Archive for January, 2006

This Blog is Like Enron

31 Jan 2006

Either I pissed off Google, which is unlikely, or Chris Nolan’s tool is not working right and Eh List? no longer crawls Google to display results in a nice graph. Whatever it is,… it sure looks funny.

Google Rank 0

Google has indexed 0 of your pages (no change) with 0 back links (no change) to your site and 342 links from blogs (no change) as of 2 minutes ago

Hmm… weird. It must be something in Chris’s script. Nathan’s stats show it too.

On the side: Anybody knows how often Technorati updates ‘Rank’? Since the dip it took about a month ago, seems like nobody ‘new’ is linking to me lately, although in their search results I count at least 16 new blogs linking to this blog, in the last three days. (Thanks to all those blogs, by the way) It seems the Technorati tool only added two blogs in the last 20 days. How funky. 47 days ago I had 100 sites linking, whatever happened to them? Does anybody knows why Technorati actually is counting down? They removed cache? People unlinked? How does it work?

18,904 (674 links from 91 sites) as of 2 minutes ago
18,904 (674 links from 91 sites) as of 7 hours ago
18,966 (674 links from 91 sites) as of 2 days ago
18,859 (674 links from 91 sites) as of 5 days ago
18,744 (674 links from 91 sites) as of 7 days ago
19,045 (662 links from 90 sites) as of 9 days ago
19,064 (662 links from 90 sites) as of 12 days ago
19,147 (694 links from 89 sites) as of 19 days ago
17,756 (684 links from 93 sites) as of 21 days ago
17,323 (693 links from 94 sites) as of 26 days ago
17,281 (693 links from 94 sites) as of 28 days ago
16,961 (702 links from 95 sites) as of 33 days ago
16,637 (720 links from 96 sites) as of 35 days ago
16,242 (756 links from 97 sites) as of 40 days ago
15,608 (742 links from 99 sites) as of 42 days ago
15,162 (726 links from 100 sites) as of 47 days ago
17,374 (765 links from 92 sites) as of 54 days ago

Eh List? tracks some of my webstats since November last year. See all my stats and join in, it’s free.


Super RSS Tools

30 Jan 2006

Today I had to dig a little deeper into the world of RSS. I’m preparing a environment for a potential customer and I needed tools to convert dynamic HTML pages (search queries) into RSS feeds so I could add them into Microsoft’s feed collector. I haven’t found the perfect tool yet, but here are some nifty things you just got to try out:

RSS2PDF (Beta): Free Online RSS, Atom or OPML to PDF Generator, just insert a URL or address and select the options you want, then enter a title for the .pdf file. The tool works although the title I entered was replaced by a standard ‘doc’ which I had to alter after I selected the download location. No biggie. Here’s an example of the pdf of my feed (12kb, 3 pages) – I didn’t select ‘images’, but you can do it if you want to.

On that same site, there’s a link to an RSS2PDF for Flickr, to easily create PDF archives based on any Flickr newsfeed. (The photos must be made PUBLIC.) Enter information for a particular user on Flickr (such as yourself) and/or Tags separated by commas for photos relating to a specific subject. Too cool !

The tools have been made available in handy bookmarklets, which you just have to drag to your favorites for quick access later on.

You can also add the RSS2PDF Module to your Google Personalized Homepage for instant access:

Visit Google Personalized, Click on the link on the top left marked ‘Add Content’, then enter the following URL into the ‘Search by topic or feed URL’ textbox:

Next topic : Google2RSS

There’s two sites that I’ve found where people are using the API to produce an RSS feed that is based on a simple search query:

Ben Hammersley’s tool allows you to subscribe to a search request, so you can see things coming in and out of the Google top ten. Easy to use too, simply add your search request to the end of this URL:

for example

and subscribe to that URL in your favorite newsreader.

The other tool is GooRSS where the RSS is generated by instantRSS, and you find an RSS link on the bottom of the returned page when you’ve done a search query.


Then there is also GMailRSS, where you can use GMail as an RSS reader. That’s something I like a lot. You’ll have to have some programming knowledge though.

  • Since GMail stores all state on the server, it doesn’t matter where you login from to get your RSS fix! You can read a couple of feeds at work, a couple at home from a different machine etc. and everything is synchronized. This was the killer feature I was missing in all RSS readers.
  • GMail’s infinite archiving capability effectively creates a personal news archive for everyone.
  • GMail’s search helps you search easily through RSS feeds.
  • Individual messages can be marked as read and unread, so its easy to track what you are reading.

To get this to work you need to convert RSS feeds into some form Gmail can understand. Karu’s rss2mail convertor, GMail labels, and filters are coming to the rescue. Read the basic strategy for implementation here.

Last but not least is the Feed2Podcast tool, an engine that instantly turns your blog’s RSS feed into a Podcast. There’s nothing more to add. Listen to a sample here. This tool kind of is the same as Talkr, something I reported on in july last year. To be honest, this Feed2Podcast voice sounds better, especially when you have to listen to long texts. Compare : here’s the old voice edition of that blogpost about Talkr. I’ll check out the ‘Talking Blogs later this week to do a decent comparison.


We have improved the back end of our text to speech engine. We hope you love the improvements this upgrade has made. We are getting very close to the AT&T Natural Voices quality level. We would also like to announce that in the comming weeks we will have a choice of voices for our bloggers to choose from. We are adding a female voice to our already popular male voice.

Okay, that about wraps it up for today. Have fun testing this out !


Geeky Video Fun

30 Jan 2006

You just got to see ‘Fear of Girls‘ by Ryan Wood

A great Google Video Tom sent me to prepare myself for an ad proposal I’m helping to create. It’s about two fantasy geeky role-playing adepts who discuss the merits of, well, being geeky role-playing gamers.

Doug Douglason : If you can bend the walls of reality with the power of your imagination, that’s a gift to be respected… and feared.

(If you can’t access Google Video from your country, try the Google Video downloader.) – total runtime : 11 minutes

Fear Of Girls

You also got to see ‘The IT Crowd

An online premiere of a hilarious ‘docudramasoap’ about what’s going on in the IT department in the basement. It’s full episode ! 23 minutes of viewing pleasure. Tune in here (.wmv) or visit the Channel 4 microsite.

The high-rise towers of Reynholm Industries are full of go-getters, success stories, and winners… apart from in the basement.

While their beautiful colleagues work in fantastic surroundings, Jen, Roy and Moss lurk below ground, scorned and mocked by their co-workers as geeky losers, doomed never to make it back into normal society.

IT Crowd

Kudos to Myriam

No Comments

Posted in Geek, Humor


Mobile Search Paper, Endtones & More

30 Jan 2006

From [SearchEngineWatch] comes this goody:

If you want a brief overview of what mobile search is, how it differs from other forms of search, mobile business models, and more, this paper, “Introduction to Mobile Search” (7 pages; PDF) by the Mobile Marketing Association is worth a read.

Closely related, NewsWeek has quite an interesting bit about the developments in the use of SMS:

Not long ago, texting, also called SMS, was the domain of the young. But now it appears to have joined the letter, phone, fax and e-mail as a bona fide communications tool of institutions in government and the private sector.

Read the article on [NewsWeek].

Also closely related is the birth of a new market: the endtones.

Although endtone shares similarities with the $4 billion a year ring tone phenomenon, endtone is now the newest and most exciting offering in the mobile content industry. Disconnect tones enhance the user experience when a wireless connection is completed.

Endtone disconnect tones are marketed and sold like ring tones. Whereas ring tones signify incoming calls, endtone disconnect tones notify wireless device users that voice and data connections are terminated. Endtone disconnect tones include “hang-up tones” and “drop tones.”

Read more on the [] site.


Mouse Brains Brainstorming Tool

29 Jan 2006

Mouse Brains, the online brainstorming tool for advertising creatives.

If you’ve ever used random words to spark creative ideas, then you’ll be comfortable with Mouse Brains. Mouse Brains works by taking the various elements of your advertising problem and making them part of a series of thought provoking phrases.

Be open minded – the system will generate some truly bizarre results… don’t judge them, follow the scenarios in your head and see where they take you.

Mouse Brains

Mouse Brains, by Joe Zandstra – via [AdLand]


The Polyphonic Spree Interactive

29 Jan 2006

This is a beautiful interactive game to promote the album of The Polyphonic Spree, a music collective that has some very sweet music out. Although it’s a promotional game for the 2004 album, I’m quite entertained and the final song, when you’ve finished level 3, reminds me a lot of The Beatles. During the game some tracks are used to illustrate the journey musically and I must say it’s really suitable. I like it a lot. The fact I didn’t notice it for so long is just incomprehensible. It’s so beautifully illustrated, orchestrated… I rate it ‘A’ for ‘Adorable’. You just got to try this !

Level 1

For a walkthrough and more screenshots,
Read the rest of this entry »


Dear Google

29 Jan 2006

I’m disappointed in what you did. You, of all companies, should have set the example of ‘how to be independent and neutral’. I never thought you would give in to the claims of governments to hide information. What is there left now to be trusted if even search is being manipulated? How can I be ever sure that what you display to me as a result for the queries I’ve entered is real, complete and fully objective? Whenever I have to do research on delicate matters, how can I ever be sure I get to read the real pros and cons?

I always thought you guys would stand up for the freedom of speech and thoughts. You were the true example of a search engine that said things as they were. I’ve always been very pleased with the completeness of the information I got. I really thought this could last forever as the internet grew bigger, day after day. Apparently I was wrong. I appreciated it a lot you didn’t want to give in to the U.S. government like other companies have, in order to protect your users. Not that I have anything to hide, but because I thought it was just the right thing to do. Because I agreed that no government has the right to interfere with ’search’ in general. I was proud to be part of a Google community that stood up for its users. And now you’ve done the complete opposite of what you’ve always promised to do. These last days, information about your growing sneakyness and compliance to governments worldwide, in particular the Chinese, are piling up. What’s up with that? Where did you go wrong?

Read the rest of this entry »


Arms TeleSales For Amnesty International

28 Jan 2006

Hilarious viral, bitter truth. That about sums it up. Amnesty International UK is campaigning for an International Arms Trade Treaty in coalition with Oxfam and IANSA (the International Action Network on Small Arms). The marketing behind this campaign is just splendid for a topic like this. They’ve made a TeleShop commercial for the Protect The Human theme about the AK-47, the world’s most famous weapon and used by infant soldiers all over this crust.

In the commercial they say they have 10.000 units stocked somewhere outside the British borders, but due to a hole in regulations they can be shipped immediately. At the end of the commercial over 9000 have been sold for hard cash and through off-shore bank accounts, which they also accept. Here are some screenshots:

Amnesty Spot 1

Amnesty Spot 2

Amnesty Spot 3

Amnesty Spot 4

The aim of the campaign is to collect signatures (faces) for The ‘Million Faces’ of people from around the world by June 2006. It’s a way for you to show your concern about the spread of arms. Almost 500.000 faces are collected already ! Join them now. Next to the movie is a sign up button and a send to friend button. Do this, you won’t regret it. If there is one cause to fight for, it’s to prevent deadly weapons like this to be sold so easily and have children use them in a war that’s not theirs.

Video files are available for modem snails (7mb), broadband chickens (13mb) and LAN roadrunners (18mb). Also formats for video podcast and PSP. Go there, see the TeleShop Clip and send it to your friends !
— Related—
Agency : Mother
Ad Theme : Protect The Human
Amnesty Control Arms campaign video & Control Arms website.

via [Houtlog], The Trop Cool Non-Profit Communication & Design Blog