Monthly Archives: July 2009

Microsoft and Yahoo! Team Up to Fight Google

By Peter K. Lam

Microsoft and Yahoo! Team Up

Microsoft and Yahoo! Team Up

It was announced today that Microsoft and Yahoo! are teaming up to improve the new Microsof search technology, Bing, and hopefully be a tough contender to the dominant Google. Google has remained the most popular and powerful search engine favored by the general public. Yahoo! remains the second most popular but they are still not playing on the same level as Google. The new partnership between Microsoft and Yahoo! could very well spell the end of Google’s dominance in online advertising and search results.

I haven’t used Bing yet so I don’t know how well it works. Microsoft claims it’s just as good as Google, if not better. Yahoo! is ok but is also somewhat lacking in terms of its searching capability. Microsoft and Yahoo! together are far stronger and have a good chance in taking down Google. I personally like Google simply because their search engine is very simple and is very powerful. It usually returns the best results even with very specific keywords whereas Yahoo! search returns some irrelevant results back.

I guess time will tell how successful this business venture will be for Microsoft and Yahoo!. Google still remains a force to be reckoned with but the new partnership will truly give Google a formidable challenge.

Why Does Yahoo “Expire” Their News?

By Peter K. Lam

Yahoo! 404 error

Yahoo! 404 error

I get almost all of my news thru RSS feeds. I find it to be a lot easier to just subscribe to feeds and read the news briefs all in one place then click to read more on the stuff I really care about.  I often save clippings of my favorite stories because I would either write a new blog on it or maybe use an article as source material for a new story. Yesterday I was looking through my RSS aggregator, Newsgator, and started clicking on some clippings I saved only to find that the articles have “expired.” The good stuff I saved was from Yahoo! and the all have since been removed. So I wonder, why in the world would they “expire” their online content?

First of all, one of the main principles of internet marketing is that you never, EVER, delete, remove or expire your website content unless you absolutely need to. Website credibility is built upon how long a website has been up in addition to other factors like how many pages of creditable information is online. Following this model, nobody should be taking pages off the internet unless it’s absolutely necessary to do so. One instance that may warrant page deletion would be the presentation of inaccurate information or something to that extent. Personally I still wouldn’t remove the page in that instance. I would simply post an update to that page notifying readers that the information is outdated and that they are reading an old article or old news.

Social bookmarking and sharing of articles on the web continues to grow more and more popular everyday. People who find a story interesting or valuable will bookmark a page using a site, like Delicious which happens to be owned by Yahoo! no less, or on their RSS aggregator like I did. Using sites like Digg or Buzz Up! as a means to increase exposure of articles is also growing very popular but if pages people are saving with these new methods get removed, what is the point of saving them? People save the pages expecting that they would remain online till the end of time. Nobody expects to see an article removed. It really just doesn’t make much logical sense.

The story clipping I saved from Yahoo! was a simple story about a man who found a hidden room that was completely sealed off while he renovated his newly purchased home. I really like the article and thought it had great story potential. The article was in no way shape or form time sensitive nor did it have any information in it that may prove problematic if left online. It was just an interesting story so I’m really just confused as to why such a story would be removed.

I’m not sure if Yahoo! have recently picked up this practice but every clipping that I save from them, dating as far back as seven months, have all been removed from their site. All those articles came up as 404 errors. If they kept these pages, and all the other pages they may have deleted, they would have so many more pages online. Yahoo! has been around since the dawn of the internet. I expected that they would be one of the companies out there that are fully aware of the common good practices of maintaining data on the web. I guess I was mistaken. So from now on I may just need to print out the articles I really like and save them the old fashioned way or in a few months the story will just miraculously disappear from the internet.

Dreamless

By Peter K. Lam

Midnight Dreams

Dreams have always been a great source of story material for writers. A good imagination and vivid, interesting dreams always tend to develop into stories one way or another. For me, I used to have a bunch of wild and bizarre dreams. I have written several stories based off my dreams. Just trying to make sense of the symbolism in dreams have always interest me. Unfortunately over the last several months or so, I noticed that I haven’t really dreamt when I sleep.

I’m not really sure why I haven’t had all that many dreams lately. I really enjoy dreams because every night is a new adventure. I never really know what to expect and I’m actively taking note should this new dream be good source material for another story.  I kinda miss not dreaming that much.

It could be due to any number of things. Every since I started working after college, I haven’t had time to read. I used to read a lot of books and comic books. Reading stimulates the mind and exercises the imagination. So it helps get the creative juices in my head flowing. The last book I read was almost a year ago. It was Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips which was a really funny book. I read it during a very stressful point in my life. It was a great read and just a nice little escape from the stress of the world. So since then I haven’t read much. I’m in the process of reading Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman but I’m only 100 pages in so it’s still in the beginning. I’m sure if I started reading again my imagination will kick start.

The other issue is stress. I’ve been stressed over just life in general and it just drains my mind of creativity. I guess it could be with a heavy load on the mind, it’s kind hard to be imaginative and creative during sleep. The mind is taking a much needed rest so just silence and peaceful would take precedence over dreaming. Makes sense…

One of my goals for the future is to relieve some stress and read more. Being dreamless is really no fun. Having all those dreams at night really make a difference. It may help improve the creativity of my writing too.