Google homepage modules

Google homepage modules: Google is inviting developers to create “modules” that people can use on the customizable version of the Google homepage (or, as we call it here on the rexblog, a Portal 2.0). Actually, anyone with an RSS feed already has created a module. Unfortunately, Google makes it a little confusing by not calling it an RSS feed.

Demo: How to add a “rexblog headline module” to your Portal 2.0 Google homepage: On your “personalized” Google homepage, click the “Add Content” link and under the “Create a Section,” paste in the following URL: http://www.rexblog.com/xml/rss.xml . Tah-dah: a module.

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Alexa announcement reality check

Alexa announcement reality check: Search guru Danny Sullivan says “wait a minute” on all the genuflection taking place regarding the announcement that Alexa will start offering a “fee-based vertical search service.”

Quote:

How about more rain on the parade? Well, what could you use instead of Alexa? Let’s see:

  • Rollyo:
    Just out, allows you to create a vertical search engine by giving it a list of
    sites. Under the hood, Rollyo is tapping into Yahoo and refining it.
     
  • Gigablast: Get your own
    custom vertical search engine right now, for free, by using
    Custom Topic Search. It’s been
    out for nearly
    a year
    . Want some type of hosted service or something special. If it’s not
    listed here, I’ve no
    doubt Gigablast will step up to deliver.
     
  • Vortaloptics: This specialty
    firm began offering services back in 2003, offering to create vertical search
    engines for anyone. I

    wrote
    about them at the time as perhaps signaling a return to easy-to-make
    vertical search engines that looked likely before the dotcom downturn. They’ve
    been quiet, so perhaps no one’s taking them up on things. But then again,
    perhaps the Alexa move might revitalize things.
     
  • Google AdSense For
    Search
    : Want to search the entire web, just as Alexa offers? Out
    since
    last year
    , Google’s more than happy to give you access to its entire
    database, for free, along with ads ready to go right alongside it. Nope,
    vertical search isn’t as easy. You could try
    site-flavored
    Google search
    , or the Google API
    might help. If not, fair to say Alexa’s move will spur Google along to
    offering more and probably for free, if you want to carry ads.

     

  • Yahoo Search
    Marketing Partner Solutions
    : Yahoo doesn’t have a self-serve custom web
    search program similar to Google, but that’s only a matter of time. Until
    then, if you’re big enough, they’ll do custom solutions. Not big enough?
    There’s the Yahoo
    Search API
    you can tap into.

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Is there something I’m missing

Is there something I’m missing? I can’t figure out whether this “opinion” column in eweek.com is a ploy to attract in-coming links or a parody piece with no humor.

Quote:

“There is a stupid notion going around that the news media would be better off if anyone and everyone got to make a contribution to it. Blogs and podcasts are examples of this and reader-generated electronic “newspapers” are beginning to spring up. People who should know better see this as democratizing the flow of news and information.”

To use the analogy of “open source software” as the basis on which to fear-monger the perils of “open source content” ignores the sausage-making process of open-source software. The culture and hierarchy of control surrounding the development of a Wikipedia entry can fail or succeed — but so can the culture and control hierarchy of a software project. Therefore, it’s a bold mischaracterization of what Wikipedia (and blogs, for that matter) is to compare a few false sentences posted on a Wikipedia entry by a self-confessed prankster to the end product of an open-source software development process.

Note to those actually trying to understand the issues surrounding Wikipedia: Use editorials like the one in “eweek” as a gateway to facts, not a source of them.

Note to those actually wanting to go deeply into this topic: If you really want to ponder this topic on an intellectual and theoretical level (and you probably don’t), spend some time with the writings that link off of the Coase’s Penguin entry in Wikipedia.

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