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September 12, 2006

Headlines – Waiting for Pubcon

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Geeking out in Vegas

If you were looking for a reason to attend WMW PubCon in Vegas, here’s a huge one: Danny Sullivan will be delivering the keynote on November 16. How soon can you get there?

The PubCon blog posted an insightful interview between Brett Tabke and Danny Sullivan that is definitely worth a read. Brett quizzes Danny on what he’ll do next, whether Google has peaked and if he thinks Melrose Place will ever make a comeback.

AOL Entices Users with Insurance

If you were wondering why anyone would continue to pay for AOL the answer may be insurance. The AP reports that AOL will provide paying subscribers with up to $10,000 insurance coverage for identify theft and computer damage (computer damage?). AOL users can also purchase a separate policy to cover up to $1,000 to repair or replace computers “that suffer physical damage”.

That’s not a bad offer for $26. I wonder how many people will take them up on it and whether AOL will offer those same insurance options to the hundreds of thousands of people they put at risk last month. As a user, I think your best option may be to pay $26 a month for the coverage and not use AOL. Of course, that wouldn’t be ethical so we would never recommend that. I’m just thinking out loud, that’s all.

Help SEOmoz Find Its New Family Member

The SEOmoz gang posted an interesting challenge to readers, asking them to help in the hiring of their new minion. I don’t know of many other companies that would ask their readers to help them make such an important decision. And be able to do it in such excellent link bait fashion!

I hope at some point we’ll learn how many people participated in the experiment. Each post seems to have received a moderate amount of comments; several from the SEOmoz gang themselves. I love that for more than one entry, Michael Martinez comments and then retracts his remarks with a feigned “but this isn’t about me…” Hee. I enjoy Michael.

Personally, I think there’s only one blogger in the bunch and only one writer. Unfortunately, they’re not the same person.

New Google Earth

Yahoo! News UK highlights Google and Microsoft’s battle for global domination. Most notably the article states that an updated version of Google Earth will be released sometime Tuesday night. The new version will feature a slider to allow users to “scroll through time”. Pretty sweet.

Also, if you weren’t aware (I wasn’t), users can now drive “virtual cars” through certain US cities in Microsoft’s Virtual Earth. Virtual Earth is also in the process of being integrated into Outlook and Windows Live Messenger. I’m telling you, it’s news like this that keeps me constantly entertained.

Read Banned Books

Further stealing my heart, Google is helping book nerds like me to explore some of the great literary works that schools have either challenged or banned, highlighting more than 40 classic titles. Titles include The Great Gatsby, Catcher in the Rye, The Grapes of Wrath, The Color Purple, Brave New World, 1984 and a host of others.

While you can’t get full text on all 42 selections (which would have been very nice but a huge copyright violation), Google gives readers information about each title and directs them to where they can get more information. I guess some information is better than none at all.

Must Read

Over at Forever Geek, Macgyver (who you may remember from the last Digg controversy) asks if social sites put too much trust in their users. He says in part:

This is a major issue that web 2.0 sites need to plan and look into. Trusting users is a good thing. But implicitly trusting users is no good. If Digg has moderators that approve a story before it goes live on the front page, shouldn’t they have moderators checking spam reports? Social sites give so much power and emphasis on users yet a handful still have the power to wreck these sites. Until these issues are properly addressed, social sites will continue to be gamed.”

Given the current state of sites like Digg, and the abundance of vote and rank sites, Macgyver’s post makes for a very good read.

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