Archive for web site tools

Chrome is here

Google has launched the Beta version of it’s Chrome Browser. I’ve just downloaded it and started using it to view a few sites.

So far the biggest asset is the simple design of the interface. Also, when you open a link that would normally start a new browser it just opens a new tab which I think is a nice touch.

I’m not noticing any great speed improvements.

get Chrome

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cuil weirdness

I’ve been trying to use cuil but their results are very variable. Sometimes they are great – at  least as good as google but other times they just don’t seem that relevant.

My www.bellhop.com.au site now has 999 results but one of the first page links is to a page on Ashanti witchcraft. And another is to a page that does not exist,  although the whole site (budu) has gone so I’m not sure what that means.

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one way travel links

I’m trialling adding user-generated content on my sites. But as unmoderated comments can often be a nightmare of spam – I’ve decided to try to limit the content to city descriptions. I think this will help to create a better experience for visitors to my sites.

It’ll also be over great use to webmasters who want to get more one way links to their site as I don’t require a link back form them. Just the effort of creating a few lines of original content.

The rules are the description must be original and at least 100 words. In return I’ll credit the source and add a link to their site. I think this offer of one way links will work for us both and for my audience.

So if you want links form a site that offers Australian hotels, or New Zealand hotels or hotels in Aisa then find a page without text and send me some content.

Oh, and no porn, gambling, pharmaceutical or links to other sites that would bring mine into disrepute.

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too Cuil

Okay, so a few days on and cuil have not indexed any new pages from my sites – but I’ve uploaded another couple of hundered pages to these sites so there is something new to index. But the content isn’t hugley different so they may just be ignoring those pages (these pages are part of another trial I’m doing with google but more on that later). I should stop being so lazy and go and look at the log files to see if their spider has come by again.

I’ve also sent the two sites they were not indexing through to their email address to see what happens.

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not so Cuil

I had a look at the new search engine Cuil. I didn’t think it’s that great so far. Design-wise I’m not that happy with the black background on the home page. I guess its meant to say “we’re not google but we are as simple as google to use”.

The major hassle people seem to be having, and I’m one of them, is that the site does not always return resilts – instead giving a too busy message.

The addition of columns and images to search makes the results appear interesting but the results I got were not all that relevent. Perhaps they need more people to search before the real results start to flow.

The extent to which they are indexing sites is also interesting. For my own sites I’ve listed how many pages they index and so far Cuil has more than Google, Yahoo or Live.

A quick search for www.bellhop.co.nz gives 2,087 results, while www.bellhop.com.au delivers none 😦 www.hotelbuddy.co.uk has 2314,  www.hotelbuddy.asia (my new site) has none, while there are 11,291 results for www.hotelbuddy.us

These are gross results – not all of them from my sites, or even about my sites, but they will be indiicative of the volume of indexing that these Cuil does.

Over the next few days I’ll also be testing how quickly they index new content.

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Foundations of Programming

Every so often I come across a site that spurs me on to become a better developer. Today I cam across Code Better, and in particular the Foundations of Programming post by Karl Seguin. I downloaded his e-book and then sat down and read the book from cover to cover (it’s only 79 pages and very readable).  And I know I’ll read it again soon.

Most of it will be familiar to experienced developers (unit testing, nHibernate, domain driven design, etc.)  but some of it is new.  But reading a book that puts it all together in one package and boldly says “this is the way I do it” without being arrogant … that’s what impresses me.

I genuinely enjoy writing code. It’s one of the great pleasures of my life. Sometimes I do it well. Other times I do less well. But I’m always looking to do it better.

So thanks, Karl.

Reading your book reminds me of why I love developing and inspires me to want to do it better!

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squidoo

I’m now fiddling with what’s possible on squidoo: http://www.squidoo.com/hotelbuddy/

It’s kind of like what I want to do – build websites using other content but with your own special flavour. It’s great that they’ve already added in the monetising part of the equation so you don;t have to pretend that the site is some personal experiment. Just get on and make some money.

Or you can, like I have done, elect to have the money donated to charity. Great idea. Not sure they’ll make too much off mine though.

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