Friday, May 04, 2007

First Fav5

I'm starting a new weekly installment on my blog entitled "Fav5" where I list 5 items of interest for the week. I'm not putting any restrictions on the list, so anything may appear here. You may notice this week's list is a little heavy on the search engine side.

  1. I recently found out that Ask, MSN, and Yahoo are now supporting Google's Sitemap Protocol. The announcement was made back in Nov. 2006 although Ask apparently joined a little later, and MSN still hasn't implemented it yet. The "official" website for sitemaps is now

    Just last month an autodiscovery method was announced which makes it easy to notify all the search engines of your sitemap by naming it in your robots.txt file. Alternatively you can use the search engine's interface or ping a search engine via an HTTP request to let them know the sitemap file location.

  2. If you didn't already know, Google posts their Tech Talks on Google Video. There are some top-notch presentations out there if you have an hour to burn per talk.

    The most recent talk is The Internet of Things: What is a Spime and why is it useful?
    by Science Fiction writer and futurist Bruce Sterling. Early in the talk, Bruce rightly lauds Vannevar Bush's prediction of a memex device as one of the most "brilliant acts of technological forecasting, ever."

  3. Google announced their new Web History feature a few weeks ago:
    Today, we're pleased to announce the launch of Web History, a new feature for Google Account users that makes it easy to view and search across the pages you've visited. If you remember seeing something online, you'll be able to find it faster and from any computer with Web History. Web History lets you look back in time, revisit the sites you've browsed, and search over the full text of pages you've seen. It's your slice of the web, at your fingertips.
    Matt Cutts shows some use cases for Web History and also ties it in to Bush's memex device.

  4. Joel points out a very interesting usability problem posed by the elevators installed in the new World Trade Center highrise.

  5. And on a personal note, I'm going to be presenting a poster Search Engines and their Public Interfaces: Which APIs are the Most Synchronized? at the World Wide Web conference in Banff, Alberta next week. You can see a PDF of my poster here. Please come by my poster and say hello if you're at the event.

    I just found out Johan (ex-ODU professor) is going to be at WWW too. It's too bad his poster is kinda lame. wink