Linkcount by Zombie

If Om and Mike won’t link to you, go for a mindless spammer instead.

I have certainly noticed some spam links in my Technorati list (which, by the way, seems broken again, but I’m too weary to try to get it fixed, again).

The other strange thing that happened recently at Technorati is that a ton of old links from Memeorandum starting showing up as new links. I don’t even know how that could happen, unless someone starting pulling up old archives and pinging Technorati. But even if you were that link obsessed, you only get one link added to your account per website, so why ping all those old archives?

Anyway, I thought Seth’s mini-experiment was pretty interesting.

The Shadeless Future of the Traditional Newspaper

Things are going great, and they’re only getting better
I’m doing all right, getting good grades
The future’s so bright
I gotta wear shades, I gotta wear shades

- Timbuk3

Mark Evans, who works for one, has some thoughts about the shadeless future of traditional newspapers. His post was inspired by a speech he heard by Jeff Cole, who heads a team at the University of Southern California that has collected data about internet usage for the past six years.

I have posted several times about newspapers and their dire need to reinvent themselves in the face of their three biggest threats:

1) the internet as a distribution channel that more and more people prefer over a trip to the front yard;

2) eBay/Craigslist and the loss of the classified ads revenue stream (even the non-geeks I know use eBay, etc. to find something they used to look for in the classifieds); and

3) citizen journalism (bloggers and other writers who bypass the newspapers and go straight to the audience).

There are still a ton of people who strongly prefer newspapers. So the old papers have time to evolve. But any doubt about the future of content distribution should have been addressed by the movement online we have witnessed over the past few years. The decision by more and more papers to stop running stock quotes daily is evidence of the inevitable.

But newspapers still have a few things in their corner.

First, talent. If they can redeploy their writers under some new-media structure, they can outwrite most of us amateur hacks without breaking a sweat.

Second, the marketing industry. The marketing industry is based largely on ad creation and placement. Everyone with two brain cells to rub together knows the internet advertising thing is both cyclical and unstable. People simply don’t watch TV ads any more. Radio ads are killing traditional radio. That leaves print advertising.

If the newspapers will let them, the marketing industry will save them. But the newspapers have to play ball by allowing themselves to be recreated as a largely online animal. Sure, the NYT can become a weekly magazine and survive. Other papers can become weekly papers and survive for a while.

But the newspaper gig is up, and the papers who admit it and get ahead on the evolutionary curve are the ones who will make it.

Remember- you don’t have to outrun the bear. You just have to outrun the other guy.

A Sentence

I saw this on OmegaMom’s blog and thought it was cool.

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open it to page 161.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the sentence along with these instructions.
5. Don’t search around and look for the coolest book you can find. Do what’s actually next to you.

Here’s mine:

Mitch crawled out on his porch.

From my copy of An Unfinished Life, which I just got back from a friend. Boring sentence, but a fantastic book.

Anybody else want to play?

Net Neutrality Tutorial


If you want to know what net neutrality is and why it’s important to you, but you don’t want to spend hours reading boring articles about it, just watch this video.

There is a dangerous combination of greed and stupidity floating around out there that could do something really bad unless we keep net neutrality front and center until the threat of non-neutrality is eradicated.

If you use the internet for anything at all, net neutrality is an important issue to you.

Vista Versions Made Easy

Ed Bott has a good post and an even better chart that explains the differences in the various versions of the upcoming Windows Vista, the successor to Windows XP.

It’s still going to be a little tough to figure out which one to buy for a home/office power user with a network. At first glance, I suspect I’ll buy the Home Premium for the computer attached to our audio video equipment and Professional for the other computers on the network.


Historical Figures

So I wonder what Dan Rather said when he met one?

SEO = Spam?

Some guy named Stephen Arnold of Arnold Information Technology (that’s a name that covers a lot of territory) apparently stood up at some Search Engine Meeting in Boston and said that search engine optimization is like spam.

Stephen Baker at Blogspotting makes a compelling point about the resulting uproar:

[SEO supporters] think that they’re simply working to give the public a view of their sites, which they naturally believe are relevant and useful. But don’t many spammers make the same claim?

Exactly. They are doing us a favor, and the fact they get paid to do it is just a happy coincidence.

seoevilI have stated before my discomfort with SEO. It feels like gaming the system. On the other hand, some people I respect have defended SEO to me in Comments and via email, and many of their arguments are logical.

Having said that, while I do not have a huge problem with SEO rightly applied, I want my search engines to find relevant content based on the relevant content- not based on who is smart enough to SEO their way to the top of the listings. Stated another way, I expect my search engines to ignore a lot of SEO and find me the best data based on some algorithm that levels the playing field.

The person who knows a ton about a topic I am interested in may not know anything about SEO. To the extent that SEO pushes lesser content above better content (and no one can convince me that isn’t at least a by-product of SEO), then I don’t like it.

It’s not nearly as bad as spam.

But it’s a second or third cousin.