Google adsense discouraged quality content, Google knol is trying to fix that.

Google knol is a promising development in online information, where “experts” will write concise, authoritative articles on many topics and the community will rank and comment on those articles.   It may be a great way to combine quality content with social networking, though I’m not clear if the quality content producers will be rewarded with more than just the knol-edge  that they have brought more good info into the world.

Although I don’t think they’d talk much about this, I think Google has begun to understand the degree to which adsense has hurt the online information landscape – basically by rewarding those who are most clever at flooding the web with low quality content rather than those who have provided high quality content.   Likewise with linking, where SEO abuses and excesses and Google decisions have made it increasingly hard to separate the information wheat from the adsense chaff.

Enter knol, which will be a community policed content system.    Basically a good idea, and as I’ve noted many times before Google is masterful at doing good things that happen to help them solve some potential revenue problems.   As Nick Carr noted yesterday Google’s high ranks for un-monetized Wikipedia content aren’t putting many Christmas presents under the tree for Google, and knol may shift some advertising focus back in house.

Hong Kong Harbor, Beijing’s Forbidden City, and the Great Wall of China

Wow.   Planning the China Trip is really getting exciting for me.   I’m going to get to see some of the things I’ve heard about for most of my life – things that are on “The List” of stuff I just had to do like Hong Kong Harbor, Beijing, and more.  China’s Yellow Mountains are on my list as are is the Terra Cotta army in X’ian, but those will probably have to wait for the next trip because this one is filling up fast and, frankly, I’d rather relax and enjoy things than try to see too much stuff on my first trip over.

It now appears that the best approach may be to fly to Hong Kong.   I’m finding the Hong Kong flights are in the $700 range rather than the $1000+ to Beijing, and Hong Kong is somewhat closer to Xiamen where I’ll be at the SES China conference.    Also, I’ve learned that the train system in China is modern, comfortable, cheap, and extensive.    I like the idea of rolling along between cities rather than just plane hopping, and since I have the time I’m thinking a good route might be this:

Fly SFO to Hong Kong and spend a few days seeing Hong Kong Harbor and the city.  

Get a deluxe sleeper car for the trip to Xiamen.

Continue on the train to Beijing where I’m meeting up with friends.

Train Beijing to Shanghai if we decide to go there.  

Train from Shanghai to Hong Kong, perhaps stopping in any neat places I scoped out during the earlier trip in opposite direction.

Coffee Calendar

Coffee Calendar

Click here for more about the 2008 Coffee Calendar

Hey, it’s Coffee Calendar Google ranking excitement!  As I mentioned in some earlier posts my wife’s Brother-in-law Ricardo has a great Coffee Calendar, a project he has worked on for some time that features some great art and history.

Helping him attain a proper Google rank for his site offers up some neat lessons in how Google ranks websites – perhaps most importantly how blogs have come to be a very critical factor in some rankings.  

Artist Mike Rohde also has a neat “Sketchtoon” Coffee Calendar he has done for 2008.    Where Ricardo’s Coffee Calendar focuses more on history, Mike’s focuses on the actual coffee drinks.   Both would make a neat gift for any coffee lover in your life so check them both out!

Mike’s Calendar has the top Google spot now and I think this is a good example of Google favoring blog content over an actual website devoted to the Coffee Calendar.    Ricardo’s site was recently launched and thus I’m guessing Mike’s blog is given higher authority at Google when “Coffee Calendars” are getting discussed.    Since this blog appears to have more authority than Mike’s it’ll be interesting to see if this post has any affect on the rankings.

In the meantime, pick a Coffee Calendar and a fresh picked pound of coffee beans as a neat gift for the coffee lover in your life.