Information explosion keeps filling the bomb craters with more info!

The infinite storage capacity of the internet combined with the searchability of that growing information resource makes the current information revolution unprecedented and perhaps even mind-altering.

In the past knowledge (and stupidity) had significant confines in the form of printed pages which would eventually be relegated to dusty old stacks in university libraries, used book stores, computer hard disks, etc.

Now, infinite storage combines with social networking and search to pour billions of items online every day and make them searchable and accessible to anybody.

It’s hard – in fact impossible – to know how this will shake out.   Is it too optimistic to hope  that as the online encyclopedia becomes almost totally comprehensive and accessible we’ll find new ways to merge people and information, and this will bring a sort of new age intellectual Renaissance where we dispense with many of the human limitations that make sweeping human progress so elusive?

List of SEO blogs

Aaron Wall’s got one of the best lists of SEO related blogs I’ve run across. Although I think most of the people here know what they are doing I think SEO as a general concept is overrated. There are risks with even moderately aggressive SEO so it’s not clear to me that a business should invest in specialists. Rather in most cases the best approach is to follow the generally accepted good practices and create as large a content footprint as possible.

Hey, here’s another list of SEO blogs 

Aaron’s reply is such a good point I’m going to change my advice and suggest that sites should either get some SEO advice or assign people in-house to review the wealth of *mostly* accurate SEO advice online.

  1. Until you really dig into them it is hard to appreciate how bad off the SEO is even on some of the leading authoritative sites on the web. For many companies SEO isn’t just about taking chances, but is also about minimizing risks and using the assets you have. Sometimes an external consultant is necessary to get a frame of thought to be able to move through a large corporation.Obviously given my brand and market position I have to state that I think SEO is good stuff, but I think there are lots of way to bake SEO into your marketing plan that cost little extra in terms of time or effort, but can deliver large returns. Comment by aaron wall | October 22, 2006

    Aaron that is such a good point I’ll change my advice. It is clear that many companies, even some huge ones, are ignoring even the most basic aspects of optimizing websites. I agree the money they lose due to this is perhaps even hundreds of times what they would pay to have *you* review their site and suggest changes, and thousands of times what they’d pay to buy your excellent SEO Book.

    Part of the challenge I’m talking about however are the growing number of bogus “SEO Specialists”, online SEO scams, and even folks working at the big SEO companies who suck. I ran an interesting experiment last year with a very prominent SEO firm. They did “good” work but it did not boost my traffic and I realized I would likely do better myself simply adding, for example, a blog and more content.

Henry on Google

Henry Blodget, in my opinion, is writing some of the most thoughtful stuff about Google’s share price and prospects. Ironically he’s precluded from working in securities or offering personal stock advice – I think forever – due to his and other irrational exhuberances of the internet bubble days. Bubble ONE, that is. Bubble two is not a bubble, it’s a YouTubleGoogle Zeitgeisty thing.

The Gadget Revolution. Gadgets of the world, UNITE!

A nice ZDnet interview with Google’s Adam Sah suggests the increasing importance gadgets will play in the online landscape. I met a brilliantly enthusiastic Adam at Mashup Camp back in February when all this was just starting to take off and it’s great to see Google is now allowing the gadgets to be used on any website.

In March, at Microsoft’s MIX06, the innovative LIVE team was also very bullish on their LIVE Gadgets which clearly are destined to become a major focus over there as well.

Gadgets create some very interesting complications in terms of website stats and monetization. Google has not focused on monetizing this environment yet and it will be interesting to see how they approach that, though it’s easy to predict they’ll create some revenue share with the gadget publisher to keep everybody happy.

The legal fun may come from compatibility issues with IE7 and Vista. Microsoft would have some incentive to prefer their own sidebar gadgets, which will run on the Vista Desktop, to whatever Google gadgets are developed for that same niche. Yet Google as always is ahead of the marketing curve. Pushing gadgets to be compatible with websites, and not just those with Google desktop installed, may diminish what would have been a big MS advantage with Vista.

Hey – that’s a bit too cynical on my part – I think as they often have done Google is just expanding on a great concept that happens to be a good marketing route as well.

Collective Intelligence at MIT’s CCI.

The new MIT Center for Collective Intelligence is a really interesting idea with *potentially* earth shaking implications. Or maybe I should say Climate shaking implications since Global Climate change collaboration is one of their first efforts.

The basic concept is simple: Use the internet to create global collaborations to solve problems.

My knee-jerk reaction after very briefly perusing the website is that some of the effort may get bogged down in it’s own somewhat beauracratically flavored “sign up here” approach:

Participation in the Handbook of Collective Intelligence is completely voluntary and participation will be subject to terms and conditions that will be added at a later date. While you should feel free to participate after registering by adding your contributions via additions, deletions, or edits of Handbook materials at this time, you should be aware that any such contributions will be subject to the terms and conditions that will be added at a later date. Once the terms and conditions are added, you will be required to re-register and assent to the terms and conditions. If you fail to assent to the terms and conditions within forty-five (45) days of their addition to the Handbook, all of your input will be removed from the Handbook. Upon your assent to the terms and conditions, you will be free to re-enter your contributions.

Given that the internet itself is already starting to resemble something of a collective intelligence entity, I hope MIT also works on ways to wire people in directly (or at least participate by simply doing things online) such that the collective contributions online become part of the collective intelligence network.

Yet however it all shakes out I can think of nothing more compelling than huge global collaborative intellectual efforts to solve the many pressing problems we feeble humans have wrought as a result of our inadequacies.

Google Gorg replacing Microsoft Borg? Don’t be P/E vil?

Chris “Factory Joe” Messina of Flock has a provocative post about how Google is …. continuing to take over the internet world.

Although I’m more concerned about the virtual monopoly on search rather than Google’s assualt on Microsoft’s virtual monopoly on operating systems and office applications, everybody is well served to start thinking, as Voltaire sort of suggested hundreds of years ago “Is an all-Google world the best of all possible worlds?”

The answer, of course, is NO. Google’s brought great stuff and should keep on bringing great stuff. Google’s been rewarded with almost unimaginable riches and that’s fine. It may even be true that the Google juggernaut has some juggernauting to do before it needs to be brought in check. Sometimes it’s great to let super clever people just run with things until they run out of steam.

But like Chris I think it’s now clear that stock prices and commercial considerations have considerable influence on Google and their decisions and operations. You don’t have to think Google is running around intentionally doing monopolistic things to worry that if the going gets tougher and they no longer have so much of the search market and are fighting to maintain the stock Price Earnings ratios and options values the “don’t be evil” mantra may be interpreted more as “don’t be P/Evil-keep Google on top”! Wait. I think that Mantra change is already under way.

Google is a great company, but as Chris suggests that doesn’t mean we should stop keeping our eyes on them.

Disclaimer: I’m hardly a market mover but should say I do have stock in Google competitor Yahoo and puts on Google because I thought it was overpriced.

Blog readers vs writers, redux VIII

My Cicarelli test of a few weeks ago, where I blogged about the top Technorati search term, sent a few hundred  visits total over the two week period.    It’s not clear they were “extra” visits though I think they were, but it would take more analysis than I want to do to determine if placing high for that term meant I was lower ranked for the more common technology themes you’d find on this blog.


Technorati still shows that very  interesting imbalance between readers and writers.  In fact I’m again hard pressed to explain many of these top searches without looking them up:

Top Searches

  1. Larry Craig- Congressman accused of having gay affairs
  2. Edelman- Wal-Mart’s Ad Agency accused of fake blogging
  3. In Vodka Non Ve… ?
  4. Barney and Baghdad – Tom Friedman on GW Bush in Iraq
  5. Torbe ?
  6. Youtube- Video sharing bought by Google
  7. Google- HEY everybody knows this one
  8. Video – Generic, presumably YouTube
  9. Internet Explorer – Microsoft.  I’ve heard of them.
  10. Paginas Da Vida – ?
  11. Iraq – don’t go there
  12. Myspace-Social network extraordinaire
  13. Ipod- Apple’s Music Gadget
  14. Second Life- Virtual lives online, Congress may tax this online, somewhat nonexistent world.
  15. Project Runway.  Heidi Klum’s fashion hit

Top Tags –

See, these technorati top tags (below) are really different from the searches, reflecting the tech emphasis of most bloggers.   In fact  I find that I tend to blog about tech stuff in great disproportion to things I find more interesting simply because that’s the most common theme in the blog community and the conferences I blog about.    I’m reading and living that stuff more than, say, political stuff which in many ways is more intriguing.

Blogs and tech sort of “go together”.     I’d like that to change.

  1. wordpress
  2. WP
  3. youtube
  4. Bush
  5. iPod
  6. tagshare
  7. Microsoft
  8. Iraq
  9. web-20
  10. Advertising
  11. rss2
  12. Security
  13. showjournal
  14. China
  15. Yahoo

DMOZ … heal thyself! Wait, you can’t… you are beyond any criticism.

Well, after about 10 requests at least I got a reply from DMOZ , the ironically named “Open Directory Project”.  Usually requests to become an editor, or comments, or requests for site corrections or additions to this influential but seriously broken directory simply vanish or get scant treatment. At least this time somebody wrote to me:
I politely request that you do not reapply”

The irony of DMOZ is that they so persistently fail to choose a course to fix the directory, now riddled with bad links, old links, and opportunistic editing. The fix would simply involve accepting more well qualified editor candidates combined with using a more transparent and more PLIGG/DIGG like approach to screening editors and sites (so they could process the huge volume of submissions and corrections effectively).

Yet DMOZ seems to spend much of their time just rejecting editors and defending the project. Over at WebmasterWorld I’ve seen threads with long, careful posts devoted to nothing other than persistent arguing about the merits of DMOZ’s frustratingly inefficient approaches. I’m guessing my posts over there critical of DMOZ’s glaring inadequacies are what got me nixed as an editor.

Would I be a competent Travel Editor for a subcategory of “Oregon Travel”? Seems reasonable given that I’ve worked in the online travel field for over 15 years, have extensive contacts and knowledge of the online landscape in Oregon, and have a Masters of Science in Social Sciences with extensive tourism and online research in my academic and professional background. Yet I’m informed by DMOZ that I’m not worthy because I have …. criticized their project.

The (unsigned) and bipolar reply to my request to be an editor:

Your willingness to volunteer is greatly appreciated and perhaps we will be
able to utilize your talent in the future.
The Open Directory Project

Reviewer Comments:
Dear Joseph,
Thank you very much for your application and your interest in the ODP.
However, I feel that given the negative views you appear to have of the project, that this probably isn’t the right hobby for you.
I politely request that you do not reapply,
Kind Regards, [ the email was not signed]