aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Sunday, December 31, 2006
Stick that magnetic ribbon on your SUV!
This comes from a band out of Austin, the Asylum Street Spankers, and is just a bit more bawdacious than usual for here. It’s all in good New Years Eve fun…
The skinny from Wales on Wikia
Q. Why do this at all? What do you see wrong with search?
For certain types of searches, search engines are very good. But I still see major failures, where they aren’t delivering useful results. I think at a deeper almost political level, I think it’s important that we as a global society have some transparency in search. What are the algorithms involved? What are the reasons why one site comes up over another one. [Wales also raised the issue of how ads might influence regular listings, perhaps search engines trying to keep commercial sites out of the free listings to make money. From there, he went on....] Those types of incentives are problematic in search. The only solution I know to that is to be transparent.
Danny’s conclusion is skeptical. Still:
I find myself oddly hopeful. I don’t think a Google killer will emerge, but perhaps some new ways of a community to be involved with search will come out of it. I wouldn’t have thought Wikipedia would work. Certainly it’s flawed, but it’s also an incredible resource. Maybe something useful will come from the Search Wikia project.
LATER: The NYTimes has a story on the Wikia search project today.
Al-Qaeda strong as ever
Every dismissive assumption made about al-Qaeda before September 11 was wrong. So is the assumption that it is in any way receding today: it is still the most dangerous international security threat to both the Western and Islamic worlds.
Osama bin Laden has not been driven underground or lost touch with his followers. Al-Qaeda is using the internet extensively to communicate with its supporters and to further its aim of creating new bases from which to organise terrorist attacks.
Suggestions that it may have morphed into some kind of “ideological” or “inspirational” organisation that merely encourages copycat groups of young Muslims to emulate its greatest “achievements”, are contradicted by its leadership’s steady stream of instructions to followers. [...]
If any single individual is responsible for the continuing expansion of al-Qaeda, it is President Bush. America’s failed policies in the Middle East and Afghanistan, its failure to rebuild either Iraq or Afghanistan after invading them, and its support for Israel’s roles in Lebanon and in the Palestinian territories, have created unprecedented anger in the Muslim world.
In Somalia America is compounding its disastrous support for the warlords by backing Ethiopia in driving out of Mogadishu the Islamists who took over.
Today, the danger of a civilisational war - between Shia and Sunni within the Islamic world, and between the West and the Islamic world - grows ever closer.
Most blog traffic is trash… Everyone knows it. If you look at your stats, you’ll learn that half of your traffic--or a lot more than half--comes from search engines. People type in things like “nipple schoolgirl goat priest molasses,” and they end up at your site for ten seconds, and they leave, hopefully disappointed. Those people aren’t “visitors,” no matter how much you like to think they are. They’re just lost.
I mention it because I’m in the midst of another traffic burst; thanks to another… [drum roll please] ... TYPO! I spelled Saddam’s name wrong - S * A * D * A * M - I corrected it right away, but it’s in the url and evidently that counts for search engines.
So lots of lost souls from around the world who can’t spell and are searching for video of Saddam’s execution are finding their way, briefly, to my little blog. Lucky me. Here’s more of what I wrote last time a typo got me a thousand visitors:
Internet fame is overrated anyway. Remember Gary Numa Numa Brolsma? His Internet fame began in his Jersey bedroom with a webcam in the fall of 2004. He had no idea what was in store for him. 13,367,200 views.
By Spring of 2005 he had been on Good Morning America and turned down an interview request by the NYTimes. It found his performance “earnest but painful” and called his posting it on the Internet a “grave mistake.” The paper of record also reported that “according to his relatives, he mopes around the house.”
This week Rocketboom checked in with Gary. He’s making a new version of the video - “not the same but similar to the original” - and says YouTube is planning a contest. I’ll post about it on my blog.
Maybe if there’s a typo I’ll top a thousand visitors. That’s all the fame I need.
Uh, I think I’ll sit content with the cozy few legitimate readers I get every day. And laugh off the occasional typo-inspired traffic burst.