New rules for SEO

Very cool article on mashable about the ways SEO is changing. Here are some of the new things to do be SEO friendly. And I am not sure all of these are new, maybe just the one about sub domains which is interesting:

  1. Create content that people will have an incentive to share.
  2. Do keyword research, so you don’t waste effort writing about things people don’t care about.
  3. Put all your content on the same domain/subdomain. (e.g. don’t use blog.mysite.com, use mysite.com/blog)
  4. Stand for something, and write about it. People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.
  5. Don’t separate your brand from your content. For instance, casino sites that make fascinating infographics about animal rights aren’t going to last long.

Wikipedia asking for money????

I went to wikipedia today and saw this message in bold red at the top of the page:

“Dear Wikipedia readers: We are non-profit, but also the #5 website in the world. With 450 million monthly users, we have costs like any top site: servers, power, rent, programs, staff and legal help. To protect our independence, we’ll never run ads. We take no government funds. We run on donations averaging about $30. If everyone reading this gave $5, our fundraiser would be done within an hour. If Wikipedia is useful to you, please take one minute to keep it online another year. Please help us forget fundraising and get back to Wikipedia. Thank you, from the Wikimedia Foundation.”

Anyone know anything about this?

Court Strikes Down Michigan’s Ban on Race-Conscious College Admissions

This is a case that I have been following for several years and we discuss in my Assessment course. It is a landmark court case that has implications across the US. Here is a high level overview about what was decided:

“A narrowly divided federal appeals court on Thursday struck down a voter-passed ban on the use of race-conscious admissions by Michigan’s public colleges, holding that the measure had unconstitutionally put racial-minority members at a distinct legal disadvantage in seeking from public colleges the same preferential treatment that other categories of students enjoy.Source

For more information on this case see:

http://chronicle.com/article/Court-Strikes-Down-Michigans/135818/

Software Patent Solution

Decent article here explaining the problems with patents in the tech world – Article. Now we all know patents are a problem and hindering innovation in technology, even if people find out the benefits of the online format vs traditional patent style. Maybe there are some solutions that would work for everyone? Just think about this problem when you read the following quote from the article:

“Patents threaten every software developer, and the patent wars we have long feared have broken out. Software developers and software users – which in our society, is most people – need software to be free of patents.

When Dan Ravicher of the Public Patent Foundation studied one large program (Linux, which is the kernel of the GNU/Linux operating system) in 2004, he found 283 U.S. patents that appeared to cover computing ideas implemented in the source code of that program. That same year, it was estimated that Linux was .25 percent of the whole GNU/Linux system. Multiplying 300 by 400 we get the order-of-magnitude estimate that the system as a whole was threatened by around 100,000 patents.”

Minnesota Bans MOOCs….then doesn’t

Last week the state of Minnesota banned MOOCs. Why? Apparently they have a law that states that any university trying to operate within their border must meet state standards (as in get approval to operate). This would be OK if Minnesota had some kind of quality program but my guess is that the people in charge are not even educators and that there are companies that stand to lose money if the state pushed to get MOOCs out. Here is an excerpt from the chronicle:

“The state’s Office of Higher Education has informed the popular provider of massive open online courses, or MOOC’s, that Coursera is unwelcome in the state because it never got permission to operate there. It’s unclear how the law could be enforced when the content is freely available on the Web, but Coursera updated its Terms of Service to include the following caution:

Notice for Minnesota Users:

Coursera has been informed by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education that under Minnesota Statutes (136A.61 to 136A.71), a university cannot offer online courses to Minnesota residents unless the university has received authorization from the State of Minnesota to do so. If you are a resident of Minnesota, you agree that either (1) you will not take courses on Coursera, or (2) for each class that you take, the majority of work you do for the class will be done from outside the State of Minnesota.”

Source: http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/minnesota-gives-coursera-the-boot-citing-a-decades-old-law/40542

Apparently, facing backlash from the higher ed community, Minnesota plans to ignore the law and let these programs exist within its borders – http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/facing-backlash-minnesota-decides-to-allow-free-online-courses-after-all/40588

Now there are a lot of good issues here. First, these MOOCs are free and offer no credit….plus they are online. How could a state really police them? Should a state really be able to police what is on the internet? On one hand you have states rights and on the other you have a state telling its citizens what they can and cannot see online which brings up a whole host of issues. I would not be surprised if we see more of these types of situations in the very near future so keep your eyes peeled:)

Is Facebook posting your private messages?

It seems like this is a hot issue right now. Is facebook posting your private messages on your timeline? On one end of the issue are many users who claim that their private messages are being posted. On the other end is facebook who is saying no, they are not being posted. My thoughts?

– If it was on facebooks end, I am sure they are or have fixed it.

– If its on the users end, its because they cannot remember what they wrote because these are old posts from years ago. I checked mine and thought they were probably not private messages but I was not 100% sure. But I cannot remember messages I sent 3 years ago.

– From a technical standpoint, all of this information is probably stored on different tables or even different databases so the programmers of facebook would have had to purposely put the information in your timeline and if they are denying it, then more than likely they did not do it.

– My suggestion for facebook: Get better privacy and this would not be an issue. Make everything private by default and let users make things public if they choose. Why this company has a problem with privacy is beyond me. It is one of their biggest downfalls. I have friends who have stopped using it due to privacy concerns.

Here are some news stories about the issue:

http://www.nbcnews.com/technology/technolog/facebook-not-posting-your-private-messages-1B6071010

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/us-news-blog/2012/sep/24/facebook-leaking-private-messages

http://techcrunch.com/2012/09/24/reports-facebook-users-seeing-private-messages-pre-2009-showing-up-on-timelines-as-posted-by-friends/

Cyberbullying of teachers? Not in North Carolina

At least not anymore. A new law ‘School Violence Protection Law of 2012’ will prosecute those who cyberbully teachers. I found this really interesting:

“One in six educators report experiencing cyberbaiting, according to a Norton survey of 2,279 teachers in 24 countries. In some instances, students attempt to provoke school employees to near-breakdown. It’s a growing phenomenon inside and outside the classroom.”

So it sounds as if something like this was needed. This is a very interesting topic that I talk about with my students who will be teachers. We usually speak of facebook/social network privacy and how to make sure people searching you on google only find what you intentionally want them to find and not pictures of that crazy night you were out drinking:)

Source: http://mashable.com/2012/09/21/cyberbullying-of-teachers/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Mashable+%28Mashable%29