Yang, Yahoo, Yippee!


This Yahoo shareholder is thrilled to see Jerry Yang back at the head of the company he and David Filo founded 12 years ago. Yahoo is a fantastic company with a huge cadre of brilliant developers that have been languishing in no small part because senior management has failed to inspire, reward, and take advantage of the amazing 2.0 stuff that has become the lifeblood of Yahoo’s development efforts for the past several years.

Google has crushed MS and handily beat Yahoo in online profits and search viewership because they 1) still have somewhat better search routines and 2) have taken simple paths and provided user friendly, simple solutions to common problems. Yang knows this and he knows how to fix it. I’m not sure Terry Semel even understood the significance of search and advertising driven computing, and probably did not grasp the significance of social computing which even Google is failing to fully grasp (but is profiting from because of their brilliant contextual matching programs so social networks can display relevant ads). Yahoo’s panama can do this as well if Yang gets *competitive* and does the smart stuff like offer publishers higher revenue shares than Google.

Songdo City, Korea


Wow, check out what Korea is doing with a 36 billion dollar totally new and planned high tech city.   NYT

Here is the official Songdo City Website, which feels a bit like a sci fi movie intro….

Here’s a great rundown on high tech cities around the world though I think they are kind of favoring Sydney as more prominent that it might be if this was not an Australian paper?

Age before beauty before entrepreneurial chances of success?


Venture Capitalist and blogger Fred is in trouble with the online geriatric crowd because he seemed to suggest only young people come up with great online biz ideas.    I don’t think he meant that though.  e.g. His VC Fund is invested in plenty of middle aged peeps),  but Techmeme is abuzz with critics.

I noted at his blog that:

Reconciling the partial truth of what you have noted with the dissenting views is easy and you’ve started to do it in the final post:

* There are *many* more young people engaging in online biz ideas than there are older startup founders.

* Therefore if you look at successful online biz you’ll see more young people in charge of those companies.

However:

Age probably has no predictive power vis a vis successful internet business.

Because:

If you looked at all startups along with age of founders you would (probably) see that age is not correlated with success even though you’d find *more* winners and more losers in the young age category because there are so many more young founders.

Now, I have not done the research here but it seems like you could do a quick study by randomly selecting 50 or so startups and then looking at the age of the founders and seeing if age mattered in terms of success or failure of the startup.

Cousins


My cousin Judy Glick-Smith is blogging now which is great.   We’ve got a warm and wonderful family rooted in the fertile Shenandoah Valley of Virginia – now spread out over most states and several countries.   With 48 first cousins and all their kids, plus our celebrated older generation, our reunions get pretty busy.   This year we’ll gather near Lancaster PA at Black Rock, a really nice retreat center owned by the Mennonites.

Now, if we could only get more of the cousins and their kids blogging I think we might be able to influence the elections.   Of course the problem might be that the family politics run from far left to far right so I’m not how our collective opinion would shake out.  But one think I love about this family is that family rises above politics.   Well, at least 80% of the time and the rest is spent in fun arguments.

Uzbekistan Travel and the Province of Djizak


Update – both this page and our Uzbekistan Travel “Province of Djizak” page are now ranked very high for “Province of Djizak” searches.    Thank you Google for ranking us properly.     Also note that my old experiments on this term were messed up by blog changes, so I think the great page I created was left hanging, and it’s to Google’s credit they wound up ranking the OHWY page (correctly) as fairly authoritative.      Fairly clear to me now that our  earlier troubles were a from a site-wide Google downrank penalty.

The old story:

Normally I would not be writing so much about Uzbekistan Travel.    We already have a great guide to Uzbekistan over at Online Highways’ Uzbekistan Travel section that was put together for us by Marat, a magazine publisher over in Tashkent, Uzbekistan who visited Online Highways in Oregon a few years ago.

However, writing about the Province of Djizak has been an excellent way to get some information about why Google has been punishing OHWY.com for the past few years.  I’ve created the world’s best Province of Djizak page at the OHWY blog and linked it up.  Due to spelling irregularities for Province of Djizak clearly the new blog page is *a great page* that most users would probably want if they were searching for Province of Djizak.

However, it’s the blog posts here that seem to “stick” as the number one page for that term, with the better page going from rank of about 200 to rank of 3 to rank of about 200 again.

The conclusion?   A sitewide penalty by Google that downranks even great, user friendly, advertising free, must see pages about Province of Djizak.

Hey Google, that’s arguably not a good approach if the goal is to give users the best information, especially when there is still no Google mechanism to tell a legitimate site why the Algorithm thinks that portions of the site suck so much that the computer is punishing the whole site.

Oregon Travel: Weekend Getaways I


My pal asked for some weekend getaway advice for Southern Oregon.
He had a tall order:

Old, quaint hotel or a cabin
Not too expensive
In or near a town with at least one or two decent restaurants, maybe a coffee house.
Hiking and swimming near
Town Festival a bonus
Not too far from free WiFi

You can’t find all that anywhere I know, but here are some possible nice family spots:

Odell Lake Lodge, No. Klamath. About 3 hours from here this is my families favorite “local” overnight though we usually go in winter. Boating and (cold) swimming in Lake, really nice, small cozy lodge, hiking all around, very good food at the restaurant lodge. I think no internet. Kind of secluded in the woods. No WIFI at our last stay – March of 06.
http://www.odelllakeresort.com

Prospect Inn up 62 on way to Crater Lake, which itself has some new cabins I think, though they probably won’t be cheap. Crater Lake Lodge is expensive and probably full but it’s worth a stay sometime. Prob no WIFI

Oregon Caves Lodge – rooms are pretty rustic but this is really a *cool* lodge in my opinion and your son will love the cave tour. Lots of great hiking nearby and good food at the lodge though I’m not sure if they have all 3 meals there. OregonCaves.com (one of my sites!). No WIFI

Coast: I’m not up on many of the lodges over there. Best Western on the beach in Brookings is nice.. (there is also one on 101 that is nice but not on water), Windermere in Bandon, Inn at Face Rock. For coast consider a house rental. Search “Oregon Coast home rentals” to bring up a bunch.

SunRiver – fancy lodge and nice houses, can be expensive depending on time of year and availability. Great hiking very near. Bend is 15 miles away and it’s a beautiful small city.

I’ve left out some of the best places to stay if you are coming to the Rogue Valley because I live here and don’t stay overnight in Jacksonville, Medford, Ashland, Grants Pass. Weasku Inn, for example, is one of the nicest lodges in the West and a former haunt of Clark Gable.

Here is more Oregon Travel detail at Online Highways

Kim Search blog gathering


Yesterday we had a very enjoyable breakfast at the Galice Resort with some of the folks who made the blog so interesting during the search for the Kim family up in the Rogue River Wilderness. I’ll put up some pictures soon though I only took a few along the route because this set of pictures, taken about 3 months back, was so good.

At breakfast we had Bob Hollenbeck and his wife Sue, John Rachor, Sara (JoCoSAR), and Emily (RogueRiverRat78)

John, who was spotted Kati and the girls, flew in and out in his Chopper.

After breakfast Emily and Sara took me all the way up to where the Kims had stopped the car and became snowed in, and many miles before that where James had made the fateful decision to head down into Big Windy Canyon. Phew – that is a quite a road up there when you take the BLM 34-8-36 (which may be named differently depending on the local person you talk to). This is the right turn they took after backing up from snow on the route NF23 which does go over to Gold Beach. The gate to BLM 34-8-36 is NOW LOCKED on the BLM road that heads off to the right, and I understand that the BLM plans to keep it locked all season. There was a rock cairn and picture of James on one of the posts as a memorial that had been placed recently there.

The pictures can’t really convey how steep Big Windy Canyon is where you head down off the road, and my windy tour with Emily and Sara made it clearer to me how hard it was to get people in there to search, how huge the search area was, and how difficult the searching would have been in those conditions. Bob Hollenbeck wants to take an onstar up there this summer to see if it’ll work.

Another thing that became very clear to me was how difficult the search was made by the false reports of sightings of the family, including ones way over in Gold Beach. This made it very hard to narrow the search area.

John Rachor’s excellent warning sign was up near the left turn off of Galice Road and up into the high country but in my opinion it’s unfortunate he had to move it back from where it was. I’m a lot more familiar with that area than any tourist would be and it’s still pretty darn confusing with respect to signage. That said, we now know Kati and James made a decision to back up from the Forest Service 23 after they hit snow and take the lower road. Better signs would have helped keep them off this road, but it was not signage that got them to take this “wrong road”.

At the car site little was left from the Kim’s extraordinary challenge of facing 9 days there with little food. The fire area had been scraped mostly clear – it was about 50 yards from where the car was which was near the middle of the intersection of 3 roads.

Sara spotted a red package way up in the bushes which turned out to be an emergency blanket that had been dropped after Kati was found but before they could pick her up.

All in all an amazing day yesterday where I got a much better idea of the scale of this search and the difficulties faced by Kati, James, and their family. I can’t thank Emily and Sara enough for a remarkable tour of the area that seemed so oddly familiar even though I’d never been there. On the *long* way back to Galice up and down that windy road it was even clearer to me how James Kim would be OK with the outcome of his personal tragedy – his family is safe and is going to be fine.

Know your Senators!


Here’s a great list from Wikipedia.org of US Senators with info pages for each one.  Contrary to what many think, even national politicians are pretty easy to meet if you are a constituent of theirs and attend local events where they are speaking (these seem to be most common in the year before an election),  or visit the local office or visit Washington D.C. while they are in session.   I’d say D.C. is the worst way to try to meet your Senator since they’ll be super busy there.

AL: Shelby (R), Sessions (R)
AK: Stevens (R), Murkowski (R)
AZ: McCain (R), Kyl (R)
AR: Lincoln (D), Pryor (D)
CA: Feinstein (D), Boxer (D)
CO: Allard (R), Salazar (D)
CT: Dodd (D), Lieberman (ID)
DE: Biden (D), Carper (D)
FL: Nelson (D), Martinez (R)
GA: Chambliss (R), Isakson (R)
HI: Inouye (D), Akaka (D)
ID: Craig (R), Crapo (R)
IL: Durbin (D), Obama (D) IN: Lugar (R), Bayh (D)
IA: Grassley (R), Harkin (D)
KS: Brownback (R), Roberts (R)
KY: McConnell (R), Bunning (R)
LA: Landrieu (D), Vitter (R)
ME: Snowe (R), Collins (R)
MD: Mikulski (D), Cardin (D)
MA: Kennedy (D), Kerry (D)
MI: Levin (D), Stabenow (D)
MN: Coleman (R), Klobuchar (D)
MS: Cochran (R), Lott (R)
MO: Bond (R), McCaskill (D) MT: Baucus (D), Tester (D)
NE: Hagel (R), Nelson (D)
NV: Reid (D), Ensign (R)
NH: Gregg (R), Sununu (R)
NJ: Lautenberg (D), Menendez (D)
NM: Domenici (R), Bingaman (D)
NY: Schumer (D), Clinton (D)
NC: Dole (R), Burr (R)
ND: Conrad (D), Dorgan (D)
OH: Voinovich (R), Brown (D)
OK: Inhofe (R), Coburn (R)
OR: Wyden (D), Smith (R) PA: Specter (R), Casey (D)
RI: Reed (D), Whitehouse (D)
SC: Graham (R), DeMint (R)
SD: Johnson (D), Thune (R)
TN: Alexander (R), Corker (R)
TX: Hutchison (R), Cornyn (R)
UT: Hatch (R), Bennett (R)
VT: Leahy (D), Sanders (I)
VA: Warner (R), Webb (D)
WA: Murray (D), Cantwell (D)
WV: Byrd (D), Rockefeller (D)
WI: Kohl (D), Feingold (D)
WY: Vacant, Enzi (R)

Venture Capital A B Cs from Marc. Startups are like Arabian Horses?


Marc Andreessen’s got a wonderful 3 part series on Venture Capital over at Marc’s new blog. Most interesting to me was his explanation of why VC investment remains so robust despite what he said appear to be horrible average returns over the past 6 years. This seems to relate to new asset allocation theories for big players who place a small percentage of their staggering assets into VC funds to diversify their positions.

My quick reaction is that it looks like VC investment is something like raising Arabian horses – a fun hobby for the rich but not a good way to turn a buck.