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Wednesday, August 31, 2005

 
Blankspace.co.uk (thanks IRN!) is a site that allows you to either sell space on your site, or bid for it on someone elses. Of most interest was the cost of the adverts; if you're thinking of selling advertising on your own site, it's worth taking a look before deciding on a price.

 
The latest Internet Resources Newsletter is now out. As usual, it's a must read.. I've already found 3 new sites that deserve poking around at!

 
Looking for weblogs? A new way to find them is to try BlogFlux, which arranges weblogs by tags, in a blog directory. It's still quite small, with only 1,755 blogs listed so far, but it's an interesting idea, and if Flickr is anything to go by, it could become a winner.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

 
The ? Top UK sites by pageviews as listed by ZDNet.com are:

eBay
Google
MSN
Yahoo!
BBC

in that order. For details on exactly how many hits each has had, follow the link.

 
There is an excellent article from Graham Philipson talking about copyright, called Copyright cop-out stiles innovation in which he rips publishers to pieces. His argument is that copyright is designed to protect publishers, not authors. One quote to give you the flavour: The publishers' actions highlight copyright's absurdities and the greed of its beneficiaries. They offer no justification for their actions other than a desire to protect income based on a technology and a business model invented centuries ago.

It's a viewpoint that I largely share, and if you're involved in publishing in any way at all, it's worth reading.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

 
Will Google's Keyword Searching Eliminate the Need for LC Cataloging and Classification? is an excellent article from Thomas Mann. His answer to his own question is obviously 'no' and he goes on to make a good case for the continued importance of the two old stalwarts cat and class.

Friday, August 26, 2005

 
For those who have been missing Watch That Page (which monitors changes to webpages and send you an alert when they are updated) it's now back up and running again. Apparently their ISP disconnected their internet line (??) but everything is well again.

 
Make yourself a strip cartoon! Characters, objects and balloons, all just click and drag. Of course, you do need to provide your own sense of humour, which is the hard part. This one is mine.

 
As you may know, I run the #1 Country search engines listings pages on the net (as defined by the major search engine rankings) at Country search engines and Regional Search Engines and I try and keep it up to date. I've recently been going through and weeding out those engines that no longer work, and since February 05 over 300 of these country based search engines have ceased working.

This is in part because some of the major companies that used to run country or regional search engines have disappeared (such as Woyaaonline and Disini), and I estimate that up to about 70% can be accounted for because of that. Of the rest about 40% were new start up engines which clearly didn't make the grade.

This has unfortunately left a number of countries without any search engine presence at all, or with only one or two engines covering them.

If you're interested, visit the pages - you can see those that are no longer operative; I've marked them "(no response 26/08/05)" in the vain hope that some bad links may be just a glitch in the system, but I'm not hopeful.

So, while the big search engines continue their march towards world domination an increasing number of the smaller ones are disappearing at an alarming rate.

 
Questia is an interesting engine. It titles itself 'The world's largest online library' and gives access to books, journals, magazines, newspapers and encyclopedias. The focus is on the humanities and social sciences. It also offers a range of search, note-taking and writing tools. It is aimed at students' academic needs. Worth a look.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

 
Want a Gmail account? Get a mobile phone first. Oh yes, and be in the US. Google is now opening up Gmail even further, but unlike tools such as Hotmail, where you just open an account, you have to have an activation code sent to your mobile phone. Apparently this is to stop people creating thousands of accounts. Well yes, I kinda see the thought process behind it, but it's very clunky if you ask me. You can pretty much already get as many Gmail accounts as you want; I could in theory already create several hundred without any difficulty at all. I think the hype over Gmail is all dead and buried now - it's just another email system, so why continue to make things difficult for no reason? If you want to see the original article, visit the blog entry

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

 
Well, actually there are a number of reasons why I won't be voting for him. Partly because I don't live in the 38th Council District. Or even in New York city. Or even in New York State. And no, not even in the United States themselves. But, while those are important reasons, there's another, much more important one...

Why have I chosen to make it clear that I'm not voting for Eddie Rodriguez? He's a former law professor, civil rights attorney and bunch of other stuff. He (or more specifically the Soleilgroup) have spammed me, inviting me to a meeting this evening of 'young professionals' on his behalf. Eddie has one of two problems. Either he's a spammer (and the email was sent to another address of mine that I don't use for much, and certainly not to join any site that would possibly email me at my request), which means that he's pretty stupid, or he's employing stupid people, or encouraging stupid people to spam me. Whichever way it works, it doesn't look good at all.

Consequently, should you happen to be in the 38th District, I would recommend voting for

Sara Gonzalez or

David Galarza.

There is another candidate, but she doesn't have a website, so that knocks her out at once. Amusingly dear old Eddie has his own website, and clicking on the 'Volunteer for Eddie' link leads to a 404 error, which pretty much sums it up I think.

 
Well, now we know! It's called Google Talk and is now available for download. It has basic IM (instant messaging), Voice over Internet, integration with Gmail so you can instantly add your contacts, and a simple interface. There's a detailed review over at Download Squad.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

 
More news on new Google goodness, this time from the Hindustantime site. There is now a new desktop sidebar available, which can be displayed on users monitors to offer a personalised panel of information, such as email. It includes a scratch pad tool for notetaking, email search and so on. I bet Microsoft is going to love that one!

There's also rumour that the company is going to be launching their own instant messaging interface as well, and we should find out details in the next few days.

Monday, August 22, 2005

 
Well, here's an interesting idea.... There's a pledge of over PledgeBank regarding the use (or not!) of Google and it's services throughout October. The pledge is actually: "I will not use Google during October and will join a mailing list to discuss/build alternatives but only if 50 other addicts will too." The pledge creator, Francis Irving says that although he loves Google, he's a little too dependent on them, so he's trying to find alternatives, and encourage people to join a mailing list to discuss them. I think it's a great idea though as he has included Gmail I couldn't sign up to it since I have a lot of work email through my account. However, anything that encourages people to look more widely afield is a good thing in my book - my immediate response would be 'Try Exalead' I shall watch developments with interest.

 
My Book Your Book is an interesting concept. Each member 'donates' 10 books to the scheme. All the books are listed, you search through the list, find one you want and it's posted to you. You in turn can do the same with any other books. 5 weeks later the book is listed under the name of the new owner and so the scheme progresses. It's a neat idea.

 
FindForward is another search engine that's come to my attention. The interesting thing with this one is the sheer variety of different ways that it allows you to search for information. It essentially uses the Google database (and is run using a Google API) but you can do:
Normal web search
Only English
Image Direct
Ask Question
Print
Tags
Personal information
'Things' (whatever they are!)
Old pages
Randomize

... and a bunch of other things. It's been created by Philipp Lenssen, who I have a lot of time for. It's an interesting approach - the main downside is that it can take quite some time to get an answer onto the screen, and sometimes it says it hasn't found any information and then displays answers for you. However, it's worth taking a look at.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

 
Trovando is a new beta Italian multi/meta search engine. It's launching in September, but it's already very impressive. You can take a look at it and if you do, I think you'll be impressed. In common with TurboScout, it gives you access to over 25 search engines of different types, such as Google, Yahoo, MSN, and not forgetting Exalead, Gigablast, Ixquick... the list goes on and on. And that's just the web tab! There are 11 tabs, for things like images, reference, news and so on. One of the tabs can be customised to your own requirements as well.

It's very impressive, and does wrap up a lot of stuff in one handy neat little package, and I'm certainly going to be using it. There's also a nice little review of it over at Pandia, and they seem to like it as well!

Friday, August 19, 2005

 
I'm going to be the speaker at a CILIP London evening meeting on September 13th, talking about what I do as an internet consultant, what is going to be happening on the internet, things to watch out for and so on. It's free to attend, but you do need to book. Details on it are on the CILIP site.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

 
All the talk about who has a bigger index than who is interesting, but the point has already been well made that it doesn't actually matter that much who has the bigger index... it's the results that count. Relevancy is King. But of course, that's rather difficult to work out, but the folks over at RustySearch are having a go. Simply type in a query and look at the results, and rank any you feel are relevant or not so relevant. RustySearch takes the results from different search engines - Yahoo, Google, Ask Jeeves and MSN Search and uses this input to work out which engine is best. The link takes you to the current results which has them in the order:
Yahoo!
Google
Ask Jeeves
MSN Search

Although there's not a lot to choose between them. Worth taking a look if you're interested in search.

 
Corporate Blogging Gaining Momentum is a short and useful article about the way that blogs are really taking off in the corporate information world. If your company isn't blogging yet, read this article and start to worry!

 
According to a BBC NEWS Technology report, the .uk domain is growing apace. Some facts and figures:

150 web addresses ending in .uk are created every hour.

4,000,000 .uk web addresses have now been registered

People prefer to buy from .uk sites as they have a greater degree of trust in them

52% of UK households now have internet access

30% (about 8.1 million) households/businesses have broadband

End 05 99.6% of the UK will have access to broadband.

 
Just in case you're interested, I've put up some photographs that I took on Angelsey and North Wales in my Flickr album. You don't have to go and look, but if you do, feel free to comment!

 
Recently, Yahoo claimed to have dramatically increased the size of their index, and this claim immediately came under fire from Google, which you'd expect. However, there's some interesting research entitled A Comparison of the Size of the Yahoo and Google Indices from the University of Illinois which backs it up, and goes further. There's a lot of facts and figures in the short article, and I'll sum it up in the quote:

It is the opinion of this study that Yahoo!'s claim to have a web index of over twice as many documents as Google's index is suspicious.

 
MOVIE LIBRARIANS: NOTABLE LIBRARIANS & LIBRARIES IN FILMS is a nice page, listing... well, you can guess.

 
As mentioned in the Google Blog Google is pausing the digitisation program, Google Print. They're now inviting publishers to get involved, and they're asking the publishers to let them know what they want included. Google is also indicating that they'll start scanning of in-copyright books again in November, which I think is an over ambitious date.

 
I'm now back from holiday and preparing to launch myself back into the fray. Consequently the few posts above this one may be covering news that you've heard about elsewhere, but it's still news to me, so it'll be going in the blog. I should be caught up in a day or so. In the meantime, look on this as a recap on the main stories!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

 
A very interesting article entitled Fading fast on the problems of long term storage of data. Apparently microfilm is still the preferred choice because it can last up to 500 years. Quite a long article but easy to read and quite fascinating.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

 
The Online Information 2005 conference programme is now available. I'm giving a talk on Day 1 (Tuesday 29th November) called 'Search is no longer about search' in the afternoon.

 
Blackmask Online has access to over 10,000 ebooks in a large number of categories - both fiction and non fiction.

 
According to Pandia, Yahoo! has increased the size of its index. It covers 20.8 billion online objects - 19.2 billion documents and 1.6 billion images.

 
Yahoo! Search - Audio Search looks pretty good. You can search for music, other audio, podcasts, interviews, speeches and newscasts, as well as sound effects. I've tried it out with a few searches and it's excellent. Many of the links take you to music sites where you can buy a particular track, but there's a huge amount of free material as well. Give it a go!

 
Librarians are not dull boring people; there's a really fun set of cartoons on library humour at Flickr. The link takes you straight there. library humour - a photoset on Flickr

 
Things are fairly quiet around here at the moment... I've just been to the Worldcon Science Fiction convention up in Glasgow, and then I'm off again shortly for holiday part 2. However, before I go, I'm catching up with a few things that have caught my interest...

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

 
If you've got an interest in toolbarsA9 has enhanced their toolbar with a new feature which allows you to add any other search engine that you like to the list of available options. The link takes you to SearchEngineWatch with all the details.

 
According to an article from IT Facts , only 1.1% of results appear on Yahoo!, Google, MSN and Ask Jeeves, while 84.9% of the top results were unique to one search engine. Personally I find this a little hard to believe, since I do a lot of cross database searching and the percentage usually seems to be higher for me. However, it's an interesting article and worth looking at, especially if you're a trainer and really want to point out to people that using one search engine isn't really enough.

 
Dogpile has now added MSN Search to their list of engines, which now includes Google, Yahoo!, Ask Jeeves and MSN. This makes it a much more attractive offering if you want to search across the biggest search engines, though I still prefer ez2find as it also includes Dmoz, Wisenut and Teoma (though at the expense of Ask Jeeves).

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

 
Technorati Weblog: State of the Blogosphere, August 2005, Part 1: Blog Growth has some really interesting figures regarding the growth of weblogs, such as:

A new weblog is created every second.
The blogosphere doubles every 5.5 months.
55% of all blogs (over 14.2 million) are active.
13% are updated at least weekly.

 
An amusing Top Ten List: Things SEOs Don't Want to Hear From New Clients

Monday, August 01, 2005

 
Hmm... seems like Blogger is causing me problems and not updating! Just a test to try it out.

 
Not much on today, because it's my birthday, so don't expect too much on Phil Bradley's Blog!

 
It's my birthday today, so don't expect too much by way of blogging!

 
Talk Digger is a useful little aggregator if you write a blog - it can tell you who is linking to or talking about you. Takes details from 9 main sources, such as Feedster, Icerocket, PubSub and so on.