Natural Search Blog


Build Your Own Local Search Engine

Quite a few bloggers out there have clued-in to how using Eurekster’s Swickis on their blogs can be a cool feature enhancement, providing custom thematic search engines for their users. If you have a blog that focuses on particular subject matter, inclusion of useful links and other features like these custom search engines can help to build loyalty and return visits. But, for webmasters who build local guides for small communities, Swickis are also an ideal way to rapidly provide robust, location-specific search functionality.

Eurekster

Over time, I’ve looked at a lot of small community guides, and many of the people who create them are masters of finding free widgets to provide functionality for things like weather forecasts, news headlines, and local events. But, many of these sites are missing even simple search functionality to help users find the local info on their site as well as elsewhere on the internet. (more…)

Keynote Conversation With Jim Lanzone

In my presentation today at SES San Jose, I mentioned that I sometimes take photos at events and then share them with the news media – here’s one of the pix that I shot of the Keynote Conversation with Jim Lanzone. Jim Lanzone is Ask.com’s CEO, and conference co-chair Chris Sherman interviewed him for the Keynote.

Jim Lanzone keynote interview
(click to enlarge)

If you’re writing a news story about this keynote, I’d be happy to supply you with permission to use the photos I took of the Keynote, in return for a credit line and a link back to the photo’s page on Flickr. Here’s some of the other images from this sequence.

I’m tired of this camera with it’s too-slow exposures — I’m planning to ditch it for something that’s more flexible in settings and which performs better in low lighting situations.

Attending the 2006 Search Engine Strategies Conference in San Jose?

I’ll be attending the Search Engine Strategies Conference in San Jose next week. Drop me a line if you’d like to meet me during the conference!

There are a handful of sessions I’m interested in sitting in on, and I’m looking forward to having dinner one night with some of my old friends from college who work in Silicon Valley.

Some of you may be interested to know that Stephan Spencer is scheduled to appear on a panel on Blog & Feed Search SEO, though I’m thinking I’ll have to miss that in order to attend the simultaneous session on Duplicate Content and Multiple Site Issue. Sorry, Stephan! 😉

(more…)

Yahoo update beefs up on authority sites

Aaron Wall posted a blog about how Yahoo!’s recent algorithm update has apparently increased weighting factors for links and authority sites.

Predictibly, a number of folx have complained in the comments added to Yahoo’s “Weather Report” blog about the update. Jeremy Zawodny subsequently posted that their search team was paying close attention to the comments, which is always nice to hear.

Coincidentally, I’d also just recently posted about Google’s apparent use of page text to help identify a site’s overall authoritativeness for particular keywords/themes.

As they say, there’s nothing really new under the sun. I wonder if the search engines are all returning to the trend of authority/hub focus in algorithm development? It’s a strong concept and useful for ranking results, so the methodology for identifying authorities and hubs is likely here to stay.

Towards a New Cyberpunk Reality

I recently discovered something interesting about my company, Verizon.

Do you remember the old Oliver Stone tv mini-series from the early 90s called “Wild Palms”? It was about a dystopian future of America where a fascist political group has risen to power, headed up by a senator who founded a new philosophy called “Synthiotics” or “New Realism”, which apparently involves the next stage of human evolution and virtual reality (VR).

The Senator, named Anton Kreutzer, owns a company named Mimecom which has developed some sort of advanced VR technology and 3-d display technology which they are about to deploy out to households through a television company, called Channel 3, in a new drama series they’ve named “Church Windows”. They seemed to be using Church Windows as a platform for propagandizing Synthiotic tenets, as well. The Senator is seeking one last piece of technology from Japan, a “Go Chip”, which will essentially give him eternal life, and seal up his political power. The Go Chip is named after the game of Go, an ancient Chinese strategy game that has been used by artificial intelligence researchers as a test case for building systems which can learn and immitate human intelligence (though, they don’t really spell out that AI tie-in during the series).

Cyberpunk Photo - Sony Center at night
Berlin’s Sony Centre in Potsdamer Platz reflects the global reach of a Japanese corporation. Much cyberpunk action occurs in urbanized, artificial landscapes, and “city lights at night” was one of the genre’s first metaphors for cyberspace (in Gibson’s Neuromancer).

The Wild Palms series was likely intended to be a very cutting-edge, conceptual story that was inspired in large part by the cyberpunk movement in science fiction. One of the prime “founders” of the cyberpunk movement, the author William Gibson, actually puts in a cameo appearance in the series, as well. Oliver Stone likely intended the story to use semiotic literary devices as well, since many of the plot items and names seemed to be intended to have multiple layers of meanings.

Here’s where fiction begins to turn into reality. MimEcom was the name of an actual ecommerce/hosting/technology firm that was later started up in San Francisco, and considered IPOing in 2000, though the dot-bombs happened, and it halted plans to go public.

Later, MimEcom changed their company name to “Totality”.

In about 2005, Totality was acquired by MCI. MCI was merged into Verizon later on in 2005. The Totality part was folded under the Verizon Business division of the company. (more…)


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