Webometric Thoughts

September 11, 2008

Yahoo Vanity Searching

Filed under: Google API,Yahoo API,vanity search — admin @ 10:16 am

Like everyone else, I too suffer from vanity searches: Am I on the first page of results for ‘David Stuart’? Does Webometric Thoughts hit the front page for the term ‘webometrics’? Unfortunately my name is rather popular (or is that common??) and I often don’t appear until page 6 or 7. I therefore thought it would be a good idea to automate the process.

Obviously what everyone really cares about is their Google result. Unfortunately those Google F— W— changed their api a couple of years ago, and it’s no longer much use for the sort of things I want to do (or if it is I don’t know how to do it). As such I turned to good old Yahoo.

Enter search term:
Enter site:

On submitting the above form a program is run that pulls off the Yahoo results 100 at a time for a particular query. It then searches for the appearance of a particular URL (or part of a URL) on the page of results, and if it is there, identifies whereabouts on the page it is. It keeps going until it finds the first page of results it is on, or hits the maximum number of results Yahoo lets you see (i.e., 1,000). As it may have to run up to 11 searches on Yahoo, you may need to give it a few seconds.

-Use addition signs rather than spaces for more than one term, e.g., webometric+thoughts
-Yes with only a few extra lines I could have allowed multiple urls, multiple terms, and stopped it highlighting the same record twice…but I didn’t.

September 5, 2008

To Comment or To Post?

Filed under: Joost,aide-memoire,blogging,commenting — admin @ 5:39 pm

Sometimes you read a blog post and you feel compelled to make a response, either by leaving a quick comment on their site or blogging on the subject yourself. Whilst we make such decisions on the spur-of-the-moment, it is important to choose carefully. A blog is not only a means of publishing your thoughts to the world, it is also an aide-mémoire, and if you only comment on a subject your thoughts may become lost. I have just spent/wasted 30 minutes trying to track down some thoughts I had almost a year ago.

Om Malik had just posted on Joost killing their desktop client, a sensible move that I remembered writing something about a long time ago. Unfortunately searching through my blog posts only revealed a reference to a plugin by Joost be Valk. Had I started to imagine a virtual past? Was I one step away from claiming to work at CERN in the 1980s? Luckily I eventually tracked my thoughts down to a rather rubbish comment on TechCrunch last October.

Yes, in this case, it did turn out that the thoughts weren’t really worth remembering, but it would have plagued me for years if I hadn’t managed to find them. I will comment more carefully in the future

Webometrician v. Webometrician: Who will conquer the world first?

One of the joys of Google Analytics is watching the map slowly filling up as you get traffic from different parts of the world. However, whilst North America and Western Europe quickly fill up, other parts of the world have been more reluctant to visit my Webometric Thoughts. Almost a year after I started using Google Analytics there has still been no traffic from many countries in Africa.

Oh, what a tangled web we weave… is wondering how to start filling his map, hoping to attract visitors from Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia, Armenia, and Moldova. Whilst I am also waiting for some traffic from Belarus and Georgia, at least I can sleep comfortably in the knowledge of 28 visits from the Ukraine, 2 from Armenia, and 1 from Moldova.

Whilst the gauntlet has been thrown down by Kim at Oh, what a tangled web we weave…, I would expect the Belarusian, Georgian, and Armenian traffic to arrive by the end of the week (especially as I have sensibly included the demonyms as well as country names). And whilst Kim has decided to include the terms Google and Facebook in his post to increase the liklihood of traffic, I’m going with the Google Insights for Search suggestions of Minsk, Tbilisi, and Yerevan.

Update: Ooops…just realised I was chasing Armenian traffic after already having had Armenian traffic. So it should really say “I would expect the Belarusian, Georgian, and EXTRA Armenian traffic to arrive by the end of the week”

Chrome: The world’s quickest porn browser

Filed under: BrowseRank,Chrome,Firefox,Google,Microsoft — admin @ 10:02 am

It is always a bit of a chore to catch up on RSS feeds after a couple of days away, but the release of Chrome has taken the blogosphere by storm in a way I have never seen before.

Whilst Blogpulse shows that 1.5% of all blog posts were about Chrome, it was probably nearer 25% of all the posts in my RSS reader. Even the most irregular of bloggers were compelled to post an opinion. So, is Chrome any good, and how quickly will it grab market share?

Chrome is amazingly quick, the bloggers are impressed, the press have decided not to take the ‘porn’ browser line they did with Internet Explorer 8 – Beta 2, and it’s promoted on the Google homepage. Whilst it has been suggested that Chrome will take 15-20% of the browser market within 2yrs, I expect to see it grow faster than that.

Not only will Chrome quickly gain market share, they will be getting it primarily from Microsoft, not Firefox. Without extentions the Firefox geeks are unlikely to be swayed in the long term, whilst the simplicity and speed will quickly appeal to the average user. From Microsoft’s point of view, it will give Google access to sort of data that they wanted to leverage with their BrowseRank.

Verdict: Unless Microsoft produce something amazingly innovative in the next couple of years, Google will own the web within 10 years.

The reason for my delay…

Filed under: Chrome,urinals — admin @ 8:22 am

The release of Chrome was the biggest browser story for years. Unfortunately, due to its release on Tuesday revolving around Eastern Standard Time (I only recognise GMT), and my being in Loughborough on Wednesday and Thursday with only a linux computer for company, I have only just had the opportunity to try Chrome. First impressions are mixed, but these things take time.

I did, however, get the opportunity to discover mouth kiss urinals at the Newshouse in Loughborough:

September 2, 2008

Waiting for Chrome

Filed under: Chrome,Google — admin @ 8:42 am

When you wake up thinking “I can’t wait to try Chrome” [that's Google's new browser if you have been living living under a rock for 24hrs], you realise that you spend too much time working and thinking about the online world. It is, however, an important move that could shake up the way we use the web for years to come.

Chrome is being promoted as the first step in the brave new world without Windows, it will be the web OS. ‘Hooray’ shout the Google worshippers, professing their love for a service they have not yet tried: “I love Chrome already and I haven’t even tried it yet” says an irrational TechCrunch, presumably shortly before taking a much needed very cold shower.

I have mentioned before that I was waiting for a browser that fundamentally changes our surfing behaviour, but it would be a shame if it came from Google. But there again, for all the noise their launches attract, they haven’t been particularly great products in recent times (e.g., Knol, Lively). So maybe there is still time for a new entry into the browser market.

nb. At the time of writing this, I am still waiting for the product to be launched. It’s in Google’s index, but the link just forwards me to the Google homepage.

But hopefully I will get to try it before the day is out.

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