The second issue of the newsletter is now available. It concentrates this time on authority of websites. There is an article from Matt Cutts, the Google engineer that goes into detail. Well actually he doesn't. It's pretty much 4 paragraphs saying 'We're not going to tell you'. There is also an article from Karen Scheider, Director of LII, which is rather more helpful, though if you're a librarian or information professional I doubt that you'll learn a great deal. I was disappointed that she didn't mention things like checking who owns a site, the importance of inbound links, traffic and so on.
I have to say that while I think the newsletter is a great idea, I'm not so far at all impressed with the content. Hopefully that will be changing for the better in future editions, but so far I'm not excited.
Link: MSN Search's WebLog : More Instant Answers. MSN has added about 1 million facts to their instant answer database, according to their weblog. These include baseball stats, US football stats, weather facts, government officials and holidays.
I checked a few questions: 'Who is the leader of the liberal democrats?' Charles Kennedy. 'Who is the leader of the conservative party?' Michael Howard. 'what is the population of essex?' I got a figure for Essex Maryland, even though I was using MSN.co.uk 'when was robert e lee born?' No instant answer 'which team has won the fa cup most?' No instant answer 'what is the smallest city in africa?' No instant answer
Link: Bush Administration Demands Search Data; Google Says No; AOL, MSN & Yahoo Said Yes. The US Government has asked Google for a breakdown of internet searches for a week period, apparently so that they can check to see if children are looking for/finding pornographic information. I wonder who has the job of deciding which search terms to check? To be serious, the link goes to SearchEngineWatch which has the story in great detail.
Link: XBiz - Sex.com The website address www.sex.com has been sold.This is not something that would particularly interest me except for the price... any guesses? It's been bought by a Boston based company Escom at a reported figure of $14,000,000.
Link: BBC NEWS | Technology | First impressions count for web. How long does it take for people to make up their minds about a webpage? 1 minute? 20 seconds? 5 seconds? 1 second? If you thought any of those, you'd be wrong. The BBC article says that a Canadian team have discovered that people make decisions based on a 20th of a second. Very scary indeed!
Link: Guardian Unlimited Books | Special Reports | E-read all about it. The Guardian has published a very interesting article on the threat facing traditional print publishing from electronic texts. While in many ways publishers are in a golden era with regards the number of books published (161,000 in the UK last year), they are concerned about the rise of electronic devices to allow people to read books.
It's a well argued piece from both sides of the fence and worth reading if you're interested in the future of the printed word.
I've just seen an email from Karen Blakeman that says;
If you have been trying to contact UKeiG via email, the web site, or the blog today you may have received error messages of one sort of another.
According to Pipex, our current ISP, this is all as a result of power problems in their Harbour Exchange data centre [Karen: wherever that is!]. "Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience caused."
We have no idea how this affects storage of incoming email but we'll
Link: egoSurf - ego surfing without the guilt.. This is mildly amusing. Simply type in your name and weblog and the little utility will tell you how many ego points you end up with. I had 3223 points. Which means... I have no idea what it means, but there you go. Try it yourself and let me know what score you got!
Link: Law Gazette - Feature. Nice article on the use of weblogs in the legal profession. Short and to the point, definately worth reading if you're in the legal profession and considering writing or using weblogs. Via the Information Overlord