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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Ubiquity FireFox Browser Add-in Productivity Video

I don't go off-topic much on this blog, but I've just got to share this productivity tool. I'm sure it can do some cool search-related stuff, so I'll play with it and report what I find. The video below describes an amazing browser add-in called "Ubiquity" from Mozilla Labs. The Post title links to a Ubiquity tutorial. The tool is amazingly easy to use and if you have the basic skills to add commands to the already included set built in, you'll find it a really incredible time saver.

It's almost magical how well it works. My favorite use in this video is being able to insert a map, along with a Yelp review, embed quickly and easily in your email! Watch that in the following video and be prepared to be impressed at what a browser add-in can do.

Ubiquity for Firefox from Aza Raskin on Vimeo.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Remember the Poor, It Costs Nothing: Blog Action Day

"Remember the poor, it costs nothing" -- Josh Billings

... For 60 days I've been posting money quotations on Poverty and the Poor over on my Money Quotations Blog in preparation for this one day - Blog Action Day - Poverty - where over 9000 bloggers have agreed to discuss, explore and seek solutions to poverty. (Even the MySpace Impact Channel got into the Poverty conversation on their blog

My decision to support #BAD08, as it's come to be called on Twitter, was out of a desire to continue expanding my collection of Money Quotes on this blog. But, inevitably I got more interested in the topic and in learning something about Poverty - through words - but not just blather, these are some of the most powerful words ever uttered about the Poor and .

In the two months since I started collecting and posting quotations, I found over 150 Poverty Quotes in the larger collection of quotes on the poor, Here are a dozen to get you started.

  1. Muhammad Yunus, founder of the Grameen Bank said, "One day our grandchildren will go to museums to see what poverty was like" and truly believes we can cut global Poverty in HALF by 2015!
  2. Most powerful quote on poverty from a politician IMHO was Dwight D. Eisenhower, who said in 1953, "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed"
  3. Many politicians, as a matter of fact, had something to say of poverty - from Thomas Jefferson, "Experience demands that man is the only animal which devours his own kind, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor"
  4. To Ronald Reagan, "Poverty is a career for lot's of well paid people"
  5. There are those who devote their lives to the poor, "There is hunger for ordinary bread, and there is hunger for love, for kindness, for thoughtfulness; and this is the great poverty that makes people suffer so much" -- Mother Teresa
  6. There are those who poke fun at poverty, "Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons." -- Woody Allen
  7. Some believe it's sometimes better to be poor, "Satan is wiser now than before, and tempts by making rich instead of poor" -- Alexander Pope
  8. Some flatly state the obvious, "I've been rich and I've been poor: Rich is better." -- Sophie Tucker
  9. And even more obvious, "A rich man is nothing but a poor man with money." -- W.C. Fields
  10. Some point out misconceptions "Literary tradition is full of lies about poverty—the jolly beggar, the poor but happy milkmaid, the wholesome diet of porridge, etc." -- Mason Cooley
  11. There is the frightening commentary from Colin Powell, "Terrorism really flourishes in areas of poverty, despair and hopelessness, where people see no future"
  12. And in the end, it really doesn't matter whether we are rich or poor, "Pale death with an impartial foot knocks at the hovels of the poor and the palaces of king" -- Horace

Blog Action Day 2008 Poverty from Blog Action Day on Vimeo.

Join the discussion, but don't stop there, decide to take action to end poverty, consider donating your day's earnings to the poor.

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Thursday, October 09, 2008

SEO Value Attribution Links - Video & Widget Embeds

The value of attribution links on syndicated content is huge for SEO, but as is so often the case in SEO, some go way overboard and overdo to the point of spamming. Others correctly see the value as an incremental addition to their SEO tool set. I've long been an advocate for attribution links on flash widgets, video embeds, article syndication resource boxes and any other type of syndicated content.

Below is an example of a well executed attribution link. On a video embed

How to Search Specific Sites with Google -- powered by

Both of these use keyword focused attribution to the originating source of the content. If the content was unrelated to the keyword text links following those embeds, that would be the abusive and spammy approach I suggested above. The spammy approach has been used widely with web page counters prevalent on early web sites which linked back to spammer sites with entirely unrelated link text. But because the above video embed points to highly relevant and useful resource entirely related to the attribution link, it scores well in SEO.

The best approach is always to link to topical and relevant content, preferably, the source of the actual piece of content featured in order to score well in search engine relevancy and landing page quality.

I used the technique discussed in the video - site limited search - to find a copy of that syndicated content without the attribution link attached to the video player to show syndicated content that does the source no good other than the good-will of sharing their content.

The following gains zero benefit other than an occasional visitor who clicks through:

If anyone uses the second video, directly above, the second source site gains no benefit to providing the content. The top example source site gains a highly relevant link to the originating page of the actual video.

I've consulted with several video and widget vendors who look at me through quizzical sideways tilted gazes when I make this point, like I'm speaking Martian. That attribution link is highly valuable to the content provider. It offers the visitor a link equity to the content source and justifies the content provider bandwidth in delivering that valuable content to others who use the providers resources to display the content external to the provider. Why make your content to others without that link-back?

Here's another example on a widget:

Most Expensive Homes in Seattle

Relevant, interesting and useful information of interest to a highly targeted audience, with an attribution link to related information.

I've proposed this approach to link-building to easily a dozen client sites as they were about to launch major initiatives of distributed content. Most of them think the video or widget is a cool idea and respond to that, but many ask why that attribution link is necessary - a couple even removed it after development because they didn't like how it looked outside the player or widget. Great, now you are providing useful and interesting content - for free - on your bandwidth - with no return on investment - the link is worth it's weight in SEO gold.

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