Thanks to Tom Roper for this one. If you go to the MI5 website and try and do a search this is error message that you get. It's currently not available because of maintenance requirements. Have you ever heard of such nonsense!
Look MI5 webmaster person - if you don't want a search function, just take it off. If it's not available for a while, take it off until it is. If it's down briefly, say so. It's not exactly rocket science. Or perhaps it is.
It's not as if this makes much difference, as you can always go to Google and do a search for site:www.mi5.gov.uk and then your search term. Tell you what - even better than that, I'll help them out - seems like the least I can do. If you want to search their site - or at least the pages that Google knows about, here's a search engine that should do the job.
Least surprising movement of the year is towards using Web 2.0 resources to market companies and resources. I know that I'm certainly spending a lot more of my time with clients telling them what to do with Web 2.0 in order to get noticed - the idea of getting a high ranking on Google is so last year :) In comes Shoutlet: The Web 2.0 Marketing Tool. This is a commercial product that promises to help track and manage your social media campaigns. It offers the ability to draw together a variety of different resources such as podcasts, RSS feeds, SMS and so on into one place. How much does it cost though? They're not saying on the site, which I think is a bit silly and leads me to the conclusion 'if you have to ask the price you can't afford it'. Not such great marketing after all perhaps?
For those of you wondering what the situation is regarding Jill, read on. For those of you without that interest, skip to the next post.
We met with her consultant yesterday, and the news was disappointing after the hopefulness of last time. It does look after all as though the cancer has moved to her liver, but they're still not 100% sure, so she has to have another scan before they decide what they do next. This is obviously very upsetting to say the least, and not the news that we wanted to hear. Consequently it looks as though we're in for a long haul with this one. There are lots of different alternatives and ways forward, but we won't know what until the results of this next scan. When I know I'll pass the news on. In the meantime, please keep thinking good positive thoughts!
I've no real interest in this one myself, but if you're American and looking to move home, you might want to take a look at ReTrove.com. It looks good - a search for homes in San Francisco returned almost 9,000 hits, which can then be narrowed down in about 10 different ways. It's a meta search engine, pulling in data from a lot of other realtor sites. And.. that's all I know about it, or need to!
If I've not mentioned it before, this is a superb example of using Flickr to promote library services. It's a collection of new fiction titles for August and September at Sutton Libraries. Each book has a note assigned to it with a link to their site. Marvelous!
I've been invited by Microsoft to their Searchification 2007 event. This is going to include a Live Search product update, Live Search demonstrations and a session on Webmaster Tools (which if previous experience is anything to go by will be about 'how to make money as a webmaster').
Now, it's really nice to have the invite, and I don't want to appear churlish, but they're over in California and I'm over here in London and the invitation doesn't extend past their front gate. So am I going to be going? I imagine that you can probably work out the answer yourself. However, that's not the point. The point is that Microsoft is a bit big. And it's a bit technical in emphasis. Yet the ONLY way they can think of running an event like this is to get people to sit down in front of them and talk to them face to face. No webcasting, not even hosting something in Second Life - nothing. So we're going to end up with pure American feedback on the product.
Are these people serious? One can only conclude that they're not, given that they've made no attempt to think in anything except a very traditional paradigm. (I'm not even going to talk about carbon footprints!) Absolutely amazing.
I like Squidoo and use it on a regular basis to update various training course handouts that I have on the net. It's been pretty quiet on that front recently, apart from people bashing it as a haven for spammers, so I was keen to see: SquidWho - A people-powered Who's Who on the Web. It'll check to see if there is information on your person of interest and show you content if there, drawn from a variety of resources such as Amazon, Flickr, YouTube clips, polls, a message board and more - many of these only if someone has created a Squidoo lens about that person however, and it's *very* commercially orientated.
So I gave it a go - the blurb on the home page lists todays top 100, almost all celebrities so I thought I'd try one of my favourites - Rick Wakeman. Nothing came up, which was odd, given that I've written a Squidoo lens about him. I tried Gordon Brown - (SquidWho does actually suggest searching on politicians, so I figured I'd be safe with the PM), but there was no luck there either. Tried Tony Blair - with some limited success, although one of the videos it found was actually about David Cameron (Tory leader). Tried me - I've got a Squidoo page of my own, but it didn't find me either.
Bottom line - if you're looking for a celebrity and you've got money to spend on merchandise on them, it's probably a top notch people search engine. However, if you actually want to find out information on a person, it's pants and one to avoid. Very disappointing indeed.
I probably don't need to back up my weblogs, because Typepad should be doing that job for me... but just what if? So I was interested to see a post from Brian (Kelly) talking about using Vox to back up his Web Focus blog. Looked simple, so had a go. The result is: Phil Bradley’s blog - Phil Bradley’s Blog on Vox. Really easy - logged into my Vox account (which I'd only ever used once), imported posts from the main weblog and my humour/silly weblog Frivolity (by the way, if you've not seen it, take a look if you want a bit of a laugh for a few minutes - if I'm not being serious I can be quite funny though I do say so myself) and that was it - done and dusted! Recommended and thanks to Brian for the idea.
Well, having seen users at Flickr revolt over censorship, and LiveJournal writers get snitty over LJ bans, it now looks as though Facebook is going to have to quell rebellion if the article Facebook ban incurs 'lactivist' wrath is anything to go by. Apparently they're banning photographs of breast feeding mothers, because an exposed breast violates their terms. Although we don't exactly know what 'exposed' really means. Also doesn't explain why Facebook seems to think it is ok to run an image of a topless model in a banner ad.
There is currently a Facebook group 'Hey, Facebook, breastfeeding is not obscene!' with over 10,000 members and over 600 photographs (presumably of mothers breastfeeding infants - I didn't personally check). It's an incredibly dense thing for Facebook to be doing, because the one group of people you really don't want to annoy are mothers. My guess is that Facebook will try and weather the storm, then retract and apologise - sooner rather than later.