Was it something we said?

Our ranting has become notably less authoritative recently. (Odd, as I feel at least as authoritative as I have ever been. i.e. not at all.) And consistently less visible.

Maybe somebody has an explanation. The whole blogternet can’t have (slightly) broken, can it?

  • A week or so ago, I tried to post a comment on a student post on Pharyngula – to be told repeatedly, in the face of the evidence – that I needed to have a name and an email address. Checked. Yes they were definitely there. I copied and pasted. I rewrote them several times.

    The helpful message (I paraphrase here, and use leaden sarcasm while I’m doing it) said I was probably being blocked as spam, but that I could try enabling javascript or cookies or allowing/ deleting the science-blog cookies. Tried them all. My comment stayed unposted. It wasn’t a great loss to twenty-first century thought, to be honest. Still…

  • This blog has been leaking Technorati “authority” like an authority-leaking sieve. Over the past month, we’ve been dropping a few links a day, according to Technorati.

    One day, it was something like 40 down today from the previous day. I’m pretty certain I would have noticed three months ago, if the blog had suddenly accumulated 40 links in one day, . So how could we lose them all in one day?

    Oddly, firestats and feedburner show that blog hits are much higher than they were when we had twice the “authority”, three months ago.

  • We’ve been intermittently vanishing from the Atheist blogroll over the past few weeks. This now seems to have become a permanent affliction. I hovered over the blog’s name on an Atheist blogroll site that has a static list. It said the the last post was on Friday at 12:38. Well, no. There have been a good few posts since then.
  • When the blog has appeared on the blog roll, over the past few weeks, it has taken at least an hour to appear. If the posts are queued somewhere for an hour, where is that please? Because it doesn’t seem apply to other posts that just appear after they are posted.

    When we’ve looked at the time stamps of blogs that appear long before ours, we find they’ve been written later. And magically appeared without falling into some warp dimension on the way. Maybe it’s crossing the Atlantic then? No, that doesn’t work either. There are UK-based blogs that pop up seemingly almost as soon as they are posted.

    We were even testing an ongoing hypothesis that the blogroll would only display this blog name when there were another more recent three blogs to put ahead of it. We never managed to falsify this.

    However, being ungrateful at being consistently fourth started to seem a bit churlish when we vanished completely.

  • TW has tried pinging the blogroll, in various ways, without any effect. Pinging Technorati seems to have an effect, in that Technorati will usually list a post within a few minutes of a ping. Or even respond to the auto-ping function and find the blog posts, all by itself.

As a side-effect, an increasing proportion of visitors are coming directly from search engines. There is a fair amount of entertainment value in working out how some of these searches would have led to here, unless every other blog in the known world had already been taken straight to heaven in the Rapture.

Anyone with any ideas about what’s going on?

You’ll thank me later

I am following the lead of Migrations blog and pasting the Atheist Blogroll.

Number 21 of 50 Signs you’re a blogaholic reminds me that, for a true blogaholic:

# You care more about what Technorati says about your authority than what your children do.

Given that Technorati treats the Atheist Blogroll as having no effect on ranking anymore – possibly because it usually appears in a sidebar or it uses a script or both – I decided to give everyone on Mojoey’s Atheist Blogroll a link (as Migrations did) and up everyone’s authority a tad:

Continue reading

When Technology Goes Bad

Comically, it seems Technorati has died a death again this weekend. This is becoming a regular occurrence now (read through some of the posts here about it) and, given the nature of the industry in which Technocrappy wants to compete I really did think they would try harder. It seems they don’t.

Still, I am as fickle as the next person and more than happy to bask in the temporary brilliance of their current mistake. It seems that, today, this blog is ranked Number 1 in the world. If you don’t believe me, have a look at this screenshot:

Technorati Screenshot - Taken 04 Aug 07

As you can see, this is recent and we are, indeed number 1 in the world ๐Ÿ™‚ Sadly, I am not convinced this will last for long… (Check out the ranking yourself and see if has reverted to our normal, low, position) [tags]Technorati, Page Rank, Technorati Rank, Technorati Monster, Technology, Bad Technology, Web Service, Web 2.0, Social Web, Blogs, Blog Aggregators[/tags]

Scientific Vigilante

In the course of commenting on each post I read, I have come across a problem very early on. I don’t have, and don’t want, a blogger account which makes it impossible for me to comment on some blogs hosted by blogspot / blogger (see how many times you can engineer the word blog into a sentence…). To work around this, I am going to have to make my comments here instead.

On the plus side, this has the added advantage of giving the recipient blog a technorati backlink if they are interested in that sort of thing.

Anyway, the Biologists Helping Bookstores blog is hilarious. It is a shame I never came across it before. Basically, this person goes round bookstores and re-categorises the woo-books into more appropriate places, mainly moving non-science back into religion where it belongs.

My favourite post though is La Jolla Bookstar, 7/20/2007 one. Not only did it generate the comment which inspired the title for this post, but it includes the blog author moving Behe’s book to the New Age section:

Six copies of Behe’s new non-science book are relocated to their rightful place next to Everyday Magic, The Love Spell, and Grimoire for the Green Witch (what is “grimoire” anyway?).

Perfect! It is accompanied by photos as well… What more could you ask for? Although I have never done this myself, it seems lots of people have – well done to them all.

[tags]Blog, Comment Week, Biology, Behe, Evolution, Non-Science, New Age,grimoire, technorati, religion, science, society[/tags]

Rant about spam

It seems a hostage to fortune to say I don’t really care about spam coming to my inbox to advertise shares or pharmaceuticals or just spill out gibberish concrete poetry. One sort of spam that makes me really angry is the “System Admin” stuff that says it’s been returned from email address x@blah.com because there was an undeliverable message from my email account.

It is impossible to know which of these are spoofed from start to finish. Most, I am told. However, some could be legitimate in the sense of actually recording an attempted spam going somehere – in which case my email account has been used to spam other people. Which is obviously much worse than just getting spam yourself because it destroys your credibility.

A man I know had an AOL account that banned him three times because his address was being used as a spam source. He was mortified and out of his depth on each occasion – he had chosen AOL as his service provider, for a start, so, almost by definition, he knew virtually nothing about the Internet.

(On another occasion, this rant will expand into the area of spam comments and how it means that we have to use Akismet, which occasionally deletes real ones as it goes into a destroying frenzy, losing good comments. as well as making us look churlish.

Not that this blog can claim to be innocent of general churlishness, but the comment-deleting churlishness isn’t our fault. The ongoing looney debate shows us bending over backwards – to the point of tying ourselves in infinite knots – to avoid being churlish to soemone who is a looney fundamentalist, by his own admission.)

More Technobabble

The Register reports on Technorati’s problems resulting from its redesign. It knocked itself out of operation (surely not unprecedented for Technorati. I thought it let its imaginary Monster out to ravage it every weekend)

The Register argues that Technorati has more or less given up on indexing blogs and concentrated on images.

So what was always a lousy blog search tool is now little more than a lousy image search tool – this is not going to worry Yahoo! or Google

I hope not. For all my whining about it, Technorati is pretty useful.

Technorati links mystery

Technorati gives this blog a level of authority that could be considered pretty generous,given the unauthoritative nature of most of our posts. However, for the uninitiated, in Technoratispeak, “authority” refers to how popular you blog is, determined by how many other blogs link to it, not by how authoritative your content is (mercifully…).

But, links to us from the Atheist Blogroll that I can actually see on my screen – and that send visitors to us, according to FireStats – haven’t been listed for months.

I’ve tried researching the reasons for this, unsure whether the fault lies with our code (that would hardly be a first), our recent attempts to restyle the site (not an unmitigated success, yet), Technorati or the Atheist blogroll’s code.

I am none the wiser. This appears in Technorati’s explanation for why links may not get picked up.

If the link was in a blogroll, you may want to check to see if the hyperlink to your blog is located in the blog source of the blogroll. Blogroll links that are generated via a tool or script are not seen. The blogroll must reside in the blog home page as well. If the blogroll is in a subsection or directory of the site, it is not seen or picked up

On an experimental basis, I visited the most recent posters (at the top of the blogroll list on the left.)

onegoodmove.org doesn’t actually show the blogroll, nor have a link to Technorati that I could have used to check if it picks up the link from us.

Sans God has us on the Blogroll, on the index page and not below the so-called jump (other Technorati forum reasons for not seeing links) When I looked for blogs that link to Sans God, I see: “Why Dont You Blog? by Admin Istrator ร‚ยท 44 days ago ” Well no. It rather looks to me as if we linked to them today and yesterday and the day before and so on. When the 6 months from 44 days ago is up, we will disappear off their list of linked blogs.

God is pretend has a scrolling blogroll. Maybe that’s why our blog – which shot itself in the listing foot by starting with a letter as close as dammit to the end of the alphabet – doesn’t appear to be linked to from here. But, wait, God is pretend has only 3 inbound links and Whydontyou doesnt appear in the three. Maybe that’s because they are using a script.

We get lots of links from visitors to Gratuitous common sense and I can see us quite clearly on their blogroll, on the index page, not below the jump etc. Ahha. Technorati thinks this has links from whydontyou, but dates them as 35 and 50 days ago…..

I am getting bored with this. You get the picture. The only links that keep getting consistently
updated are from Parabiodox (ffs :-D) and content-scrapers. Any ideas?