Free online education by Stanford and MIT

One more reason American education is the best in the world- it has a big heart.

Stanford just announced free courses starting from Jan 2012- and they are online (so no visa blues) and free( as in speech and free as in beer) and just the same as actual courses (yes , the homework will have to be done, and the dog cannot eat the homework)

http://www.venture-class.org/

MIT meanwhile has 2000 courses  at http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/

 

– but I liked Stanford’s minimal , clutter free interface ( I read Steve Jobs biography- the interface hangover continues).

Hurrah for Stanford!

MIT needs to DESIGN  their free online courses website and maybe do more search engine optimization at

http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/.

 

Mafia Wars 2 -The review of the new game on G+

Mafia Wars2 tries to be Steve Jobs working on a PC. It substitutes storyline for fancier graphics, smoother icons and design, and the numeric fun of piling up scores is almost gone. Did you mention social gaming- there are hardly any incentives for “social” part of the game. It looks like a gaudy Vegas twist to a beloved franchise.

Leave sequels to the boys in Hollywood, Pincuss/Zynga- You will need to be much more original to create the next blockbuster. Of course given the size of Zynga’s captive addict-base, the game will be a hit. But it will be a hit more like Transformers 3 , than likes of Blade Hunter or Terminator 2.

May we suggest another NEW game , than rebooting the squeezed lemon juice of a beloved and now departed friend-chise.

ps The song is irritating too. and the skimpy clad players are insulting.

 

10 Ways We will miss Steve Jobs

I am not an Apple fanboy.In fact I dont use a Mac (because Linux works well for me at much cheaper rates)

I am going to miss Steve Jobs like I miss …… still.

1) The Original Pirate – I liked Steve Jobs ever since I saw Pirates of Silicon Valley, I wanted to be like the Jobs who created jobs http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pirates_of_Silicon_Valley

Artists steal. Yeah baby!

2) Music -Itunes Improbably the man who came up with the idea of music @ 99 cents helped more artists earn money in the era of Napster. Music piracy is not dead, but at 99 cents you CAN afford the songs

3) Aesthetics- and Design- as competitive barriers. It was all about the interface. People care about interfaces. Shoody software wont sell.

4) Portable Music- yes I once wrote a poem on my first Ipod. http://www.decisionstats.com/ode-to-an-ipod/ No , it doesnot rank as the top ten poems on Ipod in SERP

Walkman ‘s evolution was the Ipod – and it was everywhere.

5) Big Phones can be cool too- I loved my IPhone and so did everyone. But thats because making cool phones before that was all about making the tiniest thinnest phone. Using Videochat on Iphone and webs surfing were way much cooler than anything before or since.

6) Apps for Money for Geeks. Yes the Apps marketplace was more enriching to the geek universe than all open source put together.

7) Turtleneck Steve- You know when Steve Jobs was about to make a presentation because one week before and one week later the whole tech media behaved like either a fanboy or we are too cool to be an Apple fanboy but we will report it still. The man who wrote no code sold more technology than everyone else using just a turtleneck and presentations.

8) Pixar toons- Yes Pixar toons made sure cartoons were pieces of art and not just funny stuff anymore. This one makes me choke up

9) Kicking Microsoft butt- Who else but Steve can borrow money from MS and then beat it in every product it wanted to.

10) Not being evil. Steve Jobs made more money for more geeks than anyone. and he made it look good! The original DONT BE EVIL guy who never needed to say it aloud

Take a bow Steve Jobs (or touch the first Apple product that comes to your hand after reading this!)

The article was first written on Aug 25,2011 on Steve Jobs resignation news.It has been updated to note his departing from this planet as of yesterday.

 

 

 

 

The SEO mess on joining blog aggregators

 

Mug shot of Paris Hilton.
Image via Wikipedia

 

If you are an analytics blogger who writes, and is aggregated on an analytical community- read on- Here’s how blog aggregation communities can help you lose 30% of all future traffic long term, while giving you a short term.

The problem is not created by Blogging Communities (like R-Bloggers, or PlanteR, or Smart Data Collective or AnalyticBridge or even BeyeBlogs )

It is created by the way Google Page Rank is structured- you see given exactly the same content on two different we pages- Google Page Rank will place the higher Page Rank results higher. This is counter intutive and quite simple to rectify- The Google Spider can just use the Time Stamp for choosing which article was published where first (Obviously on your blog, AND then later to the aggregator).

How bad is the mess? Well joining ANY blog aggregation will lead to an instant lift of upto 10-50 % of your current traffic as similar bloggers try and read about you. However you can lose the long term 30% proportion which is a benchmark of search engine created traffic for you.

So do you opt out of blog aggregation? No. It’s a SEO mess and it’s unfair to punish your blog aggregator, most of whom are running on ad-supported sponsors or their own funds on dry fumes to publish your content. Most of the fore mentioned communities are created by excellent people I interacted with heavily- and they are genuinely motivated to give readers an easy way to keep up with blogs. Especially Smart Data Collective, Analyticbridge and R-bloggers whose founders I have known personally.

You can do one thing- create manual summaries in the excerpt feature of your blog posts- it’s just below the WordPress page. And switch your RSS feed to summary rather than full. It avoids losing keyword rank to other websites, it prevents the Blog Aggregation from gaining too much influence in key word related searches, and it keeps your whole eco system happy, Best of All it helps readers of Blog Aggregators- since most of them use a summary on the front page anyways.

An additional thought on Google Page Rank- something I have sulked over but not spoken for a long long time.  It ignores the value of reader- If Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and 500 ceos from Fortune 500 companies read my blog but do not link to it- it will count daily traffic as 500. Probably it will give more weightage to Paris Hilton fans.

A suggestion-humbly- you can use IP Address lookup of visitors to see if traffic is coming from corporate sources or retail sources -Clicky from GetClicky does this. Use it as feedback in Google Analytics as well as Google Trends.

And maybe PageRank needs to add quantity and quality of visitors as additional variables . Do a A/B test guys some Chi Square juice- its not quite Mad Men Adverting but its still good fun.

 

PageRank
Image via Wikipedia

 

and the world is one big community as per xkcd


Google stuck on Gears

Google has launched support for Droid the mobile operating system but forgot to include support for their own browser- Chromium. Atleast if you can support Windows Explorer and Firefox for Gears, surely you can add support for Gears for Chromium.Maybe with an Ad or two 😉 .Since Al Gore invented the internet and he sits as a consultant for the California boys, maybe he can advise them as well on the anti trust investigations with Apple (cough).