Tag Archive: Tools


MY QUEST IS COMPLETED!

WordPress bloggers, read on: The quest to which I refer is that of a long-standing desire to find a simple way to on-the-spottishly grab some sort of webpage, or whatever cool new thing I came across and quickly throw it into a spot where I could grab it later.  Though I had known about and explored social bookmarking, including a somewhat (but little) used del.ico.us account, I still found myself looking for something more.

That something would be later evolved, in part, into this blog.  Thus the part of the quest that involved storing and sharing the information was then done.
The full-on mission objective that I’m talking about is this: I wanted to have a way to handle all the cool-new things that we were finding online and record, save, store and share them.  The problem with learning so much is that you have to save it, remember it—that’s our job as human beings—we our responsible to remember things that are important.  It’s one of those rare human gifts, perhaps setting us apart from animals and inanimate objects moreso than walking upright, using fire, or any other technology—we are perhaps the only instrument by which a serious, detailed record of the past is imposed on the Universe…

But perhaps a wax philosophic.  I do!

So, anyways, the point of this blog was to save things—save information, and then share them with others, and all the good things that come along with that.  The question then is, now that I have all these things shared, how do I quickly harvest all this low-hanging fruit that I am constantly coming across?

Here’s the solution: the “Press This” button or “add-on” or whatever it’s called.  Apparently, it’s a little do-dad that you can download from the WordPress site, assuming then that you have a WordPress blog and you are using it to keep track of, and share interesting things that may have related how-to sites, wikis, news articles, video-sharing streams, or what-have you online.  Now, if you are, this is a good thing for you to use.

The WordPress how-to site describes it like so:

Use Press This to clip text, images and videos from any web page. Then edit and add more straight from Press This before you save or publish it in a post on your site.

But  more-to-the-point, let me describe it as this: a quick way to grab the “low-hanging fruit” and throw them back into the “blog on this later bin.”  Very cool, and probably obvious—yet, I’m a bit skeptical as to whether or not most people knew about this.  Of course, there were always social-bookmarking toolbar buttons for your browser (which is what this highly resembles) but…nevertheless, this fits well, hand-in-glove, in-fact, with the whole idea of find, save, share.

In my last post, I challenged users to search for Google on Google, and see what they found.
The answer, the top result (at least when I did it) was actually Google’s official blog. If you want to stay on top of future developments, one might think that you’d start there.

But is that assumption correct?

I just did a search on Google for “Yahoo,” and the requisite reverse search on Yahoo for “Google.” You know what I found? I found that on both search engines, neither one actually gave news about itself, but each one gave news about the other one.

Sounds like the old addage is true—your enemies know more about you than you do…”No news is good news,” must be the rationale.

So if you’re looking for news, search Yahoo or Google (who control most of the search-market share right now)…

except if you’re searching for Yahoo or Google themselves.  (Then use a competitor.)

What do you think about that?  Well, I think it shows how quickly information outdates itself on the internet.  A second search found that Google does have news about itself now—Google does, but Yahoo doesn’t (and now not for Google either.)  It makes me wonder if this has something to do with Google’s slogan: Don’t be evil.  (Did that clue into my post before I wrote it?)

This does beg the question, how much reliable information will you get from someone talking about themself? …or a search engine searching itself?  Would it be better to search for information on one person, from a different point of view?

By the time this goes live (and/or by the time you’re reading this) things may be even more different—even more different than today, or five seconds ago, or whatever—but the basic facts remain the same.  The best source for an unbiased opinion is a disinterested bystander—but where do you find that?

Not to leave us on a solutionless down-note, let’s consider what other possibilities may be out there…maybe a search driven by human agents, but more on that later.  (Or is that what Yahoo and Google really are?)

Image representing Yahoo! as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

Speaking of Google…

In all this, I’m wondering if the “scraper” traffic I saw earlier (that picked up my articles) was automatic (I’m assuming) or perhaps some third-world worker in a net-scraping factor (not likely).  Who or what ever it is, it seems to be going along just fine—and picking up mention of keywords—well, mostly “Google.”

So, I’m wondering if my theory is correct, and if a mere mention of the word “Google” will actually attract the attention of visitors.  So here goes: GOOGLE!

I’m assuming that the robots would pick this up, but human aggregators would ignore this.

Google in 1998, showing the original logo

Image via Wikipedia

Well, okay,that wasn’t very nice to actual committed readers of this blog (I know you’re out there—even if you don’t!) and so I’ll give you a little tidbit…

Have you ever Googled Google?  What did that Google search find?  The top Google hit, I found very relevant.

I’ll explain more later: Hint: That’s where developers and developments post and get posted by Google.  Great way to stay abreast of developments there.

As promised in my last blog entry, here’s another set of thoughts about blogging. First of all, I noticed that I’ve been reading my stats wrong, and that there’s a build-on effect happening, rather than just a day-to-day single-post popularity contests. Here’s what I mean about all this blogging stuff:

(1) Traffic Stacks: There is a beautiful exponential effect in your blog post traffic.  I had actually been reading my day-to-day traffic updates as if I was only looking at the popularity of each post I had been putting out each day.  However, one of my biggest spikes was on a day when I didn’t post anything!  Eventually I realized the obvious—my blog post traffic is taking off because more and more, there are a greater and greater number of posts/articles on my site to be read!

(2) Not all traffic is human:  Though I can’t speak to whether there is a WordPress anti-spam filter within their own system that filters these out—I do know that there

Scraper site snippet for one of my blog posts

Here is a scapper-site snippet

are various “spiders” (automate programs that surf the web for various reasons) that do visit sites… At least, I’m assuming that these are spiders…but apparently some of my content got scooped up by a “scraper site” which really seemed to be an aggregator of various blog content, my article being one of them.  It was at this point that I let out a small cheer (first scraping!) and then took a screenshot.

(3) Some topics are hot all the time.  You are probably guessing that Google is a pretty hot thing to be searching for—so, here’s my tip for your blog success—find some niche topic to blog on, and you’ll get some interesting ongoing traffic, provided your niche is one with definite popularity—it can be a wide niche to start, and then you may want to narrow in.  I could be wrong.  What do you think?

Write back in the comments field to let me know more about what your opinion is.

! mark in contradiction used for amboxes

Image via Wikipedia

I’ve found that with WordPress, several of my posts get assigned to the wrong date.  Let me explain that my goal is to have a post out every day (calendar date) to increase traffic (though probably it’s just as important to get posts out at times during the day when they can be read and picked up by the majority of people) as well as to create a track-record, verifiable and searchable online of what I have posted online, with the goal of having a demonstrable track-record of research and passing along information in the industry.

Here’s what I’ve found—in order to stretch myself to get something online everyday, I have several times found myself making the effort to put a post out minutes to midnight, and even if I do—something interesting happens… Despite having been recorded immediately as posted on the desired day, I found returning to my blog, that it was actually recorded on the subsequent day, a sad (for me) disruption of my track record.

So, if you want to be safe, post your stuff well before the clock ticks over to the next day.  (Do this more than just a few minutes ahead.)

Looks like the WordPress development community has come up with some easy to use back-end engine functionality —to create easy social-media / repost, “sharing buttons” on their blogs.

If I did this right you should be seeing them at the bottom of this [post.  THis is a quick and easy way for you to repost, e-mail, “digg” or Facebook posts you like.

However, as I’ve read elsewhere, and as would make sense, this really is no alternative to having great content—really good things to say—that doesn’t have anything to do with what buttons you make available.  If people like something, they won’t bother looking for your buttons, I can imagine, but will post it the old-fashioned way.  That’s what I did…but no sense making it harder on people to share either.

 

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