The Google, The Bad and The Ugly

Going from a PR7 to nil I should know what it feels like to be the coolest kid in class one day, and the geek back in the corner the next. I’m glad my income doesn’t rely on Google traffic, cause if it did I’d be in it deep.

Here’s the story: I’ve created a script, called phpODP that lets people put the content of dmoz (the open directory project) on their own pages. This is perfectly fine according to the dmoz licence, and my script is even listen on dmoz itself. A lot of people have downloaded this script, and are currently using it.

A little while ago I read Googleguy say something about Google wanting to do something about duplicate content. I think probably banning my script was one of the things he was talking about. They don’t want 100’s of dmoz out there, and frankly I can’t blame them (although I do think entire site banning is a bit to harsh). However, I can see a couple of positive things about including multiple dmoz sites in the index:

  • The main site is often slow, so other sources may be preferable
  • Sites can add content/functionality (e.g. user comments about the sites, rating, etc.)

Who is going to do that now? No one.

I see odp @ bie.no is still listed in Yahoo! – I don’t know if they’re heading in the same direction as Google, but I have a feeling they are.

The psychology of a Google Outlaw (me that is).. the first days after being banned Day 1: Something must be wrong. ‘I must’ve spelled “site:bie.no” incorrectly – is that how you search to tell if you’re included in the index? It’s always been, hasn’t it?’ etc.etc. Day 2: Realising one has been banned, searching for “google banned”, sending a complaint to Google Day 3: “I don’t need Google” – start using Yahoo! and actually learning it isn’t all that bad. It can be used as a replacement. Almost a full day. Day 4: Logging into Amazon Associates and checking the damage. Damn. Day 5 – next Google Dance: Apathy

Anyhow, today I put up a robots.txt that should help things:

User-agent: Googlebot Disallow: /products/phpodp/odp.php Disallow: /products/phpodp/go.php

I was delighted to find out that I could have User-agent in there, so I can make some special rules for Google. As you see, it shouldn’t access the odp script anymore.

Hopefully, this will get me unbanned – but it’s not for sure. I’ve got all those people using my script linking back to me from odp content as well. So Google might think “Duplicate content links to bie.no, bie.no must be bad”. I don’t know what I’m going to do with that if that’s a problem. But if it is a problem, then I’m not the only one in trouble (other scripts do the same, although maybe not with so much duplicate content).

Gaaah .. I’m tired after a long day of refurbising, so I’ll stop writing now :-)

Anger management

Recently I’ve started loading my MP3 player with podcasts that I listen to when I drive to and from work. This is an excellent replacement for mainstream radio; I can find podcasts discussing the topics I’m interested in, and use this ‘dead-time’ to learn something new. Also, the radio in my car doesn’t work. In addition, there is often a lot of traffic, so a quiet car can drive anyone mad.

So, if your radio doesn’t work, you’re in your car and you spend fourty minutes on something that should only take ten if it weren’t for all those other bastards who also decided to drive to work at EXACTLY 07:45 (who are these people??) – AND you’ve got an MP3 player – then this might be useful for you:

Here are some audio I enjoy listening to while angry and frustrated in my car:

  • Diggnation– they say: “a weekly tech/web culture show based on the top digg.com social bookmarking news stories.” I say: this is awesome. I mean, a concept where two guys are drinking beer, having fun and discussing tech just makes me happy.
  • ITConversations.com – Lots of IT stuff
  • JavaZone 2005 mp3’s – From JavaZone in Oslo
  • LearnOutLoud – Haven’t checked them out properly yet, but they might have something..

Enjoy!

Hipster PDA

I’m just flabbergasted! I’d never heard of teh Hipster PDA before today. Incidently, I came across the original introduction at 43Folders.

Merlin, over at 43Folders describe the Hipster PDA as:

The Hipster PDA (Parietal Disgorgement Aid) is a fully extensible system for coordinating incoming and outgoing data for any aspect of your life and work. It scales brilliantly, degrades gracefully, supports optional categories and “beaming,” and is configurable to an unlimited number of options. Best of all, the Hipster PDA fits into your hip pocket and costs practically nothing to purchase and maintain.

In short; it’s nothing more than a fancy notebook. Or, just a notebook. That you can have in your back pocket. So, what’s the news?

Well, look at the community! Look at the services being provided, the idéas being exchanged, and last but not least – the name! It’s not a notebook, it’s a Hipster PDA!

Here are some links I collected to get you started:

That should be enough to keep you busy for a couple of hours.

I’m going to go Hipster PDA myself, and if you’re lucky I might even get around to post an image. Imagine that!

Oh, by the way, searching for “hipster” on urbandictionary I found this definition:

Someone who thinks that they are being “special” and “unique” for liking some underground bullshit no one else cares about. And they pointlessly look down on people who don’t know anything about indie culture, because that’s the only thing they know anything about. They’re quick to call the rest of the world conformists when in reality, they are the ones conforming by partaking in a “too cool for mainstream so i am going to reject it by looking and acting like a grungy asshole” way of life only to seem uber-fashionable. They just end up looking like idiots. 1) Hipster: I won’t drink at starbucks, it’s too corporate. 2)Non-Hipster: I want a Louis Vitton purse because they are cool Hipster: You’re such a conformist, haveing a Louis Vitton purse is so unoriginal. I like my purse I found in the gutter for $4 dollars. Non-hipster: but it’s fugly Hipster: yah, but no one else has it. It’s completely unique. Non-hipster: that bum over there has something pretty similar though. Hipster: You’re ignorant because you can’t see the real beauty in life. I don’t have time for this, I’m gonna go to my cave of an apartment and listen to some indie rock you’ve probably never heard of…. Non hipster: You need to see a therapist Hipster: I am my own therapist.

I guess this applies to the PDA as well, but wtf! Yes, it might be cheap, it might be fugly, it might look like something you saw on the back of a bum – but if it gets me organized, then by God I’m going Hipster!