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July 30, 2010

Friday Recap: Hand-picked Goodness Edition

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Happy Friday, friends! Doing anything cool this weekend? You say you’re reading the recap? Excellent choice. The menu of the day is search news, (not-so-shameless) self promotion, and then dessert!

Ask.com launched the private beta of their Q&A community. It’s a fresh new search offering, but one that leverages the search engine’s question-and-answer roots. The social search feature will be integrated into search results, and if the answer’s not yet available, the searcher will be able to get in touch with a subject-matter expert in Ask.com’s Q&A community.

Google’s been changing things up, too. Along with last week’s significant image search redesign, Google is trading out its yellow boxes for purple boxes behind paid results in SERPs. [Angering heartily the People Against Purple League. –Susan] Ha! I laugh in their face! The only reason I included this “news” is because I like purple. :)

Facebook is giving some pointers to journalists in a newly released best practices page for the media. There’s some basic but useful information to introduce traditional media types to the network, along with case studies and tips for searching public conversations.

no more peas

A security consultant has scared the peas out of me by harvesting public user info from Facebook into one omnipotent file. It was meant to show people how easy it is to find and use public information from the network. Facebook’s response was that no private data has been compromised, so not to worry, this info was already accessible through any search engine. Well, yeah… The point was that the info is public and users are (possibly unknowingly) allowing themselves to be vulnerable. An unrelated study looks at the different demographics among Facebook users and which ones are most likely to use privacy settings.

I’m always torn between the choice of locking down my privacy and keeping settings open to create and foster relationships. Tony Adam is known as an expert in creating and building relationships, and he takes an introspective look at relationships, sales and the reality of opportunity cost.

Richard Zwicky of Eightfold Logic is polling the industry for its opinion on the most influential characters in Internet marketing. He’s divided many top experts among the categories of SEO, PPC, social media, link building, and all-arounders and is asking people to vote for who they follow most closely. Somehow I ended up on the cross-channel contributors list. (Don’t look at me. I don’t know how it happened.) [Vote for V! –Susan] Self-promotion aside, I think the lists are a helpful resource for prioritizing your blog reading and for recognizing who is generating important discussions in our community.

Self-promo point number two: an interview I did for State of Search with Bas Van Den Beld is now available for your reading pleasure. Among other things, I share my thoughts on where the industry is today, the relationship between search and social, and my hot button issue of the moment. It’s part of a summer series of interviews and there are many respected experts who have or will soon be spilling their search and social guts, so check it out.

Little something about me, number three: for my birthday, I was treated like a rock star by Jessica and Paula (if you ever have a chance to nom on Paula’s baked goods, do not miss it!) — and Susan got me fabulous shoes, clearly demonstrating her roles as best boss and dear friend. #luckyblogger #youwishyouworkedhere

Now for the just-plain-fun stuff. I know I promised dessert, but first you should know about a secret recipe that’s been revealed: the In-N-Out double double. If you’ve never had In-N-Out but have always wanted to, the universe has smiled on you.

It’s probably your lucky day if you find lost treasure at a garage sale. That’s what happened to one man this week. A decade ago, a man in California spent $45 for a box of negatives at a yard sale. Experts have just appraised the find at $200 million, deciding that the negatives are the work of legendary photographer Ansel Adams.

What a find. Talk about living to seize the day — carpe diem, as they say. Wait. Scratch that. Apparently we’ve all been hoodwinked. The oft-referenced Latin phrase “carpe diem” actually translates to something more like “harvest the day” or “gently pick the day”, like a ripe berry or a delicate wildflower. Just think about that a minute…

Did you feel your mind bloom, like an apple blossom releasing its softly penetrating perfume? Let the fragrance of wisdom wrap itself around you. So refreshing. Apples, a cultural symbol for knowledge, seemed the fitting flower for that illustration. They just so happen to also make an easy segue to a story about a new apple on the market: the Redlove Era. A cross between the Royal Gala and the Braeburn, the Redlove era is characterized by sweet and tangy, bright red flesh. I don’t know if I could bring myself to eat something so lovely.

Okay, here’s another puzzler for you. What’s the plural of octopus? Trick question!

Where does she come up with all this gold, you ask? Such is the life of a professional blogger (read: Internet surfing slacker). Certainly, I’m not alone. The stats on slacking are out, and the average American worker spends 1.7 hours a day slacking, with almost 45 percent of that time spent on Internet distractions. Like that infographic.

Merciful distractions come in many forms, from hours-long YouTube marathons to mindless doodles. The world’s oldest doodle, carved into a sandstone rock 4,500 years ago, has been discovered. Not so evolved now, are we? At least people are getting some balance in their work life for a bit. Because, folks, there’s more proof that your office is killing you. At least it won’t be the robots, thanks to one clever robots.txt file laying down the laws. :) Enjoy your robot-free weekend!

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One response to “Friday Recap: Hand-picked Goodness Edition”

  1. RP_Joe writes:

    The Ask Q&A is interesting. I think this is an attempt to follow the lead of Naver which is by far the most popular search portal in South Korea, with a market share of over 70%, compared to 2% of Google. They are the only people to beat Google and beat them bad. I suspect all top management at all search engines have Naver on their radar screen.



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