Category Archives: Service

Merry Christmas 2007

Where the heck did this year go?

I hope you all are having a great evening with your families.

But looking at Twitter and at my feed reader I can tell that some of you are still up. Maybe wrapping presents. But probably trying to escape last-minute chores like me.

There are a few things, though, that came through my feed reader that’s interesting.

1. LeWeb3′s videos are now online. Right now I’m watching some sessions I missed including one by a Google employee talking about the Web’s impact on corporate culture.

2. Paul Stamatiou is wondering if it’s time to start an HD startup. Paul: be careful here. HD video is too hard to deal with from a workflow standpoint. It’s a lot time away from going mainstream and sites like SmugMug have the best idea — they charge their users to upload HD. Even then they only let 10 minutes be uploaded. There’s WAY too much competition in the video space, too. Did you miss all the funding spent on things like Kyte, Ustream, Operator 11, Justin.tv, Qik, and others? Think they aren’t watching HD trends? Not to mention the already-existing HD sites like stage6.divx.com. But that all said, HD will arrive sometime and if you do it right you might be the next YouTube.

3. Gizmodo has the coolest Christmas decorated cube video I’ve seen.

4. Man, Google Reader’s new sharing features have people up in arms about their privacy. I told a friend “what part of “public” did they not understand when they started sharing feeds? He answered back that the feeds were obfuscated, so there was an expectation of privacy. Wow. This is going to be a debate in the industry over and over. I can see both sides and am itching to blog more about this issue.

5. LifeHacker shared a new tool that I’m trying out: Toodledo. It’s a list to organize your tasks. For those of you who want to get organized.

6. I’ve put a ton of stuff up on my shared reader feed. Chuqui, nice photos! I really am getting a lot out of the people who’ve added me as a friend on GoogleTalk and are sharing feeds with me.

7. “You don’t know jack about how your eyes actually work.” That’s how this video, aimed at website designers and SEOs, starts out. I usually don’t pimp commercially-produced videos like this but I made an exception here for a few reasons:

    a. Andy Edmonds is the guy behind this. He’s one of the smartest people I met at Microsoft and now is head of technology here.
    b. Lots of my friends tell me that these guys helped them get more conversions.
    c. They show off how people read web sites based on eyetrack research. I learned a lot and their new tool, called Scrutinizer, is an interesting one to use to look at your Website’s design to see if you’ve really thought things through. I’m not sure I like the corny videos, though. It’s my job to watch this stuff so you don’t have to. Dang, I thought my videos are long and boring. Well, the first one actually had some good info about how your Website is probably poorly designed. Their tool is only for people who do Website design, though. Ryan Stewart will be happy, though, cause Andy Edmonds used Adobe’s AIR technology to build it.

Anyway, that’s enough for the day today. I’m off to get some sleep before hanging out with family and then heading to Shel Israel’s house where, if he isn’t nice to me I’ll broadcast his little Christmas party on my Qik channel live. Damn, I live Qik — most of the videos I put up there are total wastes of time, but I’m having a ball. I’m not the only one, by the way. Steve Garfield was at a party with Dan Bricklin, inventor of the spreadsheet, today and put that live on his Qik channel.

Well, live or not, Merry Christmas!

New York, New York! (Danny wants better RSS in his SPOT watch)

I’m writing to you from a bus heading toward Manhattan. I love my Verizon card. It’s like having wifi EVERYWHERE!

Anyway, I’m up for a midnight snack tonight. Anyone game? Call my cell phone at 425-205-1921. I’m staying at the Sheraton Towers.

Update: well, that didn’t take long. Someone just called and we’re meeting in the lobby. I love having readers around the world. :-)

Update 2: it got even better. The guy who called was Jackson Fox of lulu.com. I took him to Times Square where we hit Roxy’s and had dinner. As we were finishing our cheesecakes the phone rang again. “Hello, this is Matt Cutts.” (He works at Google and is probably Google’s best known blogger SEO expert). We quickly figure out he’s at the Hilton, head over there and meet up in the lobby. He quickly drags us through the bar where a bunch of SEO types ran us through a gauntlet. Matt checks over the crowd and sees if he’ll get any more spam tricks out of the increasingly drunk geeks who try to figure out how to improve their Google ranking for their day jobs.

Did you know that there are about 5,000 attendees at this conference? Are search engines a big deal? Damn, who knew?

Anyway, Matt and Jackson and I settle in for a non-alcoholic talk (not by choice, mind you, but the bar was closed). We start comparing notes (we’re on a panel discussion at 9 a.m. in the morning).

Now, the conversation was going pretty good at about that time. Comparing notes and having fun and sharing information. But then Danny Sullivan walks in (for those who don’t know, this is his conference — he is the guy who started Search Engine Watch years ago and built a multi-million industry around it).

He could do anything, but what does he do?

He walks up to us and gives me s**t about his SPOT watch that he just bought. Turns out the RSS aggregator that the SPOT system has isn’t all that great (he wants me to get on the team about the RSS features, or the lack thereof). I tell him I’ll make sure the team hears about his feature request. Danny then launches into a sales pitch for the SPOT watch to Matt. Turns out Danny’s into Swatch watches and showed us off all the features of his new watch.

Hey, BillG, you should have Danny on stage with you at next year’s CES. But I digress.

He pulls up the stock quote feature on his SPOT watch. Looks up GOOG (the stock quote for Google). Looks at Matt and says “you had a good day.” Then pulls up MSFT. Looks at me and says “you had a good day too.”

Dude, you have no idea. Hint: it had nothing to do with the stock price.

Then he asked me to spill the beans on the Origami. Heheh. Very funny Danny!

The V7ndotcom elursrebmem charity

OK, I should have listened to my head and not gotten involved in a search engine optimization contest. But, it’s a valuable lesson in how you can move up the search engines. After all, if you are a plumber, but don’t appear on the Google/MSN/Yahoo result pages for “plumber in Seattle” does your business really exist? Our eye track research suggests it does not.

So, how do you move up? Well, study how these folks are working to get other Web sites to link to them. There are “blackhat” techniques (which is when you open a series of splogs and link back to the page you want to move up). Search engines algorithm authors are constantly looking for ways to remove the blackhat techniques. Another blackhat technique? Something called “Google bowling.” Let’s say you are #21 on the list. So, how do you get to move up to the #1 spot? Well, you open splogs pointing at #1-20. What happens then? Well, if you do a good enough job that’ll trip the Google/MSN/Yahoo splog filter (if a piece of content is copied enough times it’ll get removed off of all the servers and “penalized”). Then you’ll move up to #1. Evil, but effective!

Or, you can do something that legitimately gets other people to link to your site. For instance, look at this V7ndotcom elursrebmem contest entry by Alex K. He is giving all his winnings to charity. By being a nice guy, he’s trying to get more people to link to him.

This is why I tell audiences to share their information. Are you a lawyer? Teach us how to do your profession! That will get people to link to you. We love to link to the nice guys.

Anyway, I’m hoping the white hat guys win. It’ll be interesting to see if any new black hat techniques get tried here.

SEO contest!

OK, this is brave for someone to do: call me and beg for a link. Usually I don’t like that at all, but the other day Steven Hargrove called me to tell me the other day about an SEO contest, sponsored by V7n.com. They came up with a new term and are seeing who does the best Search Engine Optimization. Want to learn a bit about SEO? Visit the sites and see some of the techniques they use.

One technique? Get bloggers to link to that site with the term: v7ndotcom elursrebmem. That’s Steven’s site that he entered into the contest. When I linked to him he was #4 on the list. We’ll see if that moves him up.

Yes, this makes me an SEO shill. Oh well, he took the time to personally call me, built a relationship with me, and explain this contest to me. Sorry, no more calls on this topic will be listened to. :-)