Google Chrome CR-48 Netbook (Notebook) – Opening the Box

Ok, so my wife got a Google Chrome Notebook (also known as the CR-48). But that counts as me getting one, because according to God and the government, we are one entity. Right?  Plus she lets me log on to it every now and then and agreed to let me blog about it…

That’s how the beginning of this post was supposed to go, when I started working on it 6 weeks ago and never finished. The funny thing is, I put off writing the post long enough to get my own Google Chrome OS Notebook! That’s right, I’m not kidding.  We are now a 2 Google Notebook family. I’m not sure what went wrong in the science behind Google’s distribution algorithm but that means 2 were shipped to the same address. And that means I’m a lucky buzzard. So I figured I better get on it with the whole “sharing this info with the world” thing. And by world, I mean the 3 readers that accidentally end up on my blog (hi guys!) Watch for future posts on usability, bugs, etc.

This post is the un-boxing of the Google Chrome Notebook CR-48.

Picture of the Google Notebook BoxLet’s start with the packaging: Continue reading “Google Chrome CR-48 Netbook (Notebook) – Opening the Box”

Top 5 MLK Quotes – My Favorites

In honor of a man who impacted the culture of an entire nation, my 5 favorite Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes:

  1. A nation or civilization that continues to produce soft-minded men purchases its own spiritual death on the installment plan.
  2. Whatever your life’s work is, do it well. A man should do his job so well that the living, the dead, and the unborn could do it no better.
  3. Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend.
  4. I have also decided to stick with love, for I know that love is ultimately the only answer to mankind’s problems. And I’m going to talk about it everywhere I go.
  5. Reason, devoid of purifying power of faith, can never free itself from distortions and rationalizations.

Guest Blog Posting

A friend of mine always says “SEO is a very deep rabbit hole.” I find that to be more and more true the more I learn about Search Engine Optimization and the millions of ways you can spend your time trying to optimize you or your clients sites. My team and I have recently started looking into writing guest blog posts and what all that entails.

Guest Blog Posting Background
Guest blog posting was inspired by how hard it is to blog regularly. (Look at the consistency, or should I say inconsistency of how much I blog here). Bloggers are always looking for more content and more ways to spin that content as something new and interesting to their readers. Featuring a guest blogger solves both problems:

  • more content: the main blog writer gets a day off from writing
  • something new and interesting: the blog gets fresh, interesting content from a new perspective

Usually as a thank you to the guest poster, the guest is allowed to include a sign off reference to their own blog or website, link and all.

Our Journey to Guest Posting Oz
We don’t necessarily need the content but we could definitely use more exposure to readers of other blogs and the gratuitous links pointing back at our site. So our journey is to become guest blog posters. I quickly realized that the hardest part about guest blog posting was finding blogs to post to, then upon finding them, figuring out how to contact the author. As each blog became it’s own research project, I started to think the Guest Post idea was not worth the time involved.

Then I heard an interview on with Ann Smarty about her site: guest blog posting community – an open forum for bloggers to connect and share content ideas and unique/original posts with each other.

Screenshot of Guest Post Community

Regular bloggers go there to post guest authoring opportunities when they need a break from writing, and writers go there to earn valuable content placement in front of high-readership blog audiences. What a great free place to connect with other bloggers – thanks Ann!

Single Ladies Devastation Wins People’s Choice Award


He got 4.8 million views on a video (see above) of his son crying because he wanted to jam out to Single Ladies by Beyonce.

Then he got boat-loads of people to vote for that video, garnering a spot in the list of People’s Choice Awards Winners for Favorite Viral Video Star.

Now if that’s not a great combination of timing, SEO, social marketing, and cute-crying-kid-anomolyism, I don’t know what is. Well done Carlos Whittaker.

Google Places with Hotpot – New Google Local Maps Interface

As I went to login to my Google Places account this morning, I arrived at a very different place than I normally do. A completely redesigned landing page with a big bold graphic and an invitation to “Discover Yours – Local recommendations powered by you and your friends” and a button asking me to Start Rating now with Hotpot. So Google has entered their offering into the local-check-in-review-social-community-ratings race.  Took them longer than the others, but here’s to hoping it’s better than the others (not like the Nexus One Google phone).

Screenshot of Google Places with HotpotWill Google Hot Pot (or Hotpot) incorporate Google’s mobile check-in app SCVNGR?  Probably.

And is the choice of the name really just a coincidence given the recent California legislature voted down, to legalize marijuana? Or is Google keyword stuffing?

You be the judge, but one thing is certain – Google maps has changed.

Foursquare is Down – It’s an Epidemic

It all began when Twitter started showing the whale 50% of the time I’d hit their site, then Facebook goes down for several hours. Now Foursquare says they’re “upgrading our servers”. Good thing I have a life outside the web… somewhere around here… now where did I put that?

Foursquare Goes Down... err I mean they're upgrading servers...

My recommendation on what to do now that Foursquare is down – try Gowalla or even Google’s check-in app, SCVNGR – that way you check-in addicts can still tell the uncaring world where you are, AND as an added bonus you’ll probably end up enjoying these apps a billion times more than Foursquare. (In my opinion Foursquare is popular because Foursquare is popular – not because they’re the best check-in app)

Fix the Instant Search Error “We’re sorry… but it appears your computer is sending automated requests.”

If you’ve gotten this error since Google Instant launched:

“We’re sorry… but it appears your computer is sending automated requests.”

…you’re not alone. It seems, (thanks to Google Instant Search) that the increased searches per user per minute trigger a red flag in Google’s Automated Requests department.

Screenshot of Google Automated Request

The problem is, the Google Automated Requests (GAR) team and the Google Instant team work on opposite sides of the building and are on rival softball teams in the company’s intra-google softball league. Ok I made that last part up, but it definitely seems like there was some lack of communication going on at Goog headquarters – but just because it seems to be Google’s fault doesn’t mean it is (this time). Evidenced by the fact that Instant Search as a whole is working for most users.

So who’s fault is it? The answer is found in the following question… (mischievous laugh)

How do I fix whatever glitch or bug or setting is triggering the Instant Search Error “We’re sorry… but it appears your computer is sending automated requests” ?

Here’s how: Continue reading “Fix the Instant Search Error “We’re sorry… but it appears your computer is sending automated requests.””

Matt Cutts Says Search Is Only Slow Because of You

I was catching up on some reading, including Matt Cutts’ blog, and found something he wrote that made me laugh.

Google typically returns search results in milliseconds, but it takes several seconds for you to type a query. In other words, the limiting factor on a typical search is you. :-)

I think my favorite part was the apologetic smiley face at the end. Wow.

Way to point the finger Matt. Don’t worry I’m not offended. It is funny, though, that advances in search technology have brought us farther than users can even appreciate. Are we (meaning the web and technology – obviously not people) going too fast? Isn’t it sometimes beneficial to take a second to think about your search as you type it in? Or maybe just to breath in between keystrokes, haha. I’m starting to really like Bing’s slogan – “What has search overload done to us?”

Instant Search is Too Instant for Humans

Sending Automated Requests? Thanks Google Instant Search

So if every time I type a letter into the Google search box it brings up a search. And each additional letter brings up a new search… what’s telling Google the difference between my normal search behavior and automated search result requests coming from a program or computer?

Apparently nothing…

Screenshot of Google Automated Request Continue reading “Sending Automated Requests? Thanks Google Instant Search”

Doantam Phan of the Google Instant Search Team – Friend or Foe?

Image of Google Instant Search Results

I’d say neither. He’s just doing his job. He made a guest post announcement Wednesday, the source of which – Google Instant Search – has created quite a panic among SEO professionals and noobs alike. I even got an email from my boss checking to be sure I was up on the news. I just wanted to post a few thoughts… Continue reading “Doantam Phan of the Google Instant Search Team – Friend or Foe?”