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Wednesday, December 31, 2003

If you think we have it tough today, take a look at this article which was written over 100 years ago and describes the work of a librarian.

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

The search engine metaEUREKA is another engine that has gone in for a toolbar. However, this one is a little more like a desktop application, covering as it does system information, calculator, ping, DNS lookup, port scanner, keyword density and so on. Worth looking at.
The end of the year is always the time for various top tens, so here is the list from Yahoo!:
1. KaZaa 2. Harry Potter 3. American Idol 4. Britney Spears 5. 50 Cent 6. Eminem 7. WWE 8. Paris Hilton 9.NASCAR 10. Christina Aguilera.

There - your life is now complete.
BlogPulse [BETA]: Automated Trend Discovery for Weblogs BlogPulse links to key phrases, key people, blogbites and top links. Similar to Daypop from the brief look that I've taken, and very interesting.

Monday, December 29, 2003

If you need an answer to a question, this links to an interesting article on how best to ask it. Lots of common sense stuff here, but also very useful.

Friday, December 26, 2003

Here's what to do with the Xmas photographs that you've taken. Read the article this links to, upload photographs to desired site. Send emails to all your friends so that they can have a look at them. Move on with your life.

Thursday, December 25, 2003

Broadband so near yet so far. Poor guy. He has my every sympathy. Having just moved into a new house, I wanted to make sure I could get Broadband, but I was a bag of nerves until it was actually up and running. You have to feel sorry for this guy.

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Jakob Nielsen, the web usability guru has highlighted his top ten web design mistakes of 2003. These include an unclear statement of purpose, undated content, bad use of small thumbnails, and pages that link to themselves. Always worth reading.

Monday, December 22, 2003

Whichbook is a very nice service indeed. You can choose 4 categories from a total of 12, and decide on how important each one is (so you could go for very sad, disturbing, conventional and short and the system will provide some suggestions for you and, if you're based in the UK, will find a local library that has the title(s) so you can borrow them.
TIME magazine has written a very interesting article on Google in which they discuss the possible future of the company and look at the competition. It's not one of the articles knocking Google, but it is saying that they're not the only player. Worth reading.

Saturday, December 20, 2003

Online maps direct people to your home shocker! Oh well, duh! Are people really only just now waking up to this? Given that it's very easy to simply type in an individuals name and get details of where they live, their phone number, an arial photograph of their house and so on, it stands to reason that some people will use this in ways that were not intended. Just how obvious is this? It should be - very. I've been talking about it since last century, and we've had at least one high profile murder of a television presenter linked to this sort of service. Jeez.

Thursday, December 18, 2003

What Amazon can do, so can Google. Apparently there's more information in the world that isn't on the web, which has come as a surprise to Google. They're doing what Amazon has started, which is to allow people to search within books for the information they need. Link goes to New York Times article.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Female librarians in the London Borough of Camden have been taking off their clothes ala the calendar girls movie. Good for them, and lets hope they make lots of money.
According to Greg Notess at Search Engine Showdown Gigablast has now come into line with the other major contenders and added a spelling suggestion function.
Digital Point Solutions have a really nice feature that you can use to check, in one go, how many back links you have to all your pages. It's a freebie, and it takes a while to set up, but once it has been, it's pretty impressive.
Holiday Snowglobe which is worth leaving for a while before you shake it so that you can see what all the little people get up to. Well, it amused me.

Monday, December 15, 2003

Top terms searched for in 2003 According to Lycos - Spam Slayer: 2003 Spam Awards Depressing, but interesting read on spam in 2003.

Thursday, December 11, 2003

Here's a neat little trick to use in order to find out when a page was last updated. Go to the page that you're interested in and then, in the Address bar, type the following:


and that'll pop up a little window which tells you.
Keyword Density Analyzer This is nice. Does the job perfectly, and gives single, two and three word phrases as well.
BrainBoost is a new natural language search engine which has taken over where Ask Jeeves left off. It's still early days yet, but it's not bad. It uses actual sentences extracted from web pages, so the answers are only as good as the original sources. Give it a go.
One for the web site authors. Check your position in Google without having to count! Simply type in your keyword(s) and your URL and check. Fast and very effective.

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

The LookSmart UK search engine will be closing its doors in early 2004. The link takes you to their FAQ on the subject, in case you're interested.
Google's latest update has caused lots of problems due to the fact that lots of commercial sites are no longer in the top positions they've enjoyed, sometimes for years. There's been a lot of discussion about this, but I think the best article I have read on the subject is the one at searchengineguide, which is where the link takes you.

Monday, December 08, 2003

Go to Google, and do a search for apple tree. Look at the top result. Wonder why Google is used by so many people.
Blizg - The Blog Resource is very keen on meta data. With Gigablast getting in on the act, and now weblogs doing the same thing, it's interesting to see meta tags making something of a comeback.
The multi search engine Vivísimo is getting into the whole toolbar business, with a minibar (which is where this link takes you) and a more normal toolbar. You need Windows 98+ and IE 5.5 or higher to use it.

Friday, December 05, 2003

Lady Crumpet's Armoire Another librarians weblog. Nice and neat, very clear and easy to read. Quite a lot of personal stuff in it.

Thursday, December 04, 2003

Find broken links on your site with Xenu's Link Sleuth (TM) This is an *excellent* and free utility that allows a web author to check to see if their links are still working. I've used it on pages with over 1,500 links and it copes well. Definately get hold of it!
LinkWatch This is an interesting utility if you're a web author. It allows you to keep an eye on which sites link to you, and alerts you if it stops linking.
Moving house is now over. Jill and I are installed in our new abode out in deepest darkest Essex, I have a work room up and running and most importantly of all, I've got ADSL installed and doing its thing. It also means that I can get back to updating the weblog on a regular basis.
Google might be adding an automatic stemming to searches. Or it might not. It's all very confusing, and even Greg Notess isn't sure what's going on!
To give them their due, Google are always trying out new things. For an overview, try the Google Labs page However, if you prefer, jump directly in:

The Google Viewer displays your results as a slideshow, although it wasn't working when I just tried it.

Google Glossary Want to know what a word means? Try this.

Google webquotes Find out what people are actually saying about various sites. Run a search (Try Phil Bradley if you like), and see what people say about my site.

Google sets Google can create sets of pages based on different criteria that you give it.
There's a new search engine based in Australia called Mooter. It's still in beta test, so don't expect too much of it yet, but instead of giving you a series of results in the traditional format, it displays them in a graphical format with various radials pointing out from the key term to different aspects of the subject you're looking at.