Dont Laugh - Weblogsinc Want to run a Search Conference...

Really, it's true. In fact, thanks to to one Threadwatch member I've seen the pitch their VP of mktg and sales Shawn Gold is sending out to sell ad space to optimization companies...

Now, the question is: Is this just another case of Bloggers thinking they invented the internet or is there room in the conference space for another show and could they actually pull it off?

From the email pitch:

Quote: We will be creating a conference around the business of Search Engines and will be focusing on that area of the business.

-from Shawn Gold, Vice President of Weblogs Inc

What do Threadwatchers think? Room for another search conference alongside Search Engine Strategies and Webmasterworld's World of Search? If so, could Weblogsinc pull it off?

In Korea Mobile Spam is Outpacing Email

Thread Title: Mobile spam bigger problem than regular spam in South Korea Thread Url: Thread Description:

Seems like mobile spam is outpacing email spam in Korea. Korea is often seen as a good "what's to come" indicator - The Engadget post threadlink aboves says that in May this year 10% of all SMS was spam but does point out that maybe folks have just resigned themselves to email spam and stopped complaining about it.

Thai / Phuket Tsunami - Largest Earthquake since 1900

At least one of our members is in the Phuket Tsunami region - I hope they're alright, but fear the worst as news reports and blogs are saying thousands have died during the biggest earthquake since 1900.

thanks to scoble for the technorati link - G News Y! News Blog Reports

Google to Buy Flickr early 2005?

Thread Title: Next Google acquisition: Flickr + Picasa 2.0 = Fotoogle Thread Url: Thread Description:

Speculation is growing that Google may buy moblogging site Flickr early 2005 and integrate it with recently purchased Picasa.

The theory runs like this:

It would bridge the gap between off and online photos It would enrich the Google image DB Flickr has many G Friendly features and characteristics

Jeremy Zawodny was not so full of joy with the notion:

I think Google has a good track record in this department so far (namely Picasa and Blogger), but I'd just hate to see a great service like Flickr get screwed up before its time.

What do you think? Is it a sensible/credible move?

It does appear to make sense to me, for all of the reasons given in the posts referenced above and more - Flickr is cool... and it fits neatly with Googles


In 2005 I will NOT be Wearing a Hat

Thread Title: A place for black hats on SEW? Thread Url: Thread Description:

The term "blackhat" has become dilluted and distorted, as evidenced by the threadlink above. It's not just that the terms seems to have lost it's meaning (or possibly taken on a new meaning) but as Qwerty pointed out a day or so ago, it becomes offensive when a term you find yourself labeled with is equated with characteristics you'd rather not be associated with.

For him, it's the fact that whenever the tired, sad old debate raises it's weary head, inevitably someone in the dark camp brings up "religious zeal" when describing our lighter cousins. I do it quite often.

The reason im prone to that is that some in the light camp do indeed resemble religious fanatics, it's a fact i think Qwerty would find hard to deny - but rightly so, he objects to being bunched in that description.

Likewise for me with the blackhat label. For me, much of what's being discussed in the thread above is not what i would describe as blackhat, and i too dislike being labeled wrongly.

So, what am i going to do about it?

Nothing much, im just going to stop (not that it happens very often) siding myself with the black camp. It's just not a black and white issue so i think i'd prefer not to generalize. To liken Qwerty (sorry mate, your just a good example heh..) to Doug Heil is doing Qwerty an injustice. I have a lot of respect for what he's said in this thread although we oppose and like him, find it somewhat mildly offensive to be lumped together with so called "blackhats" - when some of them clearly dont understand the term and what it means.

So, in 2005 i shall be hat agnostic and try to judge cases on their individual merits or demerits rather than lump folks together. I shouldnt think for a moment that that will stop people putting a label on me, but it'll make me feel a bit better :-)

Comparing Desktop Search Solutions

Thread Title: Compare Desktop Search Tools Thread Url: Thread Description:

Thanks Jeremey Z for the pointer to this comparison table for the various DTS apps available. I haven't tried a single one, i know how to find stuff on my PC heh..

However, it's a neat link by the look of it, so enjoy. If you are using a DTS app I have a couple of questions for you:

What are you using? Why? Is it up to the job?

Will IBM's 3rd Generation Piquant Search Technology Trounce Google?

Thread Title: At I.B.M., That Google Thing Is So Yesterday Thread Url: Thread Description:

An interesting look at IBM's PIQUANT (Practical Intelligent QUestion ANswering Technology) - although this is (i think) aimed at business use it does seem that they are comparing to Google and thinking in terms of the Web also. PIQUANT uses natural language processing to add meaning to text:

One example is question answering. Google-type search engines are fabulous at retrieving random data, but mediocre at handling subtler queries. Using Google or Ask Jeeves, you can eventually find out how many of the world's Web pages are in each of the major languages, but it's slow and frustrating compared with finding out, say, Mozart's birthplace. Jennifer Chu-Carroll of I.B.M. demonstrated a system called Piquant, which analyzed the semantic structure of a passage and therefore exposed "knowledge" that wasn't explicitly there. After scanning a news article about Canadian politics, the system responded correctly to the question, "Who is Canada's prime minister?" even though those exact words didn't appear in the article.

MR. CICCOLO, the search strategist, said that in a way his team was trying to match - and reverse - what Google has achieved. "As Google use became widespread, people began asking why it was so much easier to find material on the external Web than it was on their own computers or in their company's Web sites," he said. "Google sets a very high standard for that Web. We would like to set the next standard, so that people will find it so easy to do things at work that they'll wonder why they can't do them on the Internet."

I saw this piece this morning but missed the fact that it spanned two pages heh.. so thanks to slashdot posting a thread on it also, i went and had another look.

Does anyone have more insight into this? It would be good to get a little clarification on whether this is going to be used on the WWW aswell as company intranets etc...

Googles More Adwords Feature

Thread Title: AdWords Exposed! Thread Url: Thread Description:

I don't seem to be able to see this but Cory Kleinschmidt over at the Traffick post threadlinked above (among a whole bunch of others) can.

Here's a snippet from the post:

Unless my normally eagle eyes had been failing me, Google has quietly introduced a way to view all AdWords listings relating to your search by clicking a link titled "More >>" at the bottom of the first-page search results listings. Clicking the link displays a page of nothing but sponsored links, presumably all of the available AdWords advertisers for that keyword phrase.

At first *thought* this seems pretty cool to me, there are searches that just do NOT bring up good results but do bring up great adwords.

Kinda Related: How long as the "search within results" feature been on the bottom of the Google SERPS? Whilst looking for the "more" link i saw that for the first time today and dont remember hearing about it...?

Opinions on More Adwords?

The Pope goes Mobile

Thread Title: Pope John Paul Hits the Little Screen Thread Url: Thread Description:

Trendy, high-tech Roman Catholics won't have to sit at home this Christmas to watch Pope John Paul's Christmas Midnight Mass on television.

They can watch the whole thing from wherever they are on the latest generation of cell phones.

The world is a funny place. via smartmobs

Kids naughty, so dad sells their gifts on eBay

Thread Title: Kids naughty, so dad sells their gifts on eBay Thread Url: Thread Description:

First things first... Somebody nuke the social worker.

"Lane Coco, a Ph.D. social worker at Depelchin Children's Center, suggested that the embattled parents may have stumbled into an "ultimatum situation" in which everyone loses.

"Perhaps they should have planned some kind of activity..."

Obviously, Mizz Coco didn't grow up with a couple of brothers in the house. (I had 5 brothers, home life was similar to a violent video game.) As for the Dad in the story, good for him!

Search Marketing Paranoia - Removing Footprints and other Tracks

Thread Title: Removing Footprints Thread Url: Thread Description:

WmW's rogerd has an interesting discussion going in the threadlink above on seo paranoia. Specifically about the need (or not) to remove software footprints and kicks off by listing a few of the easier ones to spot:

Some of the most obvious steps: 1) Remove "powered by" and similar text. 2) Remove on-page "copyright" text or convert to image. 3) Change default installation directory and file names to foil both searches and brute-force attacks. 4) Remove/change other giveaways (ancient SEOs remember the infamous "blueline.gif" that undid many thousands of pages), i.e., anything that a hacker or other problem user could plug into a search engine to easily find sites using particular software.

The way i look at it is this: If you know you are employing high risk tactics, or you think that people using the same software might be, remove everything. In fact, dont stop there - change every conceivable bit about the scripts as you can including templates, urls structures, admin script names - the whole damn lot.

If you're not in that kind of area: Do it anyway.

So, taking it some steps further How paranoid should one be, or is there no need? Other than removing footprints from software, what else can one do to fly beneath the algorithmic radar? Classic pitfalls? Consequences and considerations apart from SE's?

Just how far do you need to go?

M$ want to cripple Programmers by Patenting Object Persistence

Thread Title: Object persister Thread Url: Thread Description:

Microsoft are taking the piss with patents again. This time they want to patent object persistence.

For non-programmers This, if it ever got accepted would mean an end to modern programming as we know it - shopping carts, games, search engines - the lot..

So, it'll never happen (one hopes heh..) but sheesh! what are they thinking over there.. Object persistence is a fundamental principle in almost everything of even a slightly advanced level.

Still, look on the bright side, as rayg points out apparently they think HTML is a protocol.. - Muppets.

Herein is described an implementation of an object persister, which serializes an object to preserve the object's data structure and its current data. The serialized object is encoded using XML and inserted within a message. That message is transmitted to an entity over a network. Such a transmission is performed using standard Internet protocols, such as HTML. Upon receiving the serialized object, the receiving entity deserializes the object to use it. Rather than include copies of referenced objects within the serialized object, the object persister includes references to those objects. This avoids redundant inclusion of the same object and potentially infinite inclusion of the object itself that is being serialized.

Has blosxom gone underground?

Thread Title: Has blosxom gone underground? Thread Url: Thread Description:

Back before anyone gave a flip about blogs I favorably reviewed blosxom at wmw. Lately, the buzz (and the installations) all appear to be either wordpress or moveabletype, and I ~frankly~ forgot about blosxom until today. I never see it mentioned and I do read around a fair bit. So, I go check. Still there, though the site does seem kinda quiet.

OK, I figure that the community has bailed and therefore pulled the plug on support? Nope.

Man! The blosx-ites are still talking about static generation --a subject near and dear to me.

I tried installing wordpress, the 5-minute install happened to fail (probably because I don't know jack about mysql). But back when I gave blosx a test run, it did install in 5 minutes.

So, what's going on? Anybody seeing blosxom in the news? Or is it just too damn hard to spell?

A Barcoded View of the Mobile Future?

Thread Title: QuickTime Movie Demo's OP3 Product Thread Url: Thread Description:

This cool Quicktime movie threadlinked above comes in via Russell and features a vision of what the future could hold for real world barcode hyperlinks - where everything has a barcode that can be snapped by your mobile to take you directly to it's associated info.

Great promo for OP3 - i hope they do well...

Operas New Browser is Voice Enabled!

Thread Title: Look who's talking now Thread Url: Thread Description:

Opera's new beta download, which will become the next major release is voice enabled. Meaning that you can have your web pages read to you and navigate by voice control - how cool is that?

You can Download it here Win only :(

"We were preparing for the 7.60 release, but as work progressed and we kept adding improvements and functionality, it became very evident that we now have a browser that is so powerful, secure, and easy to use that it exceeds the next logical version number and warrants a major release," says Jon S. von Tetzchner, CEO, Opera Software, and adds that all those who have licensed Opera 7 will, of course, receive free upgrades. "The new Opera version has dramatic improvements under the hood, in addition to some very helpful new features to welcome more and more users to take advantage of browsing the Internet in a fast, safe, and customizable way."

Opera is the first browser to prepare for a future of Web sites offering interactive, voice-enabled shopping and booking systems. You can also browse the Web using spoken commands, such as "Opera next link", "Opera back", or "Opera speak". The latter command will make Opera read Web page content and e-mail messages to you aloud, adding usability as either a screen reader or advanced dictionary.

There are a whole bunch of other improvements including improved RSS handling and more. If they manage to get a Linux version out I may well have to give it a whirl, it'd make my life a lot easier if it actually worked...

Someone go try it and tell us what it's like!

Affiliate Marketing Predictions for 2005

Thread Title: New Year’s Affiliate Resolutions Thread Url: Thread Description:

In this thread, Shawn Collins shares his predictions about affiliate marketing in 2005 from an article he wrote for iMediaConnection. He touches on adware, cookie stuffing, affiliate blogs and the persistent rumor about the coming Google/Affiliat/Adwords changes that may be on the horizon.

"Changes in 2005 will result from cogent business decisions, reaction to litigation and following trends.

As we bid farewell to this year’s model of affiliate marketing and embark upon 2005, I’ve got to wonder what sorts of changes we are in for next year.

2004 was something of a turbulent year for affiliate marketers. The year kicked off with nervous and confused affiliate marketers trying to cope with CAN-SPAM, and throughout the year, a number of issues became industry lightning rods.

There were sagas about everything from search arbitrage, whether adware is badware, cookie stuffing, the use of trademarked terms, and more?"

Read the rest here, then come back to discuss it.


Audi Advertising via USB Sticks

Thread Title: Audi shows latest car via memory stick Thread Url: Thread Description:

Revolution have a small piece on the news that Audi are sending out USB sticks to selected prospects containing a 5min video clip commercial - An Audi branded USB stick of course...

Twofourtv are the agency behind the content - link via MarketingVOX

Now that's a cool way to advertise high end cars no?

Gotta like that guy Ellison

""His forte has never been as the grown-up running the company," he said. "He's the unpredictable mad genius behind Oracle. His life is an adventure, and Oracle is part of the adventure -- but not the whole thing. It's an old joke that they used to call it an Elvis sighting when Larry was actually in Redwood Shores. It's understood he's the company visionary and an itinerant CEO."

"Benevolent or paternalistic aren't words that have ever been seriously associated with Oracle or with its founder and CEO, Larry Ellison. Business is business..."

Does .mobi go Against the Ideals of the Internet?

Thread Title: .Mobi’s Contentious Ride Thread Url: Thread Description:

MocoNews threadlinked above point out that the W3C's Device Independence Working Group are up in arms about the proposed .mobi TLD. They argue that it goes against the core principles of the Internet: That the web should be device agnostic.

A consortium of mobile players led by Nokia have proposed the addition of .mobi to the top level domain space so that users and application/site owners can specify that is for mobile devices, such as cell phones or PDA's. The W3C argue that this is harmful to the web:

This domain will have a drastically detrimental effect on the Web. By partitioning the HTTP information space into parts designed for access from mobile access and parts designed (presumably) not for such access, an essential property of the Web is destroyed.

It is true that to to optimize the use of any device, an awareness on the part of the server allows it to customize the content and the whole layout of a site. However, the domain name is perhaps the worst possible way of communicating information about the device. Devices vary in many ways, including:

Network bandwidth at the time, Screen size and resolution, Intermittent or continuous connectivity,

and so on. While with the current technology, the phrase "Mobile" may equate roughly in many minds to "something like a cell phone", it is naive -- and pessimistic -- to imagine that this one style of device will be the combination that will endure for any length of time. Just as concepts such as the "Network PC" and the "Multimedia PC" which defined profiles of device capability were swept away in the onrush of technology, so will an attempt to divide devices, users and content into two groups.

The End of the End of Free

Thread Title: the end of the end of free Thread Url:,,SB110200783937789325,00.html Thread Description:

"You can still get a lot for nothing on the Internet, despite earlier predictions of the decline of the 'free' Web."