Archive for July, 2008
Hello All – I am about to take over the View from W6th blog, but I thought I would post some parting words that I received from Dave Mead via email.
So Microsoft is behind a website called Iconic Britain. It’s a competition site being used to promote Live Search. Quite a few people are getting up-in-arms over it as it seems Microsoft is storing the images on their own server and have not asked anyone’s permission. This differs slightly from Google as they link back to the original.
Also if your photo is chosen the person who chose it will win the prize, not you, as they have stripped all attribution and meta data away from the image.
If I put “optiem” in as the search term I get one page of results. These thumbnails range from photos I’ve tagged in Flickr with “optiem” to imagery I know we’ve used in designs for the Botanical Gardens blog, Cleveland Clinic Office of Civic Education, Sherwin-Williams, and a few others.
You can read more at http://www.pro-imaging.org/content/view/374/173/ and on Flickr at http://www.flickr.com/groups/lomo/discuss/72157606451896398/.
Not sure if anyone will sue, or even if they have a right to, but I just found this a possible PR boo-boo by MS.
So a new search engine has arrived on the scene. Cuil.com is promoting itself as
the world’s biggest search engine, but so far I’m less than impressed.
I saw a few people on Twitter trying out searches etc. and thought I’d give it a go. Two simple vanity searches (optiem & david mead) produced no results, which I thought was odd. I then tried doing the same two searches from the internal results page and not from the home page.
The search for myself yielded a nice amount of information about the singer/songwriter, of the same name, and one or two entries about me. Though one entry combined my entry and the singers bio. I know this was done by Cuil as I visited the site and my photo is nowhere to be found.
The new search for Optiem gave me a unavailable message – not good.
I’ll keep my eyes on Cuil as the pitch is that they analyze pages more than anyone else, but so far I’m not that impressed.
So with Twitter imposing its 140 character limit and still having the “fail whale” appear with their amount of traffic, I wonder if the new 12second.tv has a cute “service unavailable” character when they come out of the usual invite-only beta.
12second.tv is a new service that has, you guessed it, a 12 second limit on videos you can upload.
As a new web company they’re doing all the right things:
- They are on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace etc.
- Have set up client feedback on both Get Satisfaction and UserVoice
- Have a blog
- Enabled uploading from a mobile device
Will it replace Twitter and it’s ilk? No, I don’t think so. What it does is open another communication channel for businesses to reach the “instant response crowd”, tighten their communication loop and giving that crowd another service to aggregate and create more micromedia content.
Web Troika marches forward – Good luck 12seconds.tv
Sounds an interesting idea which would turn your email address to a URL for use with things like OpenID.
Definitely worth keeping an eye on.
Almost to highlight the point I made of how all of this is searchable through tools such as summize, Twitter goes and acquires them whilst we’re presenting.
Now you can search Twitter using http://search.twitter.com/ or by adding it to your browser.
Thanks to Matt, Jason, everyone who showed up, and to Jon & the Web Association for asking me to take part.
I’ll be putting my slides on slideshare as well as a PDF here. Check back for details.
PDFs have got a bad rap over the years. Everyone knows there is nothing worse than clicking on a link within a website and getting that dreaded Acrobat toolbar appear – There you are, stuck waiting for some huge print-ready PDF to download.
Well it doesn’t have to be that way and with a little TLC, PDFs can be an asset to any website.
Unless you are sharing logo’s or final proofs with a printers or agency you do not need huge 300dpi PDF files. Andy King has a great (older) tutorial on optimizing PDFs for the web on his site. Though this is for Acrobat 8.0 you can still apply a lot of the techniques with other PDF creator software.
Can Google read PDF files? Yes they can.
If you enter
site:ustelecom.org “We need a cleaner environment, and we want to spend less time” into the Google search box you will get one result – A PDF file from USTelecom’s website (that Optiem built).
Another old (but good) article about SEO and PDFs, from WebProNews, still holds true. Some pointers are:
- Create PDFs in a text editor, such as MS Word
- Pay attention to meta information
- Use headings as you would on an HTML page
PDFs will let you embed hyperlinks to internal and external pages. Now this may not get you higher on the SERPs, it is something fundamental for the users.
Imagine clicking on a link from a search engine and reading a PDF. Now where do you go? Back button takes you to the previous results page. Wouldn’t you rather have the visitor click on a link in the PDF back to your home page, or better yet, a contact form to request information?
Also, when you link to a PDF within your website let the user know. Fill in the title attribute as this will show up when the mouse is hovering over the link.
‹a href="pdfs/report.pdf" title="PDF of annual report"›2008 Annual Report‹/a›
You can even use the latest CSS to drop an icon indicating the file type on the page.
You can also make your PDFs accessible by following some of the tips above and looking at these articles:
At the end of the day PDFs are great and, with a little love and attention, can help you and your visitors.