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Preview: Blog on the Side - Darlene Fichter

Blog on the Side - Darlene Fichter





Updated: 2010-03-23T13:37:37.834-06:00

 



Tag Cloud of Tweets for Internet Librarian 2009

2009-10-28T23:38:12.798-06:00

amp apps awesome bit books cerf cloud com conference decks digital getting going google http idea info internet keynote librarian library library101 libs live love ly marketing mobile monterey people please presentation quot really search session site social students talk thanks tweets twitter users ustream via vint web work www created at TagCrowd.comTags: il2009 | web manager | internet librarian[...]



WebSite Improvement Faceoff

2009-10-27T13:19:14.936-06:00

Faceoff



Web Manager's Academy - Mind map of topics

2009-10-25T12:56:26.607-06:00

Just a quick map of what topics are of the most interest.

(image)

Created with bubbl.us.


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Web Manager's Academy Word Cloud - Internet Librarian 2009

2009-10-25T12:52:33.963-06:00

What do participants want to know? analytics apps assess attractive best buy-in change cms collaboration committee contribution decisions design device federated feeds fresh friendly ideas integration intranet levels manage meta-tagging migration mobile needs participate partnering picture promotion redesign resistance retain rss search seo sharing staff staffing statistics study tips tools training usability user web created at TagCrowd.com[...]






CIL Tweet Cloud for April 1: Mining the Conversations

2009-04-02T00:21:25.408-06:00

The Raw Truth*24 hours50 tweets per page x ~ 25 pages = ~ 1250 tweets3,472 paragraphs30,944 words *standard pagination and navigation / twitter links stripped where possible, posting client not stripped Photo by Brian Sawyer via FlickrHere's a tag cloud showing the tweets for the 24 hours for the last day of Computers in Libraries. ahumber anna anyone app apr around atwitter avatar best better binkylush blackboard cfboeninger change cil09 cil2009 citegeist class cms code commons community confbaldgeek conference content create data dcpl dead defaultuserryt different digital drupal dsc00625 e-learning elearning etc everyone expand fed federated fichter flickr free fun future getting girl give going google group head help hiddenpeanuts home images info information infowidget instruction interesting iphone jdhead joomla justnathan keynote kinggoji knowledge laurasolomon lct learning librarians library lisacarlucci looking lorireed lot lyndamk magname meet mlibrarianus mobile mojo msauers needs normal org patrons people phone photo pic3 plan point presentation profile project rcooper really reformalogonew reformanet resources rodzvilla rt search session share shawnfielding site skills slides slideshare smithsonian social solutions space staff start strnglibrarian support talk tech techfun technology thanks things think tinyurl today tools track training tuxinboots tweetdeck tweetie twitter twitterfon twitterfox txt usability used users val video web wk08c work www year created at TagCrowd.comTags: | cil2009 | chatter | cloud | computers in libraries| tweet | twitter [...]



Librarians Rule! Dead Tech Presentation showcased by Slideshare

2009-04-01T10:32:33.868-06:00

Hurrah - this email was not an April Fool's prank. Had to check that before I was fooled in front of many many folks.

Check it out on the Slideshare Tech page -- have a couple of laughs -- don't forget to eat some chocolate or drink some beer for some of the more dire predictions. Warning ... cataloguers - this presentation may be hazardous to your career ;-).

Oh and if you like it please pass it along.


Screen snapshot via Flickr

First this email:

Hi fichter!
Your presentation Dead & Innovative Technology: Moving & Shaking in the Information World is currently being showcased on the 'Technology' page by our editorial team.

It's likely to remain there for the next 16-20 hours...


And boy does Slideshare know how to flatter folks (LOL). Their second email calls you a rockstar. Sharing this because of how they are promoting the use of social media for promotion and doing a workshop on that tomorrow.

You're a SlideShare RockStar

Hi fichter,

We've noticed that your slideshow on SlideShare has been getting a LOT of views in the last 24 hours. Great job ... you must be doing something right. ;-)

Why don't you tweet or blog this? Use the hashtag #bestofslideshare so we can track the conversation.

Congratulations,
-SlideShare Team


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Dead Tech and Cool Tools Presentations at Computers in Libraries 2009

2009-04-01T00:19:43.990-06:00

Here are the slides from the Cool Tools presentation that Frank Cervone and I did at Computers in Libraries 2009 served up by Slideshare.net (a cool tool)

I have also posted the slides from the Dead and Innovative Technology Panel on Tuesday evening.





Past Cool Tool presentations (we try not to repeat any tools).

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What do 2009 CIL Web Manager Academy participants want to know?

2009-03-29T07:48:16.733-06:00

Here's what they'd like to find out today: ada-compliance appealing better blogs brand-new-site change-culture cms content engage free how-to ideas improve inviting librarian-student-interaction market new-tools path portal process realistic redesign rss security-issues social standards start tips traffic trends usability user-experience user-needs visual-design w3 web-services created at TagCrowd.comSee last year's CIL tag cloud. Tags: | cil2009 | cool tools | library | tag cloud | web manger's academy [...]



Ada Lovelace Day and I'd Like to Recognize Canada's Valerie Steeves

2009-03-25T01:17:30.181-06:00

A few weeks ago Suw Charman-Anderson pledged to blog on Tuesday 24th March about a woman in technology whom I admire but only if 1,000 other people will do the same. I guess you've figured out that I signed up and so did more 1500 other people to do a blog posts, podcast, and other online media.

Read the comments and headlines about the posts that have been uploaded all day.

Who was Ada?


(image) "Ada Lovelace was one of the world's first computer programmers, and one of the first people to see computers as more than just a machine for doing sums. She wrote programmes for Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine, a general-purpose computing machine, despite the fact that it was never built. She also wrote the very first description of a computer and of software."

Who is Valerie Steeves?


(image) Valerie's main area of research is about human rights and technology issues. I have been fortunate to hear Valerie speak about privacy issues and cyberspace a couple of times.

The new wave of technologies creates new opportunities for good effects and harmful effects on privacy, identity theft, confidential communications, security and safety. It's important to have someone like Valerie looking at the intersection of human rights, privacy, new technologies, and the law.

Valerie works on so many fronts from being a privacy activist helping forge policies to designing interactive games that are used by children to protect their privacy and security in cyberspace to being a Special Advisor to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Human Rights where she sought public input into the meaning of privacy as a human right and helped draft the Committee's report, Where Do we Draw the Line?

Valerie Steeves is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Criminology at the University of Ottawa in Ottawa, Canada.

Thanks Valerie for all the great work!

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Lovely Charts - Create Flowcharts, Wireframes, Organization Charts, and Network Diagrams

2009-02-11T01:57:35.044-06:00


Screen snapshot via Flickr


This is easy to use free tool makes creating and exporting flowcharts and site maps a snap.

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David Lee King - What Special Things Can We Do at Digital Branch?

2009-02-08T13:55:50.706-06:00

Photo by chotda via FlickrDavid has a neat blog thread going about crafting the library experience and Doing Stuff at the Library’s Website. He's followed it up with a new post, Doing Unique Things at the Digital Branch based on a comment I had made.I left this comment on the David's post but thought I'd share it here too.I guess I'm a bit of a "what if" thinker. I see so many possibilities - some silly and some with merit (I hope) for digital library services. There's so much to be tapped into online and we've just started. Here's a few of the ideas that come to mind.Doing It Online with a TwistFirst, some libraries are already doing similar things with an unique twist. For example, we offer reference in the branch but online if we want to do it 24x7 it makes sense to partner with others so that's a bit of twist. It's not your "local" librarian who answers and it's round the clock.User Contributed BooksUser contributed content is a hot trend online and what if we could marry the real world and digital world to do more for our communities. I wonder if any libraries are doing this yet? Letting users "tag" - "I own this book too and I would lend it"? This would really help with the bestseller lineups. Or add items they have the library doesn't. Imagine your book and magazine collection. A community library added to by the community. It'd be hard to do this in the real library -- a) you'd run out of room b) end up with 5000 duplicates etc etc. Virtually it could be done and for "user contributed books", it could have software to generate a "request" to borrow that would email the book owner. A fancy system would print out a "Community Contributed Book Slip" that could be dropped off with the book at the nearest branch. This _COULD_ be done in way that the Lender and the Recipient remain anonymous or not depending on what is preferred.Organization Contributed ContentIf the thought of users contributed book holdings is mind boggling, what about other organizations? What if organizations in your community that have special libraries around autism, cancer, etc. could add their collections to the library catalogue and people could request items to be picked up at a branch close to them?Visualizing, Merchandising, Clustering and PackagingLibraries could also create unique visualizations - coverflow of the new books or the items on the return cart or last 50 items checked out. These mimic the real world but we could literally have hundreds online and all kinds of them. There's literally hundreds of different ways to visualize books/collections.-Coverflow - new knitting books-Coverflow - last returned mysteriesData Mining to Create New Services/ContentUniversity of Pittsburgh library does this with Yahoo Pipes, a mashup too. They parse some of the licensed article databases to identify new articles by their "faculty" and then show that as ticker on the site. Yes you can see it in the building if you're using the web site. But it's something we can do online much easier than in the physical library. But what if we also built a page of cover art - books published by our faculty that showed up all year. For public libraries - books published by authors from our community or that are set in our community (from there you of course leap to a Google Map Mashup and from there to a Community Walk - book/walking tour) Or what if we alerted our faculty every time we discover one of their works in a licensed db and say this is available now via our library in our "licensed" collection. Academic libraries are looking for ways to inform users that we pay for the licensed databases that they use, so this could be service and educational moment.Take a Chunk of our Library with You to Remix and PublishWhat if we allowed our users to take a chu[...]



List of Top 10 Tech Lists 2008

2009-01-05T12:07:42.287-06:00


Invisibility Cloak by Acid Zebra via Flickr


Tis the time of the year for lists for technology and gadgets. Here's a few - please add your lists to the comments.

Top 10 Most Brilliant Gadgets of the Year - Popular mechanics
Great list this year - particularly want the Livescribe Pulse Smartpen | $149

Top Twitter Tools to Check Out in 2009 by the Social Guy
Like Twellow Hood for finding other local folks that twitter

2009 Web Predictions - ReadWriteWeb


Gartner: 2009 Top 10 Strategic Technologies - yes they posted this in October
Cloud computing is set to grow a lot


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Brain Food Week 5: The Unexpected, The Practical and The Frivolous

2009-01-05T11:57:54.532-06:00


Photo by quiltingmick / michelle via Flickr


On the unexpected side of the fence, Aussie Supreme Court serves documents on Facebook.

On the practical side Kristina Halvorson looks at web content straight in the eyes and makes a compelling case for having a content strategy (wonderful and fun illustration by the way). I particularly like the breakdown of content related components that need to be addressed:

Editorial strategy + Web writing + Metadata strategy + Search engine optimization + Content management strategy + Content channel distribution strategy

To ponder the diversity of the world and its peoples, browse through the Newseum with the front pages of 688 newspapers in 64 countries.

Aegisub blog answers the question, "If programming languages were religions...". PHP is a lazy Christian, hmmm and Python is Humanism.

For more the ridiculous, check out why the recession wasn't just caused by greed but by the way we humans think described in eBay and the Brain: What Psychology Teaches Us about the Economic Downturn or . It seems we're hard wired to be optimistic even in the face of contrary evidence, we have limited will power and we're not that great with numbers. But no worries. According to Peter Ubell, professor of medicine and psychology at the University of Michigan, "None of us is perfect. We will all make a boatload of mistakes before our lives are done." LOL - what a relief! I thought it was just me. Oh he does offer some practical advice - check it out.

Related Posts


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Marketing on a Tight Budget - Social Networking to the Rescue?

2008-12-10T14:43:10.925-06:00

(cc) Most talked about brands - 2008 by Will Lion.Here are some quick notes from "Why social media is your best marketing strategy in a recession" with Josh Bernoff from Forrester. The webcast was sponsored by Awareness social media marketing. Slides and Recording Available on Thursday December 11, 2008 Why I AttendedI was particularly interested in this talk because I hoped to gain some insights into measuring ROI for social networking, an area that I've been writing about and looking at. Great Take AwaysJosh Bernoff, from Forrester, had some great ideas. First he pointed out that marketers need to view social media as asset that grows over time, not just a campaign. In the Q&A, it was pointed out that some award winners used social media for effective campaign based efforts so it can work both ways. Interestingly some of the campaigns, were continued and became ongoing. It partly depends on your purpose I think which will work.Josh also pointed out that the effectiveness of social networking tools, especially communities, increases over time and the cost decreases. An example of falling costs is Dell's support forum that started with 30 moderators and then over time experts volunteered to be a monitor so they just have 5 staff moderators. It's interesting to think of virtual communities based around bulletin boards and forums as "social media" -- they are and in many ways they were the first major social networks but they were here long before the terms social networking and media were coined.Josh also emphasized that it's important to measure what matters - who refers, who signs up, who buys - not just traffic. They surveyed and found that people are measuring primarily volume of activity not ROI metrics.One slide (check the presentation which will be posted tomorrow) showed the average cost spent by companies on social networking - ballpark was $45 thousand range for blog and $150,000 for a customer community and less than $150,000 for an open community. The bottom line - social networking is inexpensive compared to other marketing.What Matters - What Should We MeasureJosh gave some examples of what to measure in terms of things that matter, not just volume of activity.FacebookNumber of messages passed alongRating/ReviewsSalesCommunities Purpose is research, then research valueReferrals - how many new members referred, key to sales in many nichesAvoided support costsIdea community, value of idea generatedBlogsLeadsAwareness, press coverage, search rank(Caveat - Blogs from companies get the lowest form of trust of any activities by a company -- see just released findings on this)Videos, Podcasts Tracking back to company with URLWidgetsBuild in trackingTwitterDepends on strategy; Dell sells remainder equipment, Comcast - customer satisfactionExamples of Successful Uses of Social Networking from the Entrants from Groundswell Awards There were thousands of entrants and you can browse through neat write ups of the winner and others on the site. This is a great place to start for examples of "what works" with social networking if you're just starting out.1. Young and Free Alberta - Winner (Talking)- Winner in Talk about it category- Created by a small community credit union who were targeting new accounts by young people. They held a contest for spokesperson and chose someone named Melissa did a blog and videos and was on Facebook- She got a lot more young people - 2,000 new accounts, $4 million deposits Canadian2. Acuvue Australia - Finalist (Talking)- Raised awareness and sales of their one day contact lenses via a Facebook "Wink" app- 1 day contact lenses- 65,000 Winks- 165,000 winks sent- 17% sales in increase after this campaign concludedXa[...]



Get Ready for the Holidays with Google Doc Holiday Templates

2008-12-08T14:02:22.362-06:00



This is a fun way to explore and learn about Google Docs templates and how they can save you time and money.

Check out the Holiday Templates directly by logging into Google Docs and going to File -> New -> From Template to see the main template gallery or check out the overview with the announcement on the blog.

Here's a peak at what they have:

1. Email friends, colleagues or customers this survey form to update your mailing list...
2. ...and then send them a holiday postcard.
3. Use fun mailing labels to save time when sending packages...
4. ...and these festive gift tags to personalize gifts.
5. email a video card to send friends and colleagues


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Mashup Myths, Blunders and a Top Ten Technology for 2009

2008-12-07T14:58:58.802-06:00


(cc) Mashup the Enterprise by photoAtlas.


There's a buzz about mashups again and the topic is heating up.

Analysts at Gartner Inc. included enterprise mashups in their top ten technologies list for 2009.

Here's their top 10:
  1. Virtualization
  2. Cloud Computing
  3. Servers — Beyond Blades
  4. Web-Oriented Architectures
  5. Enterprise Mashups
  6. Specialized Systems
  7. Social Software and Social Networking
  8. Unified Communications
  9. Business Intelligence
  10. Green IT


Chris Warner describes 5 mashup myths over at Fast Company to help cut through the hype:
  1. The ‘Fall for the Buzz’ Mistake
  2. The Self-Serve Mistake
  3. The SOA Mistake
  4. The Silo Mistake
  5. The ”Oops” Mistake


Looks like Zen Internet, an ISP, has bumped into a big "oops" already. They apologized for including a link in its latest newsletter to a website hosting a "find your nearest BNP member" search box. BNP stand for British National Party and the BNP membership list and personal information was leaked online two weeks ago.

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Give the Creative Commons Survey on "Non-Commercial" Use a Whirl

2008-12-05T01:37:17.504-06:00

I think the study exploring "non-commercial use" that Creative Commons is doing a great idea.

There are different views on non-commercial floating around and getting clarity on this issue is good for everyone and will only strengthen Creative Commons and the community. You know when to ask and when to use and when not to. It'll be obvious how to color inside the lines for the users of content and creators will be happier to share when it's clear.

Heads Up: The comments on the blog post announcing the survey almost scared me off which would have been too bad. I went through the survey smoothly and without a hitch in about 10 minutes.

Is the survey perfect? No, most aren't. A bit more pretesting would be useful.Never hurts to add an other option in a few places, or box for comments. Then if someone is exceptional there's room to explain.

Definitely looking forward to the conversation that we'll have as a community about this issue.

What do you think makes something commercial? Do the survey, read the comments on the Creative Commons blog, and feel free to leave a comment here about your experience and thoughts on non-commercial use.

Related Posts


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And the Most Dangerous Animal Is?

2008-12-03T11:04:09.010-06:00

Check out this 404 page on a site that offers climbing gear for an LOL.

At Internet Librarian 2008 conference, I encouraged the attendees to build a creative 404 page for their library. Ellen Dubinsky did just that for the Bernard Becker Medical library. Check out her creative and effective 404 page.

She came up with a few candidates. Maybe these can inspire you?


I love the first mockup - I can see changing it seasonally - snowflakes in winter, green for spring and St. Patrick's Day ...

Related Posts:
A Great Opportunity to Engage, Entertain and Communicate: 404 Pages

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To Scan or Not Scan? Ted's E-Book Quandary Over an Out of Print Book

2008-11-30T02:33:33.766-06:00

Photo by Pesky Library via FlickrIn his blog post, Ted describes his strong preference for reading e-books and the fact that the book that he would like read is no longer in print and will not be reprinted. There is a pirated digital copy in circulation.Ted lists 5 courses of action actions with ethical e-book dilemma and asks his blog readers to share what they would do and identify plus identify what generation they're from - Gen X, Gen Y, baby boomers etc.The feedback is interesting and informative. Tipping the author may pose ethical dilemmas for them and that was the preferred option of many.But the "mystery" book has a twist to the tale. The writer no longer writing about these characters because of death threats received. It seems to be that the writer no longer wants this book in circulation. Does it change what you do or not?I think this points to the strong need to overhaul the copyright system for orphan works and "alternate" consumption methods. If I have the record do I need to buy the CD? If I have the CD do I need to buy the MP3? If I have the MP3 but it's licensed through Zune or some DRM system, do I buy a new version when their "locking/authorization" system fails. When is a copy of a work - the work, not the medium?Related PostsVideo - The Truth about Copyright: Told Using Clips from Disney Movies - Stanford's Fair(y) Use TaleVideo - Cory Doctorow Speaks Out on Piracy, Copyright Reform and the Futility of DRMMusic is for Fans - Laws Not Technologies Should Protect Music Copyright - Canadian Music Creators CoalitionVideo - GOOD COPY BAD COPY - Documentary Film, Denmark 2007Tags: copyright | Digital Rights Management | DRM | e-books | ebooks | medium | out-of-print| piracy | rights | scanning[...]



Bumper Crop of Apps from Open Access to Municipal Government Information

2008-11-28T02:17:38.333-06:00

There's lots of buzzing about Vivek Kundra, head of the Office of Chief Technology Officer (OCTO) for the District of Columbia.. His visionary leadership has helped create more transparent access to municipal government information for everyone - people who live in DC, visitors and people who work there -- the municipal government employees. The OCTO decided to use Google Apps as their platform for collaboration across agencies and employees. What they can do is pretty amazing and I would argue necessary -- they can merge their information with Google Earth. For example, the Fire Department can zoom into see if the fire hydrant is open, see the critical facilities nearby, and look up phone numbers to start calling agencies to arrange for EMS support or relocation of citizens. They're just one of the first municipal governments empowering their employees to be able to really put their data to work. Watch this video to find out more about their decision to choose Google Apps. Under Kundra's leadership, the OCTO has an impressive data catalog with information delivered in the following formats as appropriate: XML, Text/CSV, Atom (GeoRSS support), and KML/ESRI Shapefile. This catalog is available online for people to mashup. This fall, the OCTC, iStrategyLabs and Mashable sponsored an Apps For Democracy contest. iStrategyLabs submitted a proposal and brought this site to live in 6 days because they could build on the rich data catalog. Then they invited everyone to join and build applications and compete for prizes. 30 days later there are 49 applications that serve residents and visitors of DC including:iLiveAt - enter an address and get info from nearby shopping to crime rateDC Historic Tours is a Google Maps mashup "that combines custom walking tour creation with Flickr photo feeds and Wikipedia entries".PARKITDC - Enter a location to find parking nearby and whether meters are need to paid, where you can park and where its resident only. There's feed of recent auto crimes near the area, meters acting up and addresses recently searchedCheck out all the award winners, the application directory, and more about the next round of the contest.(Link via Bob Gourley, CTO Vision blog)Tags: data catalog | Google Apps | government | municipal | mashups[...]



Mashup of Newspaper Job Losses - Paper Cuts

2008-11-28T01:05:51.711-06:00


Small Screen Snapshot via Flickr from Paper Cuts

I'm turning my attention back to mashups, particularly enterprise and library ones. In that process I'm stumbling across some interesting and illuminating examples.

Paper Cuts is a Google mashup that tracks and shows layoffs and buyouts at US newspapers for 2007 and 2008. So far this year it's been 13,748+ jobs. Ouch.

(Link via Paul Vereijken on the NEXT web_

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7 Data Visualizations You Probably Have Never Seen

2008-11-25T01:30:40.129-06:00

(image)
Visualization of a large social network created with a tool called Walrus


Stan Schroeder has written about 7 Beautiful Data Visualizations on Mashable. Stan has included video clips that show these interactive visualizations in motion. Many of these were new to me.

Some are just beautiful and others are amazing in terms of features or their ability to illuminate large data stores.

Skyrails - uses a interactive graph of interconnected nodes to display multiple dimensions. Menus, colours and chart type is customizable. The beta-version of skyrails is only available for non-commercial purpose. Skyrails is amazing - but the most amazing part is the developer worked on this for his *undergraduate* software engineering degree. Great work Yose Widjaja!

Fidg’t Visualizer displays your social network and some of their actions. It offers some sweet visual filtering features.

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Prize Winners Announced at 2008 Mashup Camp

2008-11-22T00:54:11.421-06:00

allowtransparency="true" scrolling="no" height="624" frameborder="0" src="http://www.thingfo.com/socialsite-badge/povertyawareness">
Mashup Camp, the unconference for the uncomputer, is in just wrapped up its sixth year in Mountain View, CA.

Dean Mao won the prize for the best mashup for his Empowerment Addon to Firefox, a context sensitive mashup hat permits you to annotate all webpages and uses natural language parsing. This add-on is too new to be approved so you'll need to register for a Mozilla account, to download it.

Mike Grishaver won the best Social Justice Mashup prize sponsored by the Elfenworks Foundation or his Social Site Badge-Builder & Poverty Awareness Badge. Anyone can anyone create a custom feed widget to embed on a website.

The Poverty Awareness Badge contains pre-selected blog entries from leading anti-poverty organizations, related Twitters, Diggs, Delicious bookmarks, Flickr photos, MyBlogLog visitors, and YouTube videos. Add this badge or build your own. The site is in private alpha beta so request an invitation or wait a few weeks till it rolls out.

Check out the other prize winners.

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Measuring Link Popularity: Comparison of Free Backlink Checking Tools

2008-11-10T12:23:37.519-06:00

[ Jump to Comparison Table ]Having your site rank high in the search engine for the topics that it focuses on is a sure way to have lots of traffic. Backlinks are one factor in ranking high in some search engines. Google's PageRank algorithm factors in backlinks. What's a backlink? A backlink is a link from another site to one of your pages. There are lots of sites that can report your PageRank as well as toolbars. Don't know your site's PageRank? Just do a quick search for "check PageRank" and dozens of tools will pop up. How do backlinks work? Without getting too detailed, here is a general overview of how it works. If your site has backlinks from high ranking sites that helps raise your site's PageRank. Other factors do come into play. If the backlink from a site has a "no follow" tag that is telling the search engines not to count it. So that's a useful feature to have in a backlink report. The "no follow" convention developed to thwart comment and discussion board spammers who would try to get 1000's of backlinks by leaving spam entries with a link to their site. The benefit of a backlink can also be effected by whether or not the linking site is in the same IP C class. The anchor text (words that are hyperlinked) are also very important to your search engine ranking. If you want to rank high for "dog" and everyone links to you with the word "canine" then this won't help your ranking for "dog".Recently I stumbled across some free backlink services and I wondered how effective they were at reporting the features described above. Although Yahoo and Google also have site tools that provide backlink reports, they don't necessarily include all the features mentioned. Also it would be useful to have a consolidated report of backlinks.I ran my new non-commercial blog site, "Don't Have a Cow, Give a Cow Instead", through each of the services to compare results. This is a subarea of my main site allowing me to test if the reports handled "domain level" or "subdirectories" as well. My cow project site is relatively new and has only a handful of backlinks making it perfect for a quick and easy comparison of result numbers and features. I captured screen shots of the form and result pages from each site and will make a slideshow (shortly) and add it here. In the meantime you can click the thumbnails to view them.Comparison of Free Backlink Checking ToolsSite NameTool URLForm PageResult PageNumberPageRankTop and SubareaAnchor TextNo FollowEmbedPro $$iWebToolwww.iwebtool.com/backlink_checker25brokenBothxxxmaybeBacklink Watchwww.backlinkwatch.com26x, OBL*BothYesYesxxBuild Reciprocal Linkswww.build-reciprocal-links.com8, internalmaybeBothxxYesxSEOAnalyticshttp://seoanalytic.com/tools/backlink_checker102, internalYesBothxxxxAddMe!www.addme.com/popularity.htmYes by engine?Both??xxValid Rankwww.validrank.com/pages/backlinks-checker.php16,764YesDomain xYesxxSmartPageRankwww.smartpagerank.com/pagerank-backlinks.php26brokenBothYesYesxx* OBL - quantity of outbound links from referring site** Reports Maximum of 100Is This Sort of Comparison Helpful? What Else Would You Like to See?Let me know what you think? Should I do more posts like this for webmaster tools?Did I Miss a Backlink Tool?I'm sure I missed some. Please leave a comment and I'll try to include it.Tags: | backlink | backlink checkers | cool tools | compare | evaluate | pagerank | ranking | search engine optimization | SEO[...]