John Andrews is a Competitive Webmaster and Search Engine Optimization Consultant in Seattle, Washington. This is John Andrews blog on issues of interest to the SEO community and competitive webmasters. Want to know more?

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January 27th, 2008 by john andrews

Internet Activity Data: What’s it Worth?

I followed a link to RescueTime.com, a Web 2 ot Doh! application that keeps track of your time. You install a piece of spyware toolbar widget timer app, and RescueTime keeps an accounting of how long you are using a particular desktop application (like Word or Excel or Outlook) or web site (like Sphinn). I’m not sure I want to know how much time I spend on some web sites, but I do like the idea of capturing time (that is why I used Timeslips before I started to hate it).

This is what I clipped from the Privacy Policy assurance statement, which directs you to read the privacy policy:

“…the only thing we track is the names of the apps and sites you use and the times that you use them”

Um… is there anything else they could track? I mean, shy of taking screen shots of what I do or logging every keystroke I type (which reminds me, eBlaster¬† has been upgraded), they are recording a lot of personal activity data. What is that worth to you? A free time usage data logger?

It would take a lot more than a free time accounting widget for me to hand over tracking of every website I visit and when and for how long, every desktop application I use and when I use them, and perhaps most importantly how often, when, and how I use my computer and Internet connection. Using Skype? Vonage wants to know! Visiting Vonage.com via https? Skype wants you to know it’s cheaper! An active eBayer? Never use eBay?¬† Good to know! Downloading IRS forms? Spending time of PlentyOfFish? All good to know.

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January 26th, 2008 by john andrews

What Price, Worldwide Embrassment?

I supposed we’ve gotten used to our Federcal Communications Commission (FCC) failing to do much useful with the 300 million taxpayer dollars we give them every year. But now we have a new value consideration for American taxpayers: what is world wide embarassment worth? What is the value of the FCC propping American’s up as the laughing stock of the world, and hypocritcal to boot?

Our FCC just fined a television show $1.4 million dollars for showing a bare bottom (from the side) and a small portion of the side of a woman’s bare breast (from the side, across the room), nearly 5 years ago, before 10pm. No, I’m not kidding. Eerily Taliban-like, no? reports are everywhere… making the worldwide part of the embarassment a sure thing. You can read the details here and here and here.

Personally I cringe whenever I see any of the following these days:

  1. an American criticizing a European nation, yes, that includes France
  2. the value of my US dollars compared to the Euro, the Canadian dollar, the Chinese Yuan, the Jananese Yen…or almost any other modern currency
  3. the prospects for the current crop of presidential candidates actually changing the current disaster we call our government
  4. an American saying “stop bitching… we still have it better than other countries“. Yeah, that’s the spirit. Celebrate mediocity all the way until we are just a hair better off than the worst. What then, a “yea we’re not the worst” celebration?

For all those who say we don’t need to get involved because our voters and our government will work it all out eventually, I have to ask, at what price?

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January 25th, 2008 by john andrews

Google Maps soon as Reliable As Wikipedia

The way things are going, Google maps will soon be as reliable as Wikipedia.

A Google blog announced Google maps are now user-adjustable, and adjust we users will. For example, a resident of an apartment building in New York City decided the building address 510 East 20th Street would be better pointing directly to his apartment than the front door or the street outside, so he moved it 30 meters in, slightly left of center, along the back wall of the building. I suppose he has a view of the courtyard from his apartment window? Oh, and i suppose if you don’t like it, you can just change it back, eh?

I knew Google was not 100% trustworthy, but now it seems Google is obfuscating the source of that problem?

Live edits viewer is here.

Updated just minutes later: I hope you’re all having fun, as that NYC apartment pointer has already been moved again! So maybe it’s no longer a good example.. or maybe it’s now a better example? This is so confusing, just what maps are not supposed to be! Anyway, it took me three clicks to find that example the first time, so go ahead and look around the live-edits-viewer yourself¬† if you need more examples… I’m sure it won’t take you long to find them.

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John Andrews is a mobile web professional and competitive search engine optimzer (SEO). He's been quietly earning top rank for websites since 1997. About John

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Recent Posts: ★ Cloud Storage ★ Identity Poetry for Marketers ★ PR is where the Money Is ★ Google is an Addict ★ When there are no Jobs ★ Google Stifles Innovation, starts Strangling Itself ★ Flying the SEO Helicopter ★ Penguin 2.0 Forewarning Propaganda? ★ Dedicated Class “C” IP addresses for SEO ★ New Domain Extensions (gTLDs) Could Change Everything ★ Kapost Review ★ Aaron Von Frankenstein ★ 2013 is The Year of the Proxy ★ Preparing for the Google Apocalypse ★ Rank #1 in Google for Your Name (for a fee) ★ Pseudo-Random Thoughts on Search ★ Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, or a Blog ★ The BlueGlass Conference Opportunity ★ Google Execs Take a Break from Marissa Mayer, Lend Her to Yahoo! ★ Google SEO Guidelines ★ Reasons your Post-Penguin Link Building Sucks ★ Painful Example of Google’s Capricious Do Not Care Attitude ★ Seeing the Trees, but Missing the Forest ★ Search is a Task; Discovery is Fun ★ Why “dot everything” is a Good Idea (and ahead of its time) 

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