Iraq war death. 

Unlike most fiscal conservatives I simply stagger from the failures of the neocons when it comes to intelligent budgeting and ROI.    McCain, very much to his credit, was talking about this years ago and is talking about it now.  

v7ndotcom elursrebmem rears it’s ugly alien head at the house of Cutts

Over at Matt's blog we be talking about the V7ndotcom elursrebmem contest. I'm reproducing here because I think it's an interesting dialog about what constitutes spam and about the vagueness of the Google guidelines, AND it's an opportunity to link to my Alien Astronaut evidence for the existence of V7ndotcom elursrebmem

  1. Michael Martinez Said,

    April 5, 2006 @ 8:45 am

    I think Matt is manually reviewing every listing for v7ndotcom elursrebmem to make sure he knows who all the spammers are.

    After all, v7ndotcom elursrebmem is a “Come and get it!” call to spammers. Why not take advantage of their audacity and track them down, one by one.

    Maybe John Scott is on Google’s payroll, serving as an industrial spy, enticing the black hats to come out with the v7ndotcom elursrebmem contest so that Google can finally track them all down and nuke them.

    Frankly, I’m not entirely sure we can trust Matt to be our advocate at Google any longer. He may actually be putting their interests first, since he is a stockholder.

  2. Joseph Hunkins Said,

    April 5, 2006 @ 9:08 am

    Michael the V7Ndotcom elursrebmem contest is NOT a call only to spammers – it’s a reasonable and fascinating experimental approach to figuring out how ranking works. I’m restraining myself from saying how PISSED OFF I get when people suggest that simply trying to figure out Google’s definition of “relevancy” is the province of cheats and liars which it’s NOT. I have huge respect for Matt and his spam team, and for the fact they must deal with a lot of crap, but I’m not going to ignore information about ranking or not run any experiments. I’m think Matt would agree that ranking experiments that stay within the Google webmaster guidelines are a reasonable use of electrons. V7N as a *concept* is within the guidelines though I’m sure some people are using spammy methods to rank.

  3. Ryan Said,

    April 5, 2006 @ 10:23 am

    within the guidelines?
    what about guideline number 3:

    Create a useful, information-rich site, and write pages that clearly and accurately describe your content.

    how is a page that ranks for a nonsense term useful or information rich?

    Doesn’t information have to involve real words?

  4. Michael Martinez Said,

    April 5, 2006 @ 8:13 pm

    ” I’m restraining myself from saying how PISSED OFF I get when people suggest that simply trying to figure out Google’s definition of “relevancy” is the province of cheats and liars which it’s NOT.”

    Then you have no reason to be pissed off at me. I wonder how you feel about people putting words into other people’s mouths, though, and deliberately misrepresenting and misconstruing what those other people say.

    Nonetheless, the v7ndotcom contest reveals nothing about relevancy, and is little more than a call to spammers to have some fun and earn some money. Legitimate people may have gotten involved in it, but that doesn’t change the fact that the results have been spammed to death (with 6 milllion+ raw hits).

    A much more reliable SEO contest would not use the cattle call approach. It would require independent judging by panels and evaluation of live projects (with full non-disclosure agreements to ensure contestants’ contracts were not violated or compromised).

  5. Joseph Hunkins Said,

    April 11, 2006 @ 12:49 pm

    Michael –

    1. I apologize. I didn’t mean YOU piss me off, rather the idea in general, but it did look attack-like from my response and that was bad by me.

    2. I also agree with you that V7dotcom is probably inferior to the type of study you suggest. Interesting though that the V7 listings do appear to be propagating much like “normal” ones. Google prefers to avoid manual intervention and I’m guessing they’ll avoid it here as well.

    Ryan – Maybe I’m splitting hairs a bit but you are doing what people should NOT do and that’s starting to accept Google’s most restrictive interpretation of their rules as the “correct” one. In the traditions of early Google I say they/we should use less restrictive interpretations of the guidelines. But even with restrictive use I’d say that the V7 contest does meet the criteria you cite above as follows:

    Useful – V7 sites are useful to many both as experiments and as a big SEO news item.

    Info rich – look at all the listings! Most have LOTS of relevant, real information about the contest. Those that do not don’t rank well. hmmmmmm

    Accurately describe your content: Again, most do this while those like the “hotel” site (hi DaveN) create a fiction and make it clear it’s a fiction.

    The more I watch the contest the more convinced I am it’s fun, educational, and legitimate. I wish Matt would weigh in but I think he can’t cuz it’s an “Algorithmic item”.

Oh yes – here is the V7ndotcom elursrebmem Alien Astronaut evidence