MyMSN RSS Official Announcement - MSN Promote Yahoo too...

Thread Title: My MSN Launches RSS Reader Thread Url: Thread Description:

Cute, maybe the MSN team are starting to get the point of the blog medium, this entries halfway interesting heh.. they even promote My Yahoo when listing places you can add the msn search blog feed to.

There's also a listing of MSN Feeds at with the promise of more to follow.

Over the last week or so there's been much speculation and general commentary on the upcoming (now here) MyMSN RSS including:

Findory's Greg Lindon - My Yahoo vs My MSN Silicon Beat - Quotes from Brooke Richardson MSN prd mgr Danny Sullivan mentions Blog Search Features? - I didnt see that, did i just miss it or will it come? Staci at PC talks about the Moreover relationship Moreover are powering thier feeds apparently..

As an aside, Staci also mentioned the fact that it's amusing to watch all the techie blogs take shots at M$ everyday but when the megacorp release something like this they still all get really excited. heh...

Peter Norvig on Semantic Web Ontologies & Search Spam

Thread Title: Semantic Web Ontologies: What Works and What Doesn't Thread Url: Thread Description: "Humans are very good at detecting this kind of spam, and machines aren't necessarily that good."

Google's director of Search quality Peter Norvig talks about semantic web ontologies and the challenges faced when looking at them in terms of Search:

On the difficulties of using semantic ontologies with public systems:

Now imagine what it would be like if instead of using our algorithms we relied on the news suppliers to put in all the right metadata and label their stories the way they wanted to. "Is my story a story that's going to be buried on page 20, or is it a top story? I'll put my metadata in. Are the people I'm talking about terrorists or freedom fighters? What's the definition of patriot? What's the definition of marriage?"

Just defining these kinds of ontologies when you're talking about these kinds of political questions rather than about part numbers; this becomes a political statement. People get killed over less than this. These are places where ontologies are not going to work. There's going to be arguments over them. And you've got to fall back on some other kinds of approaches.

On Search Spam

The last issue is the spam issue. When you're in the lab and you're defining your ontology, everything looks nice and neat. But then you unleash it on the world, and you find out how devious some people are. This is an example; it looks like two pages here. This is actually one page. On the left is the page as Googlebot sees it, and on the right is a page as any other user agent sees it. This website—when it sees, it serves up the page that it thinks will most convince us to match against it, and then when a regular user comes, it shows the page that it wants to show.

What this indicates is, one, we've got a lot of work to do to deal with this kind of thing, but also you can't trust the metadata. You can't trust what people are going to say. In general, search engines have turned away from metadata, and they try to hone in more on what's exactly perceivable to the user. For the most part we throw away the meta tags, unless there's a good reason to believe them, because they tend to be more deceptive than they are helpful. And the more there's a marketplace in which people can make money off of this deception, the more it's going to happen. Humans are very good at detecting this kind of spam, and machines aren't necessarily that good. So if more of the information flows between machines, this is something you're going to have to look out for more and more.

Why Speculation on Google & VoIP is Wrong

Thread Title: Why Google Is Not Doing VoIP Thread Url: Thread Description:

Om Malik, somewhat of a VoIP expert and frequent commentator on the technology explains why speculation over Google going into VoIP is out of whack:

The first reason, why Google is not doing VoIP: how the hell do you monetize something like this. Since Google’s business model revolves around embedding text-ads in pretty much everything, it doesn’t make sense for them to even indulge in VoIP.

I suspect that people are reading too much into Google’s job listing, which in my opinion has a very simple explanation. Google is growing, and it is adding data center capacity pretty much all across the planet. (Because it wants to be the Internet OS!) Europe, Asia and US and it needs to link these together with a dedicated backbone, like most smart companies do. In order to do that, they have to build a global virtual network.

Om goes on to theorize that Google does not want to buy dark fibre at all, they just want a chief negotiator with experience in the area to put these deals in place.

Quigo Tie the Knot with Private-Label Contextual Marketplace

Thread Title: Quigo Debuts Private-Label Contextual Marketplace Thread Url: Thread Description:

Pamela Parker reports on Quigo's new private label contextual ad marketplace - they have already have deals in place with TheKnot USAToday and DenverPost:

....a private-label version of its AdSonar system, which will allow advertisers to buy contextually targeted text ads on individual sites.

"Now the publishers get to control pricing, the types of advertising that go on the site, and those that don't," said Quigo CEO Mike Yavonditte, adding that it also gives advertisers the flexibility to advertise only on the sites they choose. Contextual networks such as those from Google, Overture, and Kanoodle distribute ads throughout their partner sites without allowing advertisers to designate individual sites. - Stealing Content on an Industrial Scale

Just go look for yourself....

And there are an awful lot more sites affected. Thanks XC for the query link.

Chinese Proxy?

Ok, so they might actually be a chinese proxy service - question is, how do I, and all the other sites feel about that? For my part im not sure just yet, gotta give it a bit of time to digest...

Affiliates vs Merchants - Who Holds the Power?

Morning all

I am starting to see more and more of this. A company signs up lots of affiliates, then the top two to ten affiliates become the program generating 90% of the companies online revenue. The company get sloppy and the only business they get comes from the affiliates. These affiliates all know each ather and in many cases are mates. They share information about the supplier, late payments etc. Then the supplier tries to play "bully boy" and tell the affiliates what they can and can't do.

I have seen this via friends when a company with close to £20 million annual turnover, started getting arsey, the 3 top affiliates moved suppliers and within 90 days the company went bankrupt.

Anyone care to expand on that?


13 Things to do with your Mac Mini

Thread Title: Mac Mini -- More Than Meets the Eye Thread Url: Thread Description:

Technology review have a nice list of uses for the oh so cute Mac Mini. I'll bulletpoint the list here but check the article for a description on each point:

As a Portable Depot for Digital Pictures As a Portable Depot for Digital Pictures As s Regional X10 Server As a Christmas Lights Sequencer (give me strength..) As Part of a Home Theater System As a Car Enhancer As a Hardware Firewall for Laptops As a Physical Security System As a Server and/or Gateway As a Component of a Low-Cost Parallel Processing Array As a SCADA system As a Beowulf Cluster As an iPod Feeding Station

I was thinking of using mine simply as a seperate net media center...

Yahoo! Extends $4.98 Domain Deal - Again...

Thread Title: Yahoo Extends $4.98 Domain Offer, Go Daddy Cuts Price Thread Url: Thread Description:

Netcraft reports that Yahoo! have extended their $4.98 loss leader deal on domain names for the third time and speculates that the offer is generating business - the offer now runs through to Feb 8th. Maybe they should just say "untill further notice" - maybe they're just hungry for the headlines on this deal eh?

Google to offer Voice Over IP?

Rumours are spreading about whether Google are to offer a new VOIP service.

The technology is already in place and software is available should Google wish to move in to the field…

Large Corporations are already considering the use of VOIP and the savings potential for them could be huge.

Although Google is reluctant to talk about its plans, the logical use of such a network would be to help to support a new telephone service. The company would buy capacity cheaply, by taking up slack capacity left behind when the internet bubble collapsed in 2001.

Around the world, thousands of miles of fibre-optic cable remain unused because the amount of speculative development vastly exceeded demand. Such capacity would be available at rock-bottom prices today.

Elsewhere in the world, using the internet to make phone calls has caught on more quickly. In Japan 10 per cent of households already use the so-called “voice over internet protocol” and an internet service offered by Softband has 4.4 million subscribers. Its growth has depressed revenues of the local telecom group, NTT.

If Google were to release a service, not only could it damage some of the Large Telecom services, but it could also impact on the industry share of products like MSN Messenger and Yahoo! IM.

Ethics my ARSE - Just get on with it and stop Whining...

Thread Title: WSJ story on blogging ethics has an error; we do accept review units—we just don’t keep them! Thread Url: Thread Description:

I find it hard to beleive that the WSJ would dignify such crap with a write up...

Bloggers ethics my arse, get on with it and stop being such a bloody whiner Jason..

Stuntdubl teams up with WeBuildPages

Thread Title: A New Internet Marketing Company - Time to Move Thread Url: Thread Description:

Forgive me a little indulgence late on a sunday evening..

Todd, aks stuntdubl is moving to upstate New York to work with Jim at WeBuildPages - both Todd and Jim have been good friends to Threadwatch so good luck with the move and the new job mate.

I understand girlfriend is to follow shortly and trust that it's a good move for all...

Rich Skrenta - Demoted at Dmoz

Thread Title: Thread Url: Thread Description:

Rich Skrenta, one of the founders of the ODP lost his root priveleges a day or two ago over at DMOZ - demoted to a common META, ack, the shame of it heh...

I shouldn't think he's in the least bit worried about it, is doing just great thankyou very much! - I don't know if Rich's loss of priveleges have anything to do with everyone's favorite troublemaker IHU in the threadlink above at the "oh such a pleasant place" resource-zone but maybe it did. I know it'd give a few of the more rampant IHU'er wet dreams for weeks to think that they may have played apart in someone elses misfortune, but then i find it hard to beleive that:

a) Anyone cares what they say b) Anyone at dmoz cares if Rich adds sites he likes - that's the point isn't it? c) Any of you care at all

It does make for a fun little scandal though, plenty of whining, lots of skullduggery and no small amount of frothing at the mouth lunacy thrown in for good measure.

And for those with a lust for Skrenta info, Peter has an interview with the uber geek himself...

PR and Link Weight with a bit of Jaywalking to Confuse Things

Thread Title: Does PR "weight" the link text? Thread Url: Thread Description:

it's a really simple question

Assuming 10 IBLs from both, and similar link text.

Will the link text from a PR6 page link have the same value as that from a PR2 page link?

but the answer obviously isn't. I love these theoretical threads until they get bogged down by people demanding evidence. Evidence aside I would say Google could weight the links quite easily if they wanted to?

ThinkSecret does it again - Apple 5G iPod Rumours

Thread Title: Briefly: iPod mini, 5G iPod, PowerBooks Thread Url: Thread Description:

Seems Steven whatshisface can't get enough of court these days - good for him, nobody like a bully Mr (big) Jobs...

The next iPod mini, code-named Q22B and referred to as Osiris inside Apple, will sport a higher capacity hard drive, very likely 5GB. Sources speculate that Apple will tap Seagate for the part, abandoning current iPod mini drive supplier Hitatchi for the time being. Hitatchi's one-inch hard drive currently tops out at 4GB, although 8GB and 10GB versions are due for release later this year and may very well find their way into a future iPod mini.

Go TS!

Pssst... Google Word Limit now @ 32

Thread Title: Google Raises Word Limit to 32 Thread Url: Thread Description:

It may not seem much to some, but I've run more than a few queries where i've cursed at having a max limit set at 10...

Danny Sullivan gives Anil Dash a Spanking over SEO FUD

Thread Title: More On Link Condom & Blogger Worries Over Nofollow Thread Url: Thread Description:

Well, we know that Bloggers dont get it but this is truly amazing - Anil Dash of Six Apart has discovered Oilmans excellent Link Condom site and he's real pissed.

Clearly he's losing the plot.

True SEO scumbags use content generation scripts to populate their banner farms with plausible text. Where does that text usually come from? Generally, it's stolen from other sites, on the assumption that people won't find out about the copyright violation. (I've had this happen personally.)

And who published this site? A company whose services include Search Engine Marketing and whose first listed client reference sells -- wait for it -- pills online! Who'da thunk?

Well Surprise Surprise - NoFollow don't work.. Bloggers are Whining - Again

This whole attitude just amazes me, but what the search engines have done to bloggers (give them a non-solution to shut them up) is worse - but hey, im starting to repeat myself - do a search for comment spam here at TW if you really wanna read more..

Danny Gives the Best Post I've Seen Him Make - Ever Danny fucking outdid himself with his response, it's an absolute killer post. I tip my hat and humbly take a backseat with a big bag of popcorn to watch this one play out.. well, if i can get my typekey login to work i may go and say something rude but sheesh! How do follow THAT?

Here's a small quote, make sure you see Anils full whine for the whole glorious thing.

Now, I know you've got generally a bad view SEO, that it seems populated with scumbags like the supposed scumbag behind this site -- and being on the sharp end of blog spam, its understandable. But let's get personal a moment about the scumbag in question for this site.

Microsoft gets Heavy with Bloggers - Does an Apple

Thread Title: Exclusive: Microsoft Windows Mobile 2005 Revealed - Magneto Thread Url: Thread Description:

M$ have gone and got all legal about some screenshots of the new windows mobile 2005, dubbed Magneto, that were syndicated widely amongst tech bloggers - the shots first appeared here and were quickly picked up by enGadget and other sites.

You can check out Calacanis' (of enGadget) post about it here

Looks like Microsoft is not happy with Engadget’s recent post about Windows Mobile which was generated out of a tip a reader sent in. I’ve submitted this letter to Chilling Effects, and I’m trying to figure out exactly what Microsoft has a problem with in this post.

I spoke to the attorney who sent the letter and she said she didn’t need to discuss this with me, nor did she have to prove she worked for Microsoft,

and you can read the email that was sent out here, though it's duller than unbuttered toast.

So What?

So nothing really. I like to take a shot at M$ like everyone else but this is fair enough i reckon. The wider, more interesting issue for me is that this whole game of syndicating illegal data (and it is strictly illegal) is getting hotter. Im wondering a) How it's going to play out and b) if someone will send us some juicey stuff to get into trouble over? :-)


Ask Jeeves to go Mobile in 2005

Thread Title: Ask Jeeves developing wireless search Thread Url: Thread Description:

Ask jeeves are to join Yahoo! and Google in providing a mobile search solution sometime in 2005 - Daniel Read, Ask's VP of prd mgmt said:

"In search today you have to offer several access points to provide a good search service for consumers, so we believe we have to be there in wireless search, and we'll be coming out with a mobile product this year,

and that he still believes mobile search to be in it's infancy and thus an open field:

"A lot of search players have put traditional Web search on to wireless devices, but most of the Web pages you want to go to aren't rendered properly on a wireless device screen. So we're looking at rolling out specific search services for the wireless device," he said. For example, likely information Ask Jeeves could make available from its search arsenal to wireless devices includes local business listings and maps

see the full article threadlinked above for a bit more...

FAST Scoop Google for AOL Local Search Deal

Thread Title: AOL chooses Norwegian firm for niche service Thread Url: Thread Description:

Google loses out to FAST (who's site appears to be down?) in the grab for AOL's local search results:

In a blow to Google Inc., which provides general Web search for America Online members, AOL yesterday said it has chosen Fast Search & Transfer to power a revamping of its local search service.

AOL's deal with Fast, a Norwegian company with US operations in Needham, underscored Google's vulnerability in niche fields such as geographic-based search. Over the past year, AOL has tapped two other niche search engines, BizRate and Kayak, to provide shopping and travel search capabilities for the online service.

via Danny S who is also quoted in the piece:

"It's surprising that Google's local search product wasn't considered good enough,"

Hosting and Search

Thread Title: Google wants UK sites to be hosted in the UK not DE Thread Url: Thread Description:

An interesting slant of (using a Seth Godin term) initiating a purple cow from a David against a Goliath.

1&1 Internet are one of the larger European hosting companies. Their prices are extremely competitive, overall the service is superb and they advertise extremely agressively. Because of this they have seen tremendous growth, especially for quite a late entrant to the hosting business.

The small David in this battle is POBox Hosting. A UK company that is playing on fears businesses didn't have before they saw POBox's press release. Essentially it implies that if you host your web site with 1&1 you won't be visible on

What it omits to say is that (I believe) the majority of 1&1 customers use the uk tld for their sites so should still be accesable from

A damn fine way to use some half truths to add some FUD in business. I say hats off to POBox for coming up with the ploy :)