Did you miss the presidential inauguration of Barack Obama earlier today? Don’t worry, there are tons of resources online for you to check out. Here are some of my favorites, starting with this incredible image:
You’ll notice the oath didn’t quite go as planned but Talking Points Memo points out that Obama didn’t mess it up, Roberts did:
Roberts started the oath. Obama went a little more quickly than he’d anticipated. And then in the second stage of the oath Roberts got the words wrong. Instead of "I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States" he said "I will execute the office of President of the United States faithfully …"
There was a moment of awkwardness, but they eventually sorted it out. The swearing in is just a formality anyway – Barack Obama became President at noon EST even before he had taken the oath (they were slightly behind schedule).
You may have heard that Wikipedia recently decided that all outbound links would be coded with the “nofollow” tag, meaning that search engines do not give the links any weight in their algorithms. The idea is that it will make it much less desirable for spammers to add their links to the thousands of pages at Wikipedia. Sounds good right? Well so far, the reaction has been pretty negative:
Although the no-follow move is certainly understandable from a spam-fighting perspective, it turns Wikipedia into something of a black hole on the Net. It sucks up vast quantities of link energy but never releases any.
Lots of bloggers are worried that the new scheme does not properly recognize the original sources of information. A blog or other site will still be cited on the Wikipedia page, but that citation no longer carries any weight with the search engines.
I think that argument is fairly weak. If you are really deserving of some major “link energy” then you’ll get it, because chances are, Wikipedia won’t be the only site linking to you. So worries about not getting “credit” in the form of Google-juice are pretty unfounded, I think.
I suppose it comes down to the “perfect world” scenario. In a perfect world, there would be no spam, and everyone would benefit maximally from linking to one another. Thing is, we don’t live in a perfect world – thus we have to attempt to reduce the imperfections. This policy is an attempt to do that with spam.
I see the nofollow policy as serving the greater good. Is an individual’s link juice more important than everyone’s access to a reliable, spam-free Wikipedia? The answer is no, and that’s why I think the nofollow policy is good.
I first learned of Seth Godin’s project called Squidoo a couple months ago, but the service was only in private testing. Now Squidoo has entered public beta so it’s ready for you to kick the tires. A lens is what Squidoo is all about – lensmasters create a lens on a topic they know a lot about, and users search through lenses to find whatever it is they are after. From the FAQ:
A lens is one person’s (lensmaster’s) view on a topic he cares about. More specifically, a lens is a single web page filled with information and links that point to other web pages, to continually updated RSS feeds, or to relevant advertising. It’s a place to start, not finish.
There’s a lot more useful answers in the FAQ, so check it out. So far I have noticed the site has been a little slow, no doubt because it’s probably received a lot of traffic all of a sudden. Aside from that (and the rather plain and unhelpful homepage) I am quite enjoying Squidoo! I have created my own lens, titled MasterMaq on Podcasting. Hopefully I can share some useful information on podcasting.
I’ve got to play with it a little more, but here are some initial thoughts:
I hope they make it possible to add your own modules in the future! I think there would be lots of interested developers, myself included.
It doesn’t look like there’s anyway for a reader to communicate with the lensmaster, at least not without tracking down their blog and then their contact information. There doesn’t appear to be any comments or anything.
For the most part I like the interface. As I mentioned, the homepage is kind of useless, but beyond that it’s pretty well thought out.
Why are the Google Adwords styled so much differently? I think the colors should look more like the rest of the site.
I read this somewhere in the last couple days (I forget where, sorry) and it’s quite a good description – Squidoo is like About.com for Web 2.0. That pretty much sums it up! Time will tell how useful it is, and how much I gain from being a lensmaster. In the meantime, I encourage you to go check it out! There’s lots of interesting lenses already, and it’s pretty easy to make your own.
Preparing for and traveling to the Portable Media Expo last week meant that I fell behind on my usual tracking of what’s happening with podcasting (well aside from what I learned about at the expo itself). So I’ve been slowly catching up lately. Here are some of the highlights from my del.icio.us feed: