Google Blogoscoped

Thursday, December 2, 2004

Google Blog Self-Censors?

According to Brian in the forum, the official Google Blog today quickly removed this fresh post on the relaunch of Google Groups:

“Are you interested in learning how to build a bird house, or discussing Linux with other partisans? Or maybe in your spare time you want to make single-layer graphene sheets using Chemical Vapor Deposition.

Whether your interests run to knitting or brain surgery, chances are good other people out there share them. The new Google Groups not only helps you find information on millions of topics; now you can actively share ideas and opinions with others about each and every obsession of yours.

And if you don’t find a group already focused on your passion, by all means start one. Invite others to join your group so that all interested parties can read and respond to messages, share opinions and ideas via email or your own group’s web page. If you’re looking for a group to join, we could definitely use some thoughtful insight (or idle speculation) over at my space elevator group.

Shannon Bauman
Associate Product Manager, Google Groups”

Update: Google Groups 2 has been removed as default now, too.

LexisNexis AlaCarte

LexisNexis AlaCarte lets you search news, business, and legal sources (if you are willing to register, and pay $3 for them). [Via Waxy.]

Fun Translations

Poetry in Translation by Douwe Osinga is a fun online tool using Google to translate any English sentence you provide into French, German and back to English.
For example ...

Google’s motto is: Don’t Be Evil.

... turns to ...

The Googles slogan is: You are not bad.

Minimalistic Wallpaper

Using a tiny image of around 10x10 pixel, you can create psychedelic backgrounds on your Windows PC.
Just save this tiny bitmap of the Google logo (shown above in an enlarged version), right-click your desktop to go to the wallpaper tab, pick the image and use “Stretch to Fit”. The smooth colors are rendered by Windows’ algorithms. [Idea via Paul Camacho.]’s Potemkin Permalinks

Why does have “Potemkin Permalinks“? Because they look real, but aren’t.

A permalink in the blogging world is a URL pointing to a post which will never move. In other words if you link to the post now, a visitor may still follow your link after several years. It is a great way to enable web-wide discussions.

In Google’s Blogger, however, permalinks aren’t that permanent. As soon as you change the title of your post (say, to correct a spelling error you made), the URL will change. This is because Google uses the fashionable way of including some of the words of the title in the URL as well (just why this is so fashionable is hard to tell, as keywords in the URL are such a tiny part of successful Search Engine Optimization).

Another problem connected to Blogger’s “permalinks” surfaces as soon as you decide to switch from multiple-posts-per-page to single-post-per-page mode. Republishing your blog would mean your complete archive (and all of its permalinks) break. So you have the choice between breaking it all, leaving your old content for linking purposes and create duplicates, moving to a new system, or sticking with multiple-posts-per-page publishing.

New Google Groups Public

It’s official: Google Groups is now available in the redesigned version 2, replacing the old Google Groups. Previously Google Groups 2 Beta (with its more colorful, “Gmailish” look) was only available at a special URL unlinked from the main page.

PageRank Entertainment?

According to a post at SearchEngineWatch, Google Inc. claimed:

“The PageRank that is displayed in the Google Toolbar is for entertainment purposes only. Due to repeated attempts by hackers to access this data, Google updates the PageRank data very infrequently because is it not secure. On average, the PR that is displayed in the Google Toolbar is several months old.”

MSN Spaces

MSN Spaces Beta is Microsoft’s new free blogging service. View one of the many customizable layouts in my test blog, and feel free to try out MSNs comments-feature.


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