Archives for March 2006

Miscellaneous Monday: March 27, 2006

Okay, I can feel Harith twitching with the desire to ask questions, so let’s start a grab-bag thread. Ask whatever you want. I’ll tackle a few of the questions that are general. Please make sure you read the most recent comment guidelines so you know to avoid “what’s up with my specific site?” or other questions that won’t apply to most people.

Today I’m actually away from work up in San Francisco with my wife, so I may let questions accumulate before I tackle them. I’m going to get cleaned up and prowl Union Square for a copy of Me and My Katamari, and I guess I’ll need a PSP to go with it. I’m sure later this week I’ll be asking how to run homebrew code on a PSP firmware v2.6.

Examples of fine questions include:
– Is Bigdaddy fully deployed?
– What’s the story on the Mozilla Googlebot? Is that what Bigdaddy sends out?
– Any new word on sites that were showing more supplemental results?
– Is the RK parameter turned off, or should we expect to see it again?
– What’s an RK parameter?
– What are you doing in San Francisco on a weekday?

Update: Okay, enough questions for now. I’ll tackle a few of these, and I’ll try to do another grab-bag thread in a week or two. 🙂

Review: Bose SoundDock

A while ago, I picked up the Bose Sound Dock and I really like it. When I bought it, the main competitor was the JBL On Stage speaker device, which didn’t have a remote control (JBL now offers the JBL On Stage II, which comes with a remote).

Here’s what’s good about the Bose speaker: you can make it really loud. It also turns out that a remote is extremely handy (I didn’t realize how much I would use it). It uses a line-of-sight/infrared remote rather than RF, but the remote receiver must be behind the speaker grill, because the remote works at almost any angle. The controls on both the speaker and the remote make sense. The SoundDock is perfect for piping out tunes while you wash the dishes, for example.

The only thing I dislike is that the device doesn’t have a line-out capability, so you can’t use it as an easy way to hook your iPod up to a stereo or into your computer. Otherwise, it’s pretty nice.

Guidelines for comments: March 24 2006

I haven’t talked specifically about the comment policy on my blog for a while. At a recent conference, lots of people said that they really enjoyed reading my blog, but several people complained about off-topic comments that interrupted the flow of the conversation. I plan to keep adjusting things until I find the right balance between free-wheeling discussion vs. comments that don’t add to the discussion. Here’s my current line of thinking:

– I hope to do the occasional “grab bag” post where people can throw out questions or comments about miscellaneous topics. Off-topic comments in other threads may be pruned. If I post about a laser pointer and you ask about a PageRank update, you’re probably outta there. Save it for the grab bag.
– One-line or “me too” comments rarely add much to the conversation, and I often prune them unless they’re frickin’ hilarious.
– I pre-moderate comments, and sometimes I’m traveling/busy. Please don’t double-post, ask when a comment will show up, or accuse me of oppressing you if your comment doesn’t immediately appear.
– For some reason, I hate signature links. Hate them. Your odds of getting a comment approved are much slimmer if you drop a sig in the body of the comment.

I have a limited amount of time to blog, so going forward I won’t be able to answer site-specific questions or requests. If I answer one question about a site, that just encourages more people to post with questions about their site. Those types of posts are rarely of interest to most other readers. That includes “Matt, I think I have a great business and/or patent idea; will you please call me?” posts. Since I started this blog, the comment-to-post ratio is over 50 comments to every one of my posts. I’m grateful for that interest, but there’s no way I can respond to every comment. The best way for me to spend my time is to talk about topics that are of wide interest. I’m sorry that I can’t give feedback on particular sites. Going forward, I won’t moderate questions/comments about individual sites to be visible to everyone; I hope it makes sense why not. Your best bet is to ask questions that generally applicable to a lot of people.

I want to help people, and I also want to enjoy doing this blog. I think these guidelines will increase the signal-to-noise of comments and make the blog more useful and interesting. If these guidelines don’t work out well, we’ll adjust things again. Thanks!

Update: If you do have a concern that’s specific to your site or you want to discuss Webmaster issues that aren’t relevant to a particular topic on my blog, you might want to check out Google’s Webmaster Help group. A lot of helpful people (including some Googlers) are regularly reading and posting there and you’re actually encouraged to give specific examples and include a link to your site.

I would recommend putting your site name in your profile as well. Don’t expect that Googlers will chime in on every thread (the idea is partly to give webmasters a chance to share insights and tips), but the community of users there is often very helpful.

Update, 7/20/2007: It should go without saying, but I also reserve the right to prune comments or delete all comments by someone that is being insulting, lowering the quality of the discourse, or otherwise being a jerk. 🙂 I reserve the right to delete comments for any reason, but I try to allow on-topic, constructive comments.

Brought to you by the letter B

Sometimes the “B” in “Blogger” stands for ballsy. Jeremy pushes for change from within when he can, but is willing to call out issues in public too.

Bigdaddy status update: almost there

We’re down to just 1-2 data centers left in the switchover to Bigdaddy. It’s possible that the Bigdaddy switchover will be complete in the next week or two. Just as a reminder, Bigdaddy is a software upgrade to Google’s infrastructure that provides the framework for a lot of improvements to core search quality in the coming months (smarter redirect handling, improved canonicalization, etc.). A team of dedicated people has worked very hard on this change; props to them for the code, sweat, and hours they’ve put into it.