Is Google PageRank part of the stimulus package?

I found this one really interesting about Media Giants wanting inflated PageRank rating because they are… brand names? Trying to justify this is a backward step for net neutrality is a horrible attempt to keep the old media alive.

This actually plays nicely into a conversation I had with a friend of mine about crowd-sourcing and twitter.  He argued that the most relevant thoughts and ideas would get lost if a billion people were demanding the same attention.  I argued though that crowd-sourcing is exactly what solves this problem; the best thoughts and ideas get brought to the surface.  Some times the “best” sources don’t have a brand name and we need mechanisms like crowd-sourcing (PageRank) to sift them out.

I like this: “You should not have a system,” one content executive said, “where those who are essentially parasites off the true producers of content benefit disproportionately.” Can any newspaper say that they never find a story from another source?  I am wrong or is he calling bloggers parasites?

I do sympathsize with the jouralists out there but don’t try and cheat your way to the top.  Your only prolonging the inevitable.

I can’t see Google changing their algorithm to accommodate sites like ESPN, what do you think?

Same blog, new direction

I haven’t been able to post much lately.  I have been settling back into Canada while still working by contract at home.  I’ve decided to go a step further and contract through my newly created company, K-Jar Consulting.

I have had a few minutes here and there to really think about my career and life goals.  Its not easy!  What you really have to do is ignore all of those “fad” ideas that come and go and really find your true calling.   Even predating this blog I have been consistently passionate about government transparency, and applying web 2.0 principles to government (Government 2.o is you want a buzz word). 

Thankfully I have a like-minded friend who is equally passionite about data and its applications, so we have decided to team up and bring more awareness to the public.  The focus of this blog will reflect more about current issues and thoughts I have on government 2.0 until we can build a home for our projects.

More details will be posted in the coming days and weeks, but if you’re as equally minded about government and the future of democracy please contact me at [email protected]  

First order of business, find a website name!  Any ideas?

Hosting for Drupal & SOLR

Although setting up both is almost cut & paste I thought this hosting solution from Acquia was interesting (mainly because it references SOLR specifically).

This might be a good solution for you if you want to get something up and running quickly.

Update on LocalSOLR & Drupal

I’ve been distracted with other things the past few months but I’ve still had this on the back-burner.  I’ve had a lot of difficulties integrating LocalSOLR into the apachesolr drupal module.  The projects upgrade to 1.4 made me start from scratch again with the SOLR configuration, but with some patients and some help from pjaol (LocalSOLR author) I have a working copy.  I’m still struggling right now however making it run with other search handlers, like spelling and highlighting, but these aren’t really that important to me anyway.  I’ll have the code up soon I promise!  

If you need it right away, email me and I can walk you through it.

Your Health Care Options – ads

I was on MSNBC.com today and I noticed a nice ad from our Ministry of Health.  I was intrigued; the ad sold me on the promise of health care centers on Google maps.  This is something I don’t expect from our usually low-tech government.

ontariohealthbanner

I click the flash ad and I am presented with this page:

ontariohealthbody

Maybe it is just me but if I see a nice fancy ad and then brought to a text heavy, boring listing on paragraphs I usually would just click away, but for the sake of writing I dove deeper into the content and found the Google map (the hidden “gem” was the first link “Medical Services Directory”, but you would never know unless you clicked it).

I bet there would be 50% fewer bounces if they added a simple image highlighting the content, or at the very least give it a sexier name.  Our tax money at work!  Wasted ad spending.

That being said the search isn’t too bad, but I would have liked to see the map bigger (the legend is twice as big as the map).