What a Great Essay: Do Da Scoble!
What a Great Essay: Do Da Scoble!
But, as someone who was a Borland developer for 9+ years, I'm not at all certain I'd go back. Don't get me wrong -- Delphi is awesome but Borland burned a lot of people. I'd say their key marketing challenge is restablishing trust. Before I buy a tool these days -- for anything -- I know that the cost of the tool is the smallest part of the equation. The real cost is in using the tool; learning it and then being orphaned by the vendor and having to move on. So as much as I agree with Scoble that Borland does a good job, choosing tools is something that we do more wisely now than in the old days. Thinking ahead to the future is much more common now than it once was. So before Borland could lure me back, they have to make me trust them and that's awfully hard.
» Hard won wisdom on selecting your vendor carefully.
Learning for yourself, or for the company?. In her introduction, Janice Reid raises an interesting point about what happens if you focus too much on learning about the company you work for. I'll let Janet's words explain.
One thing that I've learnt recently is that there's a limit to what one's learning when working with a corporate. After a couple of years you start to capture more about the company, rather than building your own functional knowledge. You create a personal database of information which is very valuable to your work colleagues, but worthless to you once you move on. In hindsight I would recommend 'job hopping' in order to develop your personal knowledge of different environments, ways of doing things, attitudes etc, rather than a prolonged period at any one firm, even if you are frequently changing roles.
[thought?horizon] [Seb's Open Research]
One more characteristic of knowledge workers - they go to find more learning. Would be interesting to study how knowledge workers work and what motivates them next to how one becomes a knowledge worker.
» A strong motivator in wanting out of my last job was that I'd reached the point where I wasn't learning anything new. A strong motivator for starting my own company was that it put me on a path of constant learning (and how!) Now I have the best of both worlds I am learning for myself and for my company at the same time.
When my company grows to the point that I take on staff one of the things that will be most important to me is to ensure that we create, together, a learning culture. I've experienced it before so hopefully I'll know it when we hit on the right formula.
Example: In a previous company my manager used to like to ensure, when we weren't in fire-fighting mode, that we always had some time to persue our own interests and follow things that weren't strictly on the critical path. Quite often we would later discover that these topics came up, centre stage (Windows NT, Java and LDAP are cases that spring to mind) but I don't think that was really the point. He was interested in us, and letting us grow.
Apart from the obvious potential benefits of learning, and of potentially discovering new things before they become important, I believe this to be a great way to motivate without acting. I also think that, as an employer, it pays you back fourfold in psychic dividends. But it does require flexibility, a long term view and courage (to take the flak from those above who still believe in 100% efficiency).
Relevance Ranking Discriminates Against the Irrelevant!
Has pagerank run it's course?.
Ok, no. Pagerank is not "democratic" by the "every webpage is equally valuable" definition. But then, every web page is not equally valuable.
The link real-estate on my webpage actually is worth a whole lot less than, say, the link real-estate on about.com or yahoo.com. The algorithm seems to me to be pretty accurate. Consider also that any webpage can become slashdotted. Anyone's site can become more relevant, interesting, well-linked, widely-read, in short, more "important".
For instance, I've ego-surfed google (that is, searching on one's own name) for the last 6 months as I've been working on this blog, and have noticed that yes I have risen in the ranks of "Michael Wilson"s. And not because I'm "the rich", just because I post content that people read.
Not only that, but any page can fall out of favor and drift back into obscurity.
Perhaps an explanation on why it "should" be democratic is in order, 'cause I just don't get it. Seems to me like someone's just pissy that their pagerank isn't very high.
[The Universal Church Of Cosmic Uncertainty]
» Okay ya got me. I can't get above 5 no matter how hard I try (I wonder if Bryan Bell has a strippers theme?)
I agree that not every page should have equal rank and the whole "democratic vs." argument was probably a blind alley. But I do think there are three valid points here:
- Unless your page rank is high for a query, you won't get listed. Regardless of how relevant your on-page content is.
- It's very hard to get a high page rank, unless you already have a high page rank.
- New players don't have a high page rank.
This, I think, unfairly discriminates against new content providers over the established players.
Perhaps a solution could be something like the US Green Card lottery. For those not familiar this is a lottery for non-US (and non-UK) citizens where the prize is a much sought after green card for around 100,000 people a year.
Perhaps Google should randomly bump the pagerank of 100,000 new pages each time it crawls and let nature takes its course...
otherwise, but at the same time I think the article highlights the point that it can (if their data is good) be very hard to "break into" the relevant search criteria regardless of how
Radio wishlist: automated referers harvesting. Does anyone know of a simple way of automatically storing (or e-mailing) my list of referers every day just before they are reset, so I can look at them when I have the time? [Seb's Open Research]
» So many people want this I would hope that Userland would add it when the dust settles on Frontier 9.0. I added a free site meter to my blog just to get better referrer tracking.
Why haven't Microsoft bought Google?
I want to know.
On Being the Digital Job. Or, why I haven't emailed you back or blogged in weeks.... [The Shifted Librarian]
This story is simply unbelievable. I almost cried halfway through.
[Seb's Open Research]
» It's also exceptionally well written with a wry sense of humour. If it was somebody I didn't know I would have chuckled a lot. But I didn't. No sir...
Go Daddy offers anonymous domain registration. No spam, No slam [The Register]
» Good idea albeit one I wouldn't normally comment on. But in this case what I want to know is:
"Parsons said the company has patents pending on the technology behind the service"
What on earth can they be patenting? What super new technology is required so that a company can put someone elses details in a DNS server? Maybe they're patenting the whole proxy thing so that the government have to pay every time someone uses a postal ballot?
Daniel Brandt: Google's Original Sin. [Scripting News]
» A good piece. The main thrust is that Google's reliance on pagerank, far from being democratic, is uniquely autocratic. Because sites with a high pagerank matter most, they have more power and it is harder for site with a low pagerank to get noticed regardless of the relevance of their onpage content.
"In a democracy, every person has one vote. In PageRank, rich people get more votes than poor people, or, in web terms, pages with higher PageRank have their votes weighted more than the votes from lower pages. As Google explains, "Votes cast by pages that are themselves 'important' weigh more heavily and help to make other pages 'important.'" In other words, the rich get richer, and the poor hardly count at all. This is not "uniquely democratic," but rather it's uniquely tyrannical. It's corporate America's dream machine, a search engine where big business can crush the little guy."
"We feel that PageRank has run its course. Google doesn't have to abandon it entirely, but they should de-emphasize it. The first step is to stop reporting PageRank on the toolbar. This would mute the awareness of PageRank among optimizers and webmasters, and remove some of the bizarre effects that such awareness has engendered. The next step would be to replace all mention of PageRank in their own public relations documentation, in favor of general phrases about how link popularity is one factor among many in their ranking algorithms. And Google should adjust the balance between their various algorithms so that excellent on-page characteristics are not completely cancelled by low link popularity. "
Even if I agree, and I not certain that I do, it's hard to see Google give up what they see as a key differentiator. It's quite possible that they see an advantage for themselves in the tyranny of pageranks and the power of corporate America to wield them!