A weird thing happened to me today while I was wandering the streets of Minneapolis on Google Street View. While looking at the street where the New Year's Day apartment fire occurred, I found a photo of this interesting building sign: After some searching, I located the sign outside a charming looking dive called Palmer's Bar. I was moving the view around to get a better look when I somehow ended up inside the bar. Google had sent its reality-indexing cameras inside the building. First, I encountered a ... read more

I spent some time today digging into treemaps, a way to represent information visually as a series of nested rectangles whose colors are determined by an additional measurement. If that explanation sounds hopelessly obtuse, take a look at a world population treemap created using Honeycomb, enterprise treemapping software developed by the Hive Group: This section of the treemap shows the countries of Africa. The size of each rectangle shows its population relative to the other countries. The color indicates ... 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 ... read more