The owner of the Utah coal mine where six miners are missing has used the new Google News comment feature to respond to news coverage. Robert E. Murray posted the following comment to at least nine stories: Comment from Robert E. Murray regarding trapped miners - 18 hours ago August 22, 2007 - We are totally focused on the recovery of these miners and in administering to the welfare of their families. The trauma from this natural disaster has been great for many, but we will not be deterred, and we will not leave ... read more

When things are slow on Workbench, activity on this weblog falls to the five subjects of enduring interest to visitors who make comments: Whether lottery winners should be able to hide their identities Whether Best Buy sucks Whether Target sucks Whether Art Bell sucks Whether Orlando Bloom dates outside his race On the first subject, people who support secrecy for lottery winners will enjoy a story from Canada this morning: A guy was caught planning to kidnap, rob and murder a couple who won $27 million Canadian ... read more

I spend a lot of time these days trying to master search engine optimization, the practice of making Google's great and terrible algorithm give you the love you never received from your emotionally closed off, impossible to please father1. A commercial venture like Wargames.Com, which I'm running as a bootstrap with no advertising budget, would be utterly hopeless without search traffic. Towards this end, I've created a sitemap for each of my sites -- an XML file that tells Google and other search engines where to ... read more

A year ago the RSS Advisory Board moved to its own domain, losing all Google juice associated with its old site. Because the search term RSS is enormously popular, we've found it difficult to attract search traffic and build a decent Google pagerank. It took nearly a year to crack the top 100 for that term on Google; we're currently up to the 80s. I've been using this experience to learn the arcane art of search engine optimization (SEO). The first SEO technique I undertook to make Google happy was to add my sites ... read more

Today's Seattle Times reports that CNET Editor James Kim and his family, who became stranded while traveling from Grants Pass to Gold Beach in Oregon during harsh winter weather, were on a route that's recommended by some online and in-car mapping services. Yahoo and MapQuest offer Highways 199 and 101 as the preferred route. A Google map search, however, suggests the Bear Camp route, part of a web of Forest Service roads used mostly in summer. Authorities suspect that the Kims may have chosen the Bear Camp route ... read more

The talk of memes reminded me that it's been a long time since I milked Google. Last year I created Googlemilking, a game where you choose a search phrase that lends itself to off-color or self-revealing results in Google. The game only got as far as one mention in the Scotsman, but it has made me the top result for the term totally straight. My parents must be proud. So here's a new googlemilk. I have a small penis, but ... ... my fiance doesnt seem to mind. 1 ... I think size doesn't matter. 2 ... I still get ... read more

Jason Douglas, the project lead on the RSS Platform at Yahoo and the cocreator of Channel Definition Format, has joined the RSS Advisory Board. The board now has members from Google, Microsoft and Yahoo. If we can find a member from Apple's RSS team, we'll be in an even better position to help the big companies and enterpreneurial companies like FeedBurner and Six Apart work together to promote RSS interop and resolve some incompatibilities between different software that supports syndication. ... read more