Elements of Web 2.0 Design

November 24th, 2006

The Visual Design of Web 2.0 discusses some aspects of Web 2.0 design and how these aspects are implemented.

[tags]Web 2.0, Web Design, rounded corners, bright colors [/tags]

Eleventh Cleverhack Podcast

November 23rd, 2006

Woo hoo, the Eleventh Cleverhack Podcast is here. Don’t get all excited or anything like that. This podcast covers such subjects as what’s been going on around here these past few months, my work is also my hobby (or the other way around), sessions I enjoyed at Ad:Tech, some new Web 2.0 sites including Blubrry, foneshow, meebo and twitter.

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Amazon.com DDoS’ed by Customers Vote Winner

November 23rd, 2006

In case you were hoping to take advantage of the Amazon Customers Vote deal for a $100 Xbox 360 on Thanksgiving, Amazon.com was reportedly not reachable from least 2-2:15pm EST (11am-11:15am PST). Presumably, the traffic caused by the $100 Xbox seekers was simply too much.

Some people are complaining that they couldn’t even load the Amazon homepage…I tried to around 2:10 EST and couldn’t get a response from the Web server.

Update: There are over 500 comments in a thread on the Amazon Customers Vote Forum with disgruntled customers chiming in, in addition to other blogs which have noted the outage. Plenty of people are not happy and some are filing Better Business Bureau complaints.

Happy Thanksgiving

November 23rd, 2006

Enjoy the holiday. My motto this year: I’m not cooking.

The Black Friday / Cyber Monday Fallacy

November 21st, 2006

Since some are speculating about shoppers habits this upcoming weekend, I’d like to chime in. Speaking as a person formerly involved in E-commerce, I can tell you that Black Friday and the upcoming Cyber Monday won’t be all that. Sure, the weekend will be good for online retailers, but these won’t be the busiest days for online retailers during the 2006 Holiday Season.

In fact, the busiest days for online retailers this year will be December 12th and 13th. The reason? Christmas is on a Monday this year, and that pushes up the last day for a package to ship via UPS Ground within the Continental US to Friday, December 15th. (You can spec out a shipment on the UPS Web site to see what I mean.) Many retailers will use the 14th as an extra day for shipping and handling and to sort out issues on their end.

The bulk of e-commerce shoppers are those who would rather not go shopping in brick and mortar stores, hence the waiting until the second week of December to shop, but who also don’t want to be bothered with expedited shipping expenses and/or waiting for a package to arrive at the last minute.

Shipping is a big deal to consumers, as we’ve seen how consumers would rather take a “free shipping” deal over a percentage off deal - even when the percentage off will help consumers save more. This shopper psychology is why sites like Amazon pull stunts like “free expedited shipping” in the last days before Christmas - they’re trying to convince folks to stick around and buy and not worry about shipping.

*Formerly as in, currently advising.


November 21st, 2006

Well, since Google stock hit $500 today, I thought I’d do a Google post.

-I had someone pulling my feed who was on Google wifi.

-My Dad just had to compare Microsoft Virtual Earth vs. Google Earth. He seemed to like the zooming action of both, but thought it was difficult to tilt the view within Google Earth.

-I am administering a Google AdWords campaign which is unfortunately showing ads on a number of those cruddy waste of bandwidth Made for Adsense (MFA) sites. While I don’t want to take the ads off the content network, the only solution I can think of is to Google for the advertised URL and manually remove the MFA sites from the campaign. What a pain.

[tags]Google, Google Wifi, Google Earth, Google AdWords, Google AdSense [/tags]

Entireweb Speedy Spider

November 20th, 2006

Speedy Spider is the crawler for the Sweden based search engine Entireweb. I have not seen any referrers from Entireweb, but their Speedy Spider featured a URL to the informative Speedy Spider FAQ. In addition, Speedy Spider is quite polite for a bot, only crawling one or two pages per request.

Http Code: 200 Date: Nov 19 06:57:54 Http Version: HTTP/1.0 Size in Bytes: 6702
Referer: -
Agent: Speedy Spider (Entireweb; Beta/1.0; http://www.entireweb.com/about/search_tech/speedyspider/)

[tags]Search Engine, bot, crawler, spider, Entireweb, Speedy Spider [/tags]

Oh, LaDainian!

November 20th, 2006

And so, there I was yesterday, resigned to the fact that I was facing a middling Fantasy Football loss due to some non-spectacular WRs, a TE with one point, a Vikings defense that left a lot to be desired and Westbrook who didn’t get to carry the ball that much. Even Tony Romo, my very non-intuitive QB pick from a few weeks back, led the Cowboys to victory only to net me 9 points in Fantasy Football play.

And so, I watched last night and wondered - could LT even get me 41 points or more? Would I be doomed? And as it turns out, he did and I tied.

Also a shoutout to the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, who lost to Cincinnati on Saturday and so are 9-1, #14 BCS, #15 AP Poll. They face Syracuse this week.

[tags]Football, Fantasy Football, Rutgers Football [/tags]


November 20th, 2006

I have like 12 tabs open in Firefox, including work email, with a few other miscellaneous windows open on the PowerBook. The cell phone is right beside me.

My daughter has been sick for the past few days, with a horrendous fever and sore throat and the accompanying congestion. She’s ok when the tylenol works but her appetite is diminished and she has less energy than usual. She’s old enough to get some amusement out of taking her own temperature with the thermometer, “Mom, it’s 101!”

After getting a continual busy signal this morning, I finally have an appointment for her to be seen by the doctor this afternoon. The current thinking is that it’s probably the flu. An upper respiratory viral illness. A certain someone will be hanging with Grandma & Pop Pop for the next few days.

The irony of all this? I was supposed to get a flu shot at work today. And my throat hurts now.


November 19th, 2006

Oh, wait, just when you thought we were done here with research services for the Google impaired, there is yet another one. Buzzlogic has been sending out their crawler for the past few weeks to this blog and by happenstance currently has a private beta for companies.

What is different about BuzzLogic’s crawler though is that it’s revealing a referrer which really, honestly should not be seen in the Web logs. Also, their crawler does not have any identifying information in the User Agent field. Here’s an example.

The questionable referrer, which I am seeing via Sitemeter looks like this:


If I had to guess, however BuzzLogic compiles the collected data into a static HTML file. I’ve seen that static HTML file change day by day, each with a different time/date stamp for each individual instance it hits my Web server.

This is what I see via my Web logs.
Host: (I was only able to connect this to BuzzLogic through a traceroute of the IP address. The BuzzLogic Web server is hosted on what seems to be a completely different hosting provider.)
/wp-content/plugins/sociable/images/reddit.png (This crawler is hitting my image files for some reason.)
Http Code: 200 Date: Nov 19 10:37:14 Http Version: HTTP/1.1 Size in Bytes: 5943
Referer: -
Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Konqueror/3.5; Linux) KHTML/3.5.4 (like Gecko)

[tags]bot, crawler, scraper, buzzlogic, brand monitoring services, search engine challenged PR firms [/tags]


November 18th, 2006

Yet another monitoring the Web just for you, your brand and your PR department which can’t use Google service, a bot from Webclipping was spied hitting my RSS feeds recently. Clicking around the Webclipping site (which doesn’t look all that hot in Firefox 2.0), the service seems to be similar to other monitoring outfits including brandimensions. (A side note, brandimensions, which I’ve written about before, charmingly has a Flash-only-I-don’t-really-want-to-be-found-by-search-engines homepage. As you can see, I’m not exactly a fan of a service which compiles my content and doesn’t allow me to see the context.)

Http Code: 302 Date: Nov 18 18:08:51 Http Version: HTTP/1.1 Size in Bytes: 224
Referer: -
Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (Webclipping.com)

[tags]bot, crawler, scraper, webclipping, brand monitoring services, search engine challenged PR firms [/tags]


November 18th, 2006

A still in private beta service Hoopla purports to be “the next big portal that renders other online news and blog services obsolete.” There’s also an accompanying blog, currently with only one entry.

I found Hoopla via my usual discovery method, my Web site logs where the crawler was hitting my RSS feeds. It appears they need to be crawling the Web and blogosphere for a bit in order to collect content for their portal. I can’t tell if the folks behind Hoopla are American and/or German though. It looks like the anonymous WHOIS registration is for an American company, and the language on the Hoopla parked page is definitely colloquial American English, but the crawler is from a German IP.

Http Code: 302 Date: Nov 17 12:37:08 Http Version: HTTP/1.1 Size inBytes: 224
Referer: -
Agent: http://www.hoopla.com/; tracker@hoopla.com - Hoopla.com honors
robots.txt; Hoopla.com Tracker; Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1;
en-US; rv:1.7.6) Gecko/20050402 Firefox/1.0.2

[tags]hoopla, RSS, beta, crawler, portal, portal page, Web 2.0 [/tags]