Posted by Tim Ireland at 30 September 2008

Category: Search Engine Optimisation

Google 4 Grown-Ups is a search engine seminar with a live afternoon workshop, written and presented by yours truly:

Google 4 Grown-Ups
SEO Training Seminar
9am – 4pm Friday 10th October, 2008
Radisson Edwardian Grafton Hotel, London UK

The short version is that I’ve taken everything I’ve learned over the past 10 years (my first SEO experiments began in the day-long summer of 1998) and have carefully distilled it into a brand new seminar with something useful for everyone from beginners up, including these crucial aspects:

– How to form a keyword strategy that will last for years

– How to deploy that strategy so it brings in immediate returns

– How to structure that strategy so it brings in ever-increasing returns, with link popularity being your only variable

– What to consider when deciding the best method of link generation for your website

And after we’ve covered all of that, we’ll sit down for a tasty lunch and a chat, then reconvene for a workshop where we’ll address specific issues relating to the websites of audience members.

Even an expert can walk away from this seminar with something new, even if it’s ‘only’ the ability to finally explain what he does to laymen. (This is more important than you might think, because generally it’s a layman signing the cheques.)

So…. by now some of you will be wondering how you’re going to get your hands on that free ticket. Well, let me tell you about the three potential paths to freebie-land:

(Deadline for entries: 12 midnight, Sunday October 5th 2008)

1. Beg privately via email

Couldn’t be easier, or more demeaning. Just send me an email with the subject header ‘g4gu: begging for tickets’. Put what you like in the body of the email. Just make sure that you beg.

Begging privately via email = 1 chance in the draw

2. Tell a tale of search engine serendipity
(requires use of a weblog)

The role of search engines in the formation of networks should never be underestimated. I know of several long-time readers of Bloggerheads who first arrived via a search engine or search engine experiment, including Tom Watson. Most readers of weblogs will have at least one story in them about how they met a close friend/associate via a search engine and/or weblog… now is a good time to tell that story and (maybe) cash in. Once you’ve blogged it, drop me a line and send me a link to it.

Telling a tale of search engine serendipity = 5 chances in the draw

3. Convert to my religion and/or testify
(requires use of a weblog)

I’ve been trying to score a top search result for ‘religion’ in Google for years; last month I came tantalisingly close as I quietly slipped in and out of the Top 10 for the first time. With just a few more converts, I can finally take this long-term experiment to the next level. Click here to begin the conversion process and make sure that you let me know once you have converted.

If you have already converted (and many readers have) simply tell your readers why you did this and when, then send me a link to that post.

Converting to my religion and/or testifying = 10 chances in the draw

By now you may have noticed that web users with weblogs have a distinct advantage over those who don’t:

1. There will be no charge for this free lesson on How Teh Internets Work

2. Of course this competition is rigged! What do you take me for?

Once the deadline for entries has passed, I’ll draw a few items from the pile at random, and then choose one of my mates as the winner. Simple as.

(OK, I kid. The free ticket will go to the one reader of Bloggerheads that I regard to have the greatest need and/or the most potential. So choose your method and manner of entry wisely.)

The winner will be announced Monday 6th Oct, 2008.

Click here to find out more about Google 4 Grown-Ups.

UPDATE (28 Oct) – A report on this first event has now gone live here.

Click here to find out when the next Google 4 Grown-Ups seminar and workshop will be held.








Posted by Tim Ireland at 30 September 2008

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

At the fringe of the 2008 Conservative Party Conference, a ‘Freedom & the Internet’ panel was chaired by notorious control-freak and liar Iain Dale, and featured Guido Fawkes, Phil Hendren, Chris Mounsey, Nadine Dorries. Oh, and last-minute hanger-on Praguetory.

Quite a line-up.

/understatement

The event went so well that not one of the bloggers who appeared on this panel has blogged about it yet, though it should be noted for the record that Mounsey can perhaps be excused on (ahem) compassionate grounds.

Some twitters from witnesses who are obviously enemies of freedom include:

Someone on the panel saying that ‘the internet’ needs to clean up its act. Personally, I’ve heard nothing but resistance to this idea from almost every member of this panel (and/or their sock puppets), and the chair (and/or his sock puppets). I’d be very interested to hear who actually said it.

No prizes for guessing who made this claim, though:

apparently guido fawkes (www.order-order.com) is on the a-level syllabus (source)

Paul ‘Guido’ Staines has also claimed that he is responsible for the most popular political video in the UK, that he’s getting up to five times more traffic than he has actually tracked, and that his blog is worth “at least” a million pounds.

We probably should have known what we were in for when the thieving little sod turned up out of the blue in 2005 and immediately declared himself and two mates (including Alex Hilton) to be “three of Britain’s most popular political bloggers”.

Paul ‘Guido’ Staines is also oddly fond of claiming that he does a lot of work to keep the BNP at bay. And that’s all that gets deleted under comments on his site, obviously. Staines would never stoop to censoring comments and/or making anonymous comments on his own website (while screaming ‘astroturfer’ at others) when it’s his own fat arse on the line, oh no.

A most revealing comment from the floor twittered here; it was suggested that delegates “blur the lines between fact and fiction ‘with integrity’…”

OK, stop laughing at the back, there’s still a lot of Dorries to get through.

(pause)

What did I just say?

(pause)

*sigh*

OK, just hold your sides and we’ll soldier on as best we can:

Her Majesty enters the room, and all are amazed at this dazzling vision of truth and purity.

Almost a year after suddenly closing comments on her ‘blog’, Nadine Dorries still hasn’t come up with a plausible excuse: 1, 2, 3.

Nadine Dorries declares that she gets someone else to do the actual posting for her. Wow. She’s an even more pathetic blog-pretender than I previously gave her credit for.

Nadine Dorries claims that the chief whip has been telling her what she can and cannot blog. But she’s probably just big-noting herself.

Nadine Dorries effectively calls the Tory front bench a bunch of liars!

At a later event ‘Collaboration or Control? Politics and the Internet in the 21st Century’ featuring Robert Colvile (Telegraph), Iain Dale, Jeremy Hunt MP and Paul Morris (Microsoft), it was twittered that someone (probably Colvile) cited Nadine Dorries as the reason why most MPs don’t blog:

mp nadine has just been quoted as the reason most other mp’s don’t have blogs. but they’ll have to come round eventually (source)

Dale was up to speak immediately afterwards. What he said in response to that is not mentioned, but he’s unlikely to tell MPs that what Nadine is doing isn’t really blogging.

All hail Teh Grand Ambassadors of Political Blogging.

(Psst! Another highlight: Jeremy Hunt apparently claiming that Web 2.0 belongs to the right. In 2006, Hunt was confronted with evidence that two totally-2.0 Tory activists working under neighbouring MP Anne Milton had produced an anonymous weblog claiming that a political opponent was a paedophile. Like Dale, Hunt refused to condemn the action, or even mention it. What a nice guy.)

UPDATE – As I was writing this, Phil ‘nuisance caller’ Hendren finally managed to blog something about the event, but couldn’t squeeze out anything beyond more blurring of the lines between fact and fiction. With integrity, obviously.

(Re: Dorries’ apparent decision to stop pretending to blog… don’t get your hopes up.)








Posted by Tim Ireland at 29 September 2008

Category: Consume!

Hi gang!

It looks like Google Images has dipped in for a second helping over at the B3ta boards (click here for background) so it’ll probably be a few weeks yet before we see any relevant results for ‘julie moult’ in Google Images.

Therefore, (a) for now I’ll just have to settle for being the top text result for her name almost everywhere, and (b) there’s no point putting off the first round of prizes any longer.

Well, maybe a *bit* longer.

:o)

There’ll be a general prize-giving from the prize shelf next Monday afternoon (the latest thinking is to just let winners just choose an item off the shelf, neatly side-stepping any random draw nonsense), PLUS, on the same day I’ll be giving away a free ticket to my upcoming SEO seminar.

Details to follow.








Posted by Tim Ireland at 29 September 2008

Category: Christ...

Oi, you lot!

Go work your own side of the streetthis spot’s taken.








Posted by Tim Ireland at 26 September 2008

Category: Geekage

This is my new favourite thing:
Dracula’s Lament (Jason Segel)

From the not-bad movie Forgetting Sarah Marshall.

The best cover I’ve heard so far is here.

It’s so sad and lovely, and I’d like to encourage further appearances of this song, so consider this a litle way-station for people who are taking a serious interest in it.

Here are the lyrics:

Jason Segel – Dracula’s Lament

It’s getting kind of hard to believe things are going to better.
I’ve been drowning too long to believe that the tide’s going to turn.
And I’ve been living too hard to believe things are going to get easier now.
I’m still trying to shake off the pain from the lessons I’ve learned.
And if I see Van Helsing I swear to the Lord I will slay him. AH-HAH-HAH-HAH!
He’d take it from me, but I swear I won’t let it be so. AH-HAH-HAH-HAH!
Blood will run down his face when he is decapitated. AH!
His head on my mantle is how I will let this one know: how much I love you.

Die.

Die.

Die.

I can’t.

*sniff*

I just need a moment…

(grimaces)
(cracks)
(bawls)

UPDATE – OK, some passable tabs can be found here (hidden under ‘more info’), complete with a handy video. Fine and selfless work from enigma515, who has also done this same job on Peter, You Suck).

Do shout out if you find a better/tidier version or if you think you can better/tidy any of this.








Posted by Tim Ireland at 26 September 2008

Category: Christ..., US Presidential Election 2008

By now most of you would have seen this video of Sarah Palin crashing and burning on CBS just as David Letterman pointed out that McCain himself doesn’t appear to think that Palin can handle the campaign, never mind the presidency.

Glenn Greenwald offers further evidence and says; “it’s now conclusively, disturbingly clear that the McCain campaign really does intend essentially to shield her from any and all media scrutiny until the election.”

And it’s not just media scrutiny she wants to avoid, boys and girls, but witchcraft as well.

(Lovely apolitical message from the pulpit there, too; “Bring finances her way even for the campaign in the name of Jesus!”… *pause*…. and lo, there was a miracle, as those who heard his words took this as some sort of hint, though this was not the way it was meant at all! Truly the work of Teh Lord.)

And to top off a great week, she’s just declared victory in Iraq!

But join me now as we step past her awesome vacuity (via this excellent post on the subject of Nadine Dorries and her awesome vacuity) and look instead at the outright lies she has told:

Andrew Sullivan – The Twelve Lies Of Sarah Palin: So for the record, let it be known that the candidate for vice-president for the GOP is a compulsive, repetitive, demonstrable liar. If you follow the links, here is the proof. I repeat: proof…

Do click and read that post in full. It contains some of that magic pixie dust that Sarah promised to return with just before running over the horizon with her tail between her legs.

sarah palin wants steak

FFS:
“But she’s got a new hat.”
“But she’s got a new hat.”
“But she’s got a new hat.”

PS:
Can anyone give me one good reason why I shouldn’t burn Sarah Palin in effigy this coming bonfire night? I’ve rather cooled on the idea of burning Staines, not least because the requisite voodoo would require a long soaking in a large amount of alcohol and put the eyebrows of an entire village at risk. (For those who came in late: 2005, 2007)








Posted by Tim Ireland at 25 September 2008

Category: Christ..., The Political Weblog Movement, Tories! Tories! Tories!

FACT: Nadine Dorries was using facilities paid for by the taxpayer for campaigning purposes…
Bloggerheads.com – Nadine Dorries and the minor matter of misappropriation
Liberal Conspiracy – The case against Nadine Dorries MP (pt 1)

FACT: Nadine Dorries was found to be in the wrong…
Ministry of Truth – Dishonesty Dorries Rides [Yet] Again
Liberal Conspiracy – Our complaint against Nadine Dorries MP upheld

But if you were to believe Nadine Dorries (usually a mistake), she has been the victim of a party-political attack that has been a waste of taxpayer’s money! The projection is quite extraordinary…
Nadine Dorries – The Big Issues Of Our Time (And Wasting Parliamentary Time)

[WARNING – The above link only works in some browsers, because Nadine’s ‘blog’ is a joke. You will have to scroll down the page in search of the relevant entry.]

And you were to give Iain Dale the benefit of the doubt (again, usually a mistake), he was merely taking a friend at her word and not trying to reinforce her distortion or further her projection…
Iain ‘Liar’ Dale – Sunny Hundal & Nadine Owe Each Other An Apology

I initially waited to comment on this because I wanted to see more of the letter than what Dorries chose to disclose (the woman has a history of cherry-picking evidence in order to present a grand distortion of the truth).

Now I’m waiting patiently to see how Iain Dale addresses his earlier demand for an apology and his description of Sunny’s complaint as a ‘smear’.

But one aspect I can tackle immediately is Dorries’ quite sickening attempt to hide under a pile of dead bodies and despair:

Nadine Dorries – The Big Issues Of Our Time (And Wasting Parliamentary Time)

This whole matter has been a personal wake-up call for me.

There’s the threat of international terrorism; a rudderless government in decline; huge economic uncertainty; the war in Afghanistan; a global energy crisis; the re-emergence of Russian aggression; and the spread of HIV in Africa.

But what about the complainant? Does the content of my blog really warrant such attention?

I think this has been a most revealing episode as to his type of politics – it’s certainly not mine.

Putting aside the deceit that how we conduct political debates matters less than any given subject that may or may not be worthy of debate, lets take a look and see how Nadine Dorries addresses the issues she lists as more important than paying any (negative) attention to what she laughingly describes as a blog:

Apart from this particular mention, on that ‘blog’ of hers she has mentioned HIV once, and Africa once. And not in the same breath or even in the same year.

FFS, Abba got more mentions on her ‘blog’ than HIV or Africa or HIV in Africa.

She has mentioned Afghanistan three times, and Russia three times (once to describe her ‘blogging’ as a form of Russian roulette). Ditto for terrorism/terrorists. On the economy, I did searches for words like ‘economy’, ‘debt’ and ‘credit crunch’ and found a mere half-dozen entries.

Further, Iraq is only mentioned five times, and torture doesn’t rate a single mention.

Meanwhile, ‘abortion’, her personal campaign cow, brings up 51 entries. The bulk of these entries are from the period when the weblog was clearly an integrated part of a website paid for by taxpayers.

(If you would like to play this game yourself, simply click here and then add the word of your choice in the search box.)

Related bloggage:
Septicisle – Nadine Dorries just cannot stop lying
Mark Pack – What does “completely cleared” mean?
Sim-O – Nadine spins
Enemies of Reason – Lies, lies, lies, lies, lies
Back Toward The Locus – Sorry, Are You Into Politics?








Posted by Tim Ireland at 24 September 2008

Category: Geekage

I have another thrill-a-minute excerpt from Sgt Streetwise for you. In this episode, Wise is a lush lush on the hush-hush. Tramps never go out of fashion!

(Psst! Did you know that Sgt Streetwise was written on a regular basis by Gerry Finley-Day, creator of Rogue Trooper? Well, you do know.)

Action, adventure and immaculate hair await you below the fold. Enjoy!

(more…)








Posted by Tim Ireland at 24 September 2008

Category: Humanity, Old Media, Teh Interwebs

An alert popped into my inbox at around 3am this morning, letting me know that Julie Moult finally returned to work late last night (almost a month after this embarrasment), apparently by ‘researching’ the vapour-trail left behind by Finnish gunman Matti Juhani Saari and then adding fresh details to this Daily Mail article.

Actually, the edit timestamps and the author’s failure to know/note the difference between profile text and a “posting” suggest that Julie simply lifted some details from this growing Wikipedia entry and invented the rest.

Here, let me show you what I mean…

This is what the article claims:

One posting made five days before the shooting said: ‘Whole life is war and whole life is pain. And you will fight alone in your personal war.’ (source)

Oh, really?

1. It is not a “posting”; it is text that appears in his YouTube profile. Like his list of interests/hobbies (“Computers, guns, sex and beers”) it is not a post, article or announcement, but instead intended to be general background about the user.

So far we’ve only split a hair, but stay with me…

2. No mention is made of the fact that these are lyrics, and not the words of Saari himself. Yes, lyrics can be chosen and used a personal statement, but why not say that? And while we’re at it, why would the Daily Mail of all papers miss an opportunity to jump up and down and point the finger at people with long hair who make loud music? (See also: Saari’s chosen screen name, Wumpscut86, and this link from his small pile of 18 ‘favourites’.)

Again with the hair, but we’re almost there. Here’s the whopper…

3. Did Saari dramatically post this text to Teh Internets “five days before the shooting”, as this article suggests? No, he didn’t. The text has been in place for well over a month, as the following screen capture of the time-stamped Google cache clearly shows.

The man killed 10 people. FFS, why would anyone feel the need to invent drama?

Perhaps to capitalise on the tragedy and shift a few more units? I’ll leave you to decide.

screengrab of cache of wumpscut86 youtube profile

Speaking of capitalising on a tragedy, several YouTube users are cunningly adding ‘wumpscut86’ to their profiles and/or video details in order to capture a few extra viewers, so hooray for them.

One bright spark even went so far as to pose as Matti Saari, posting several of his videos under the profile name ‘Mydadhitsmymom’ and claiming “yea whats up its me the guy that shot the school – i did it for the lulz”. Hilarious.

Still, I invite you to take a look at the comments left under that version of the ‘Good BYE’ footage. Essentially, these people have just been trolled by someone who is as funny as cancer, yet I can’t help but wonder what they were thinking as they posted these comments under what most of them clearly thought to be the account of a man who had just killed 10 people and was, at the time*, lying in a hospital suffering from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

(*These comments were all made between 0930 and 1030 GMT.)

Were they hoping that Saari would be able to read their comments in the afterlife? If by some miracle he had lived and was then tried, convicted and imprisoned, did they expect him to login to YouTube and reply from his cell? It boggles the mind.

grab of comments submitted to wumpscut86 video hosted by mydadhitsmymom

(BTW, for those who are wondering, ‘kusipää’ is a Finnish word that’s used in much the same way that you or I would say ‘bastard’, ‘arsehole’, or ‘Hendren’. Literally, it translates as ‘pisshead’.)

Related:
Ingram 2.0 – Shooter’s YouTube account didn’t help








Posted by Tim Ireland at 23 September 2008

Category: Consume!, George W. Bush, The War on Stupid

Independent – Bush launches $700bn rescue plan and confesses he didn’t realise how severe problems were

Justin sees another parallel here.

Applaud* the artist here.

(*Save something for Tinkerbell.)

(Oh, and for Dog’s sake, stop playing with your pocket change.)

[Image not stolen. Used with permission. I don’t normally need to point that out, but a certain someone fresh from a rough afternoon should be on his umpteenth unit and *this* close to kicking the cat by now and I feel like rubbing his nose in it, just to set him off. Because I loathe cats. And because that’s what leading bloggers do. Apparently.]








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