Saturday, October 11, 2008

Yonkly Update

Back in April I had a brief look at a Twitter clone project called Yonkley.

I browsed back to their site tonight and its' still there and apparently business is growing despite the Yonkley site itself having very little traffic. They seem to have morphed the business from straight development to hosting private label Twitter clones.

The hosted sites allow advertising, mini-cms, editable profile pages and various other features.

I find this fascinating. I can't think of terribly many businesses that would benefit from a service like this, but is one. It's people doing regular exercise programs supporting each other to keep up with their programmes. I'm sure that there are lots of other special interests that could use a service like this.

It's also interesting to me because they have a product for an obscure niche and yet they can find enough customers to stay in business.

Friday, October 10, 2008

How Microsoft could kill Linux

Another from the oldie but goodie file. I wrote this in February 2005 on Slashdot I've rescued it from their archive so I don't lose touch with it. The discussion was on how Microsoft could use the dearth of Linux device drivers to kill Linux. As is typical with me I looked at the problem the other way around.

In my opinion, and it is just opinion I have no facts to support this at all, if Microsoft released a Linux it would become a nearly instant success in the corporate market.

Year -1 (Now)

System Administrator: blah blah blah so you see how Linux would improve our productivity PHB: No way. We're not having something put together by a bunch of hackers

Year 0

System Administrator: blah blah blah so you see how Linux would improve our productivity PHB: Hmmm, OK, as long as we do it quietly. To protect us we'd better be safe & go with Microsoft Linux

Year 1

System Administrator: blah blah blah so you see how Linux would improve our productivity

PHB: Good thinking. MS Linux gets great reviews in PHB Weekly. Just make sure you get service pack 6.2.

Year 5

PHB: The CEO wants to know why aren't we running Linux on our servers?

System Administrator: It's too unstable, Microsoft keep screwing up the updates.

The few PHBs that ever knew there was a Linux before MS got in the market would quickly forget that unpleasant fact. If they ever heard of them they'd probably think Debian SuSE & Redhat were either cheap clones or outright warez. In either case something to be avoided.

Although I'm glad they didn't, I've never understood why Microsoft haven't done this, it's well within their capabilities.

Why did Neanderthals go extinct?

Back in 2005 a report appeared on the US ABC that modern Humans and Neanderthals co-existed in what is now France for over 1,000 years before the Neanderthal gradually died out. In those days I used to frequent Slashdot and there was a typical Slashdot discussion filled with hype and in-jokes on why Neanderthals went extinct. I just decided to rescue my contribution to that discussion and archive it here. Enjoy

"They started receiving email


Dear Mr Neanderthal,

First I must solicit your strictest confidence of this transaction. This is by virtue of its nature as being utterly confidential and "Top Secret".

You must be surprised hearing from me in this manner as we have not previously communicated.

Please allow me to introduce myself. I am HOMO SAPIENS SAPIENS, descendant and heir of the late HOMO HEIDELBERGENSIS of AFRICA.

Before he passed away my late ancestor secreted one hundred thousand (ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND) african elephants (AFRICAN ELEPHANTS) in the plains of Africa and I seek your assistance to export these animals to Europe where the growing shortage of the similar "Woolly mammoths" would make them highly marketable.

While the seas and deserts separating Africa from Europe are easily overcome, African Animals are unable to tolerate cold and I will need a number of large fur coats to protect them for the journey.

In return for the suply of these furs and acting as my agent for the sale I would be delighted to offer you a full 50% of the realised market value.

Yours Faithfully

Homo Sapiens Sapiens, Lagos, Africa

Yeah, I know. but I like it, and it's my blog.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Goodbye to the Rat

I've just renamed this blog from the "My name / Kiore" name it's had since I started it to simply  my name. It feels a bit weird as I've been using the Kiore nickname for over 10 years, since I signed up for OKBridge in 1996 or 1997, and when I started this blog I was definitely at least partially in that persona. For the last couple of years this has been the last place I've been using it.
I was showing someone my blog today and they asked about the Kiore, as I explained it I realised that my head and thinking are definitely elsewhere and in October 2008 the name is fairly meaningless to me.
I'll be retaining the domain name though. The logical side of me says it's too much hassle to change the registration data on 1,500 domains . The sentimental side doesn't want to let go that finally.

Sunday, October 05, 2008


As is usual for me I've got too many ideas & not enough time.

I have recently acquired and will be creating a site of some kind on it, probably a travel portal. While I'm waiting for inspiration, I've invested some time in my long neglected directory portfolio.

I run a small number of directories, mostly monetized by Google Adsense, and currently have 4 private ones and 5 open submission ones operating. All the open ones are relevant to New Zealand and I run them as genuine directories. I choose to apply my own variation on the DMOZ rules for entries: real sentences, in English, normal capitalisation and not just a string of keywords; I also find and list sites I think worthwhile in a non-reciprocal manner so they are genuine directories. I'm determined to avoid duplicate content penalties & subtly vary the wording of entries, especially between the directories, but also when compared to other links.

I find legitimate SEO practitioners submit client sites for a while and then fade away. I realise that SEO practice wants to get the links and keywords repeated verbatim on many different websites while I on the other hand want traffic, so I get my ads clicked. The two desires differ, and surely with a little management could be converged, but this seems an idea that's difficult to convey. My way of looking at it is that I am running a genuine directory that is well indexed by Google, so there is still a benefit to listing on them. At the moment I'm getting spammed by so-called SEO experts in China who seem to think having an overwelming bot attack on my site's Capcha is a professional way to promote their customers. I just delete these turkeys on sight. I get a few very welcome submissions from web site owners, so growth continues.

The public directories are

  • which has been around for a while and gets of the first page of Google for some searches. This was my first directory and has taught me how to run a smallish directory. Unfortunately some of the mistakes I made in the early days show in it, so I decided to create 2 others to experiment with different ways of presenting the same information.
  • is a site that sat around for a while with a small database doing very little. I've decided to repurpose it, initially as a near clone of Search New Zealand in terms of sites, but structured to have a flatter structure with more top level directories, and avoiding the deep directory structure I created for SearchNewZealand. I'm hoping this will make it more useful to visitors and better indexed. I'm copying the links across with light rewording. Longer term I'm going to aim more for paragraph length descriptions rather than the short DMOZ style sentences.
  • In its current incarnation is new. It's a looser version of Search New Zealand / Search Me that was initially build by merging the two databases (about 50% from each) with the Search Me structure and adding a list I had of sites that were OK, but weren't up to the quality I required for the other two directories. It will be interesting to see how it develops, I fear it will eventually become the main site, but I'll let the market decide.
  • was registered in late September 2008 and is for sports and sports related sites only (Although I do have reciprocal links to sites such as directories). I have no idea yet if the format will work, but I'm watching.
  • is a previously abandoned project I've recently resurrected. It's purely for affiliate programs, so won't be of interest to many people, but suits my needs. It's really hard to make though as I'm listing information about the affiliate program & many of them don't have all the information I want easily accessible. The logs show that I'm getting a few visitors who click through to read about the programs, so it's serving a purpose.