Short bits

- This one’s kinda fun. Rand Fishkin was in town, so we invited him over to the Googleplex. We arranged on a simple trade: we’d feed him if he’d give a talk about search/SEO from his perspective. I think everyone benefited. :) You can read his trip write-up.

- Mitchell Baker is asking for suggestions on how Thunderbird should be organized going forward. It’s true that Firefox gets a lot more attention/3rd party development than Thunderbird. I’m torn, because on one hand I think I’ll be using web mail from now on. The idea of locking my data/email into one computer is too fraught with problems for me now. On the other hand, I still think email is nowhere near where it should be. There are so many archival formats (qmail/maildir, mbox and all its many flavors), yet I haven’t seen that many tools that let you distill email into insights. I can look at my server log traffic in an easy graphical view; why can’t I graph my email volume by day-of-the-week? Or take my history of routing emails and auto-suggest “This email should be routed to this team” or “Historically, this other person is an expert on this subject”?

- It looks like Steve from Feedburner is jumping in with both feet at Google:

So far, it’s been a blast. I’ve always kind of been a tech junkie and Google is tech junkie’s heaven, so there you go. More than that, it’s hard to find a work environment anywhere with such a collection of intelligent, talented people. It’s a big company, so of course there are elements of a big company creeping into the culture, but I have to say it’s less like a bigco than any other bigco at which I’ve ever worked.
….

Part of that has been a full dive into using Google tools. Personally, I don’t know how I lived without Apps before this. Anyone with a small company should definitely look at using this internally.

I’m really excited that Feedburner has joined Google. Feedburner is one of those rare companies where I emailed a bizdev person to say “I don’t know if we’re talking to this company, but every experience I’ve had with them has been really positive, they make a great product, and they seem very cool to boot.” (I harbor absolutely no illusions that my email made any difference, but I felt like I needed to chime in because I was actually paying Feedburner money each month and felt like I was getting a great service.)

- My wife has just handed me Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows after finishing it herself, so I may be scarce for a few days. :)

61 Responses to Short bits (Leave a comment)

  1. Here is an interesting idea ….

    Look at how many SEO blogs are on the Technorati Popular 100 (quite a few) …

    Wouldn’t be an interesting idea to do a group video conference and/or a live conference with all of those Bloggers together – as it related to SEO and SEM both generally and Google focussed.

    What a classic that would become!!!!! :-D

  2. Harith

    Matt,

    “Matt & co. found time to listen to some concerns from the webmaster community. ”

    Lets forget that NDA for a while :-)

    Can you share with us what new “concerns” you have learnt of Rand visit?

  3. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows…

    You’ll love the ending, Harry trades his Invisibility Cloak for an Immortality Device and he lives for ever!

  4. Great! Google took over Feedburner? How did I miss that news? Seems I got alienated from the blogosphere a month or two!

  5. Tom

    Thunderbird works great on a USB stick with mojopac.

  6. Manni

    “The idea of locking my data/email into one computer is too fraught with problems for me now.”

    I sympathize. But you make it sound like there were only two options: pop3 and webmail. That maybe true if you are a gmail user. For the rest of us, there’s IMAP.

  7. Harith

    Matt

    Btw, talking about “concerns”. Ethical SEO needs some love from Google Search Quality Team :-)

    Why would GOOG keep indexing a danish company selling search engine cloaking services?

    In an interview with the owner of that company of 25th June 2007 Thats how you cheat Google , I read that Mr. Peter Friis of Google Denmark was already made aware of what that company has been doing !! (:-(

  8. Yeah, I went totally dark reading Harry Potter – it really is amazing! I love you insights and all – on SEO, Google and everything else – but I will be interested to see what you think about Harry :) You think you guys could create a Harry theme for iGoogle? I love my oriental one, but a Hogwarts one would be awesome.

  9. Hey I just added your feed to my iGoogle and look what was recommended to me –

    SEO BlackHat: Black Hat SEO Blog
    Tired of useless Top 10 Lists for ranking in Google? Looking for effective and insightful info? SEO Black Hat Blog offers articles on Blackhat SEO, Linkbait & Link Spamming. And if you need to escape White Hat SEO Whiners, check out he Private Black Hat Search Engine Optimization Forum.
    http:// seoblackhat. com /feed/

    Just thought you might want to put that one on your radar :)

  10. Enjoy the book Matt. I’ll have to post pictures of my roommate and I before we went to the midnight release in Las Vegas. Talk about fun. Just don’t watch dateline on Sunday if you aren’t done. I don’t know if you’ve heard rumors yet, but don’t listen. Enjoy the book not knowing anything. And don’t turn to the end!!

    I second Rebekah on the Harry Themed Google logo. I would treasure it forever. Hell I’d make it if I was that cool.

  11. I finished that harry potter book in about 10-12 hours (split between 2 days)

    I also noticed that most of my teen trafficed websites had a significant traffic drop (10-15%) on harry potter release day and the day after. I found that interesting…. people gave up online to read.

    I thought the first half was rather dry, but things picked up in the 2nd. It seems JK changed her style a bit. She usually gives a full back story whenever she references another book, but I had to look up about 3 things online because I forgot what happened in the books previous.

    It’s amazing how she can write about something seemingly insignificant and then suddenly make it the most important thing 2 or 3 books later.

    I’ll stop here before I spoil anything for you.

    When you’re done with it though, you should pick up the new spam cartel book from syngress. I’m reading it now and it’s quite fascinating.

  12. My wife has just handed me Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows after finishing it herself, so I may be scarce for a few days.

    I say, take the day off, tell your wife you love her and you’ll see her when you’re done, get enough munchies and soda/water, and just go through it from start to finish. :D

    -Michael

  13. Seriously, I don’t get this whole Harry Potter thing. What’s the fascination? I’ve seen bits and pieces and it just seems like suspension of belief and fantasy (neither of which has held an especially strong appeal to me).

    Is there something I’m missing?

  14. Adam.. it’s just a good story. It’s got all the classic qualities of an epic..

    starts with a prophecy (like macbeth, star wars, etc), has a link between the protagonist and antagonist (like star wars, oedipus, etc), and has a “good vs evil” quest theme..

    There’s a lot more that it shares with other epics, however i don’t want to reveal plot lines…

  15. Take Lord of the Rings and bring it down a level, focus it to kids. That’s Harry Potter.

    It’s an exit from reality, but with a twinge of real life lessons and political commentary (see Tolkien and WW2 commentary). Like Tolkien, Rowling is great at connecting plot points from various previous books and making things fascinating for adults. But at the same time she teaches kids morals and vocabulary.

    They are also just good reads. It’s one of those series, you have to pick up book one and see. You’ll either get completely caught up or leave it completely alone. But please don’t go on the movies alone.

    Sorry Matt!! I know this is off focus. I hope you’re enjoying the book though.

  16. We arranged on a simple trade: we’d feed him if he’d give a talk about search/SEO from his perspective.

    I bet you did! ;)

    What a strange relationship you guys have with the “SEO” community.

  17. There’s also this Pay forum at seoblackhat.com; maybe google can afford it on their budget? Maybe not, since an adsense check bounced

  18. g1smd

    Heh, Matt.

    Any idea why the new unavailable_after meta tag uses the RFC 850 date format and not the more recent RFC 3339 standard?

  19. You’re right that email is completely stalled out as an application.

    The whole problem with email’s feature freeze started in the early 90′s when Lotus bought cc:Mail (where I was busy innovating) and our nearest competitor in #2 position was snapped up by MS.

    When I walked away there were lots of cool ideas still on the drawing board that have never seen the light of day, or died as still born protoypes, because at that point email became a “commodity” being included with software and was no longer an exciting application worthy of massive capital investments for R&D.

    The second problem is you have to have a rather large installed base to start introducing major new features that may require changes to the clients and gateways. One company with many customers (clients and gateways) can do some cool grass roots type of stuff for their customers and wait for the industry to catch up but some stand-alone freebie client like Thunderbird can’t really bring that kind of clout to the table.

    It sure would be nice to see, but I think email is stuck in an apathy groove evidenced by the fact most spam could be easily stopped yet the software super powers can’t agree on which method to implement.

    Wishful thinking, that’s all we have left…

  20. Josh

    Pointing us to Rand’s blog for details just so we could read his NDA comment is quite a let down Matt.

  21. Dave (original)

    Oh do get yourself a life Kenki! Go join you buddy igor and have a tin foil hat gathering.

  22. google still has a long way to go to pic SEO out from SEC.

  23. Eve

    Rebekah, Very bold of you to put in that URL. I have never been to it but will check it out just to see how the other half lives. Hmmmm. I’m scared to even go there. Hope Google’s not watching! LOL.

  24. Dave (original)

    Kenki, this is Matt’s *personal* blog which he is using to share with us what he can. You have no right to off-load YOUR one-eyed ignorant conspiracy theories onto Matt’s blog.

    Grow up please!

  25. Dave (original)

    The person at google in control of adsense should be sacked (his bank account should be investigated as well as I have heard he takes backhanders )

    That type of hear-say can see you sued and I hope Google do!

  26. Rand’s SEO speech is inspirational :) it is more interesting than google’s takeover of feedburner.

  27. Let me know next Seo meeting your at Dave because I will drive up and we’ll debate this infront of the whole ******* audience.

    Seriously, dude, if you drive to Dave’s location to debate him, I’ll not only pay your gas bills but $1,000,000 USD on top of that for your time. I’ll even drive Dave to an SEO meeting at a location within a 100-kilometre radius of his location.

  28. Whoops…I forgot one thing…drive to Dave’s location from your location. No flying, no boats, trains, or other forms of transportation. Just automotive.

  29. Harith

    Friends!

    Whats going on? Why all that negativity among some of you? and why turn this thread to a Google bashing thing?

    You can differ respectfully. Life is too short for not making friends :-)

  30. Finished Harry Potter yet Matt? Took me only like 1 day, but then I’m a complete fan :)

  31. Here’s a silly question – why couldn’t Thunderbird evolve to use Gears? That is, be the Gears repository for GMail? You sign into GMail, sync with Gears, and boom – there lies your email in Thunderbird, which is effectively acting as a Gears GUI for the local data store?

  32. I bet he didnt let out to much stuff to the google staff -

  33. John

    “The person at google in control of adsense should be sacked (his bank account should be investigated as well as I have heard he takes backhanders )”

    I have never had a problem with adsense. The only bad stories I hear involve people breaking the TOS – are you implying that Google is somehow cheating publishers out of earnings?

  34. “Its all bullshit isn’t it google, you couldn’t give a stuff about quality results its all about the money now isn’t it. Your spam team are told not to touch results that carry google ads.”

    keniki, that’s not only completely false, it’s pretty close to libel. I pruned several of your other comments. Please be civil/considerate of other commenters on my blog or else take your thoughts to your own website.

  35. Joost de Valk, I finished Harry Potter on Friday. It sucks you in, doesn’t it?

    Josh and Harith, I don’t think Rand said anything earth-shattering in his presentation that we wouldn’t hear at conferences, but it was good to hear the message without having to leave the Googleplex.

    Manni, I agree IMAP is much nicer than POP when you can get it. One problem is that it’s hard-coded for ideas like “folders,” so things like labels don’t work that well with IMAP.

    IncrediBILL, I appreciate the thoughts on email. On one hand it’s just a protocol and there’s no reason you couldn’t layer lots of neat stuff on top of email, but it seems like most people use RSS for that sort of application. I also wish folks would get together and agree on a way to authenticate email and stop email spam.

    g1smd, if I get a chance I’ll ask about why they went with that RFC standard for the unavailable_after meta tag.

  36. Matt, the difference of RSS feeds is they are single POLLing subscription scenario and email is store and forward technology. Email that can be delivered ANYWHERE with selective distribution lists, even if the person isn’t subscribed to the ‘feed’, but RSS has to be subscribed in advance.

    Additionally, RSS feeds have a predefined number of fields and email is an open container that can virtually transport anything, including the content of an RSS feed.

    The transport layer of email can do some amazing things that leaves RSS in the dust and I sent you an email giving you some insights into a few simple examples of how people envisioned email “Agents” working back in the early 90s, and those samples were very rudimentary.

    Needless to say, when email became a commodity, primarily thanks to MS giving it away and destroying the entire email industry, everything on the white boards was erased and progress screeched to a halt.

    All I know is some very large Fortune 500s were left waiting on some really cool things going on in my labs back in the day that were scuttled by the company big boys, a real shame.

  37. ” I also wish folks would get together and agree on a way to authenticate email and stop email spam.”

    I just wish folks would get together and stop buying stuff from spam. When it becomes unprofitable, it will stop.

    Also, most spammers use affiliate accounts from porn sites, or commission based accounts, etc. If the accounts they’re spamming get enough emails complaining about the spam they usually shut down the spammer’s account and not pay him.

    Once/week or so when I’m bored, I forward most of my spams back to the sites that they’re advertising. Of course, I also sometimes take all those advertisements from my credit card statements and send them back with my payment too.. Maybe I’m just mean. (or have too much time on my hands)

  38. Ryan,

    You hit the nail right on the head!

    Who are the idiots buying crap sold in SPAM?

    Oh wait, probably the same people glued to late night infomercials, QVC and eBay auctions.

  39. Forgive me for being naieve, but, is anyone worried at all that keeping your email based online creates more of a security threat than having things protected on your own machine? (or am I just begin paranoid)

    I just gettin a little weezy when thinking that if I am lopoking for an email and a server goes down, I SOL..

    Always Love to read The Cutts. Chersch.

  40. Shhhh, Bill. Your talking’s drowning out the whisper-quiet noises coming from all of my Ronco kitchen equipment. :D

  41. Paul

    “The idea of locking my data/email into one computer is too fraught with problems for me now.”

    I had the same problem wanting to keep private, personal mail accessible both at home and at work. My solution was Portable Apps (www.portableapps.com) and their Thunderbird Portable on a 1″ USB hard drive. Performance is almost that of a desktop install but it runs on any Windows PC with a USB port.

  42. Dave (original)

    RE: …but it had to be said.

    No it didn’t and you made it up anyway, just like blackhats do.

  43. Relatively short bits. The blogger at It’s a crime! (or a mystery…) has been to the Hay Festival and was most impressed by the joint presentation by Neil
    letras- http://www.letras32.com/letras/bob-marley/index.php

  44. Dave (original)

    LOL! You didn’t have to prove to Google that you makes things up due to poor knowledge and that you are a blackhat.

    Talk about shooting oneself in the foot :)

  45. Dave (original)

    ROFL @ Kenki

  46. Dave (original)

    You are very funny to read Kenki. Keep it up please so Matt bans you :)

    If any site is outranked by a scraper they have much bigger issues that being scraped.

  47. Dave (original)

    You’re too funny Kenki with all your Defcon tin-foil hat stuff!

  48. Dave (original)

    ROFL @ Kenki again :)

    I’m now going to show you for the liar you are. Post my imaginary email here. Post my site URL here. Post my Network site here. Post my spam here.

    I’m waiting :)

  49. Dave (original)

    Still waiting Kenki. Unless you want to be man enough to own up to your lies?

  50. Dave (original)

    I knew you were a bold faced liar Kenki, now 1000′s of others do too!

    I suggest you think then post in future and not post and not think at all.

  51. Dave (original)

    You should stopped while you only had egg of your face Kenki.

    Trigger what exactly am I supposed to be a liar about ?

    That’s one of the most common problems with liars, they can’t recall what they have said. Here is a refresher for you

    He knows he’s fucked his sites are fucked and his network is fucked.

    He knows I can track any spam result he tries to produce.
    He emails me trying to recruit me. No chance!!!!

    I replied with the challenge;

    I’m now going to show you for the liar you are. Post my imaginary email here. Post my site URL here. Post my Network site here. Post my spam here.

    Now I’m going to show that you are STILL lying;

    Don’t ever think I can’t fuck with your market (everything is going to google about you).

    What is my market Kenki? I challenge you to “fuck with” my market.

  52. Dave (original)

    ROFL @ Kenki………….STILL! You don’t have a clue do you? (that’s rehetorical as I know you don’t).

    You remind me of the tin man in the Wizard of Oz, expect he wasn’t a liar that is :)

  53. Dave (original)

    So, you’re a lying boxer from South London, is that supposed to have some meaning, other than you are frustated at being caught out at lying again?

  54. Dave (original)

    Lying, personal insults, bullying (or trying to in your case), getting all frustated etc serves no purpose either, but you do that with most posts.

    I just hope you don’t have a Wife & children, or even pets! You probably bully them and thought it would work here.

    Anyway, I have proven you to be a liar many times, as has Matt and so I bid you fairwell tin man :)

  55. CC

    “Pointing us to Rand’s blog for details just so we could read his NDA comment is quite a let down Matt.”

    It’s quite a let down that SEO companies who make alot of money from manipulating Google rankings for clients get a PR7 DoFollow backlink and an invite from Google.

  56. ha ha :) I am still waiting to hear what Matt thought about Harry Potter! Isn’t that what this post was about?!?!?!

    Love the Lumos font, btw! Thanks for posting it!

  57. A few hot tempers here I guess. It is just Matt’s blog, be nice.

    I am curious though, The Google Spiders have been by my site jboyerhomes.com every 2 days for the past week, after going a couple of months of coming by 1 time a week. Still cannot find my site for my main key words though Morristown NJ Real Estate

  58. Yo Matt that “Deathly Hallows” book is no joke! Definately one of my top 20 books of all time, I loved it

  59. Dave (original)

    You still dribbling in here Kenki? About time Matt banned you like your other tin-foil hat buddy.

  60. Dave (original)

    Calm down Kenki and loosen that tin hat before all oxygen to your brain is cut off.

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