Ryan Jones Blog – dotCULT.com Ryan Jones Blogs About Internet Culture, Marketing, SEO, & Social Media

November 30, 2006

A Broken Winged Bird

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ryan Jones @ 12:00 am

You ever have one of those A-Ha moments? I came across an old Langston Hughes poem today called Dreams and had mine.

Lately I’ve been going through what I call a quarter life crisis (although it could just be a stirring in my soul. You know the feeling: it’s the “is this what I want to do for the next 30 years” type feeling.

If you ask me, a mid-life crisis has nothing on what I’m going through. I’m assuming it’s common with most people in their mid twenties. We’re out of college, working, have a house etc. Basically, we’re just starting to get stuck in our rut.

That’s exactly how I’ve been feeling lately. I’ve lost a lot of motivation to work, I’m debating about doing something drastic like moving to another state, and basically asking myself “what do I do now?” It’s reminiscent of that bathtub scene in fight club. I too find myself asking “what next dad?”

So where does this poem come in? Well, I just realized it all has to do with dreams. See, in high school the “dream” is to go to college. In college it’s to graduate, then get a job. Once you get a job you get a house, etc. But now what? Settle down and wait until retirement? That’s not much of a dream…and maybe that’s why I’m depressed.

All through college when I’d have a long day at Wendys I’d re-assure myself that it’s all part of doing what I need to do to achieve my dreams. But now I’ve achieved them, so what do I do?

I know some of you are saying “duh, get more dreams” but most dreams would pale compared to the “get a degree/job/house” type. So at least now I’ve figured out what’s going on in my life. If anybody has any suggestions for how to fix it, let me know. Maybe another degree? A job in a new state (somewhere warm)?

Rose Bowl Matchup

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ryan Jones @ 12:00 am

The Rose Bowl Matchup has been determined. Michigan will play LSU in the Rose Bowl on January 1st, 2007. (that is of course if USC beats UCLA saturday)

November 29, 2006

Do Not Threaten To Castrate The President

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ryan Jones @ 12:00 am

You work in a mental hospital. One of your patients is ranting about killing all jews when he suddenly mentions castrating the president. Which of the following do you do?

a.) Ignore him, he IS a mental patient.
b.) Treat him for his mental illness
c.) Call the secret service

Most people would choose a or b, however not if said patient’s name is Arafat Nijmeh. In that case, you throw them in jail for 7 months.

Now, I know it’s illegal to threaten the president. But such threats need to be examined rationally. Is there any way he could have actually castrated the president? (insert bush having no balls joke here…) I’ve never heard of somebody who’s already locked up being regarded as a threat to the president. Maybe I just don’t see it.

November 28, 2006

Thirty Pieces of Silver

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ryan Jones @ 12:00 am

If you watched House tonight (and are like my mom) you’re probably asking what the 30 pieces of silver comment at the end was all about.

Well, it’s from Matthew 26:14-16. (yeah that’s the bible.) Anyway, that’s what Judas was paid when he betrayed Jesus.

AP Style Two Point Oh

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ryan Jones @ 12:00 am

Everything is going 2.0 nowadays, and with talk of the web about to go 3.0 I think that it’s time we started making our newspapers and magazines 2.0 compliant. Yes, I’m suggesting an AP Style 2.0.

For those of you unfamiliar with AP style, it’s basically a set of rules for how to write that all reporters use. Some of them are quite dumb when it relates to technology though. Here’s a list of changes I suggest:

  1. Stop Saying “Log On” when the user isn’t required to actually “log on”. This implies somebody has a password. If I don’t need a username and password, I can’t “log on”. The correct term here is visit. I don’t “log on” to your radio station’s webpage, I visit it.
  2. webpage and website should be one word, not two. “web site” is a redundant adjective-noun pair. We use “site” by itself, which means the web isn’t really needed as an adjective. “Website” is a noun. It makes more sense to use the noun than a redundant adjective-noun right? Besides, “web site” just looks stupid. Other examples are horsefly, carpark, etc.
  3. Stop capitalizing internet unless it’s the first word of the sentence. Internet is no more of a proper noun than atmosphere, sky, ground, universe, sea, etc. In fact, there are technically many internets. If I remove 7 computers from the internet, it’s still the internet.. it’s just not “The Internet”. It doesn’t make sense to capitalize it anymore, so let’s stop doing it.

What other rules do you think we should add?

November 22, 2006

MSN Search and referer logs

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ryan Jones @ 12:00 am

If anybody from Microsoft or MSN search reads my blog, give me a shout (ryan at no slang dot com). MSN really needs a URL removal function other than robots.txt and what not. Let me explain why:

To any developers out there, here’s some important advice too:
http://offsecnewbie.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts/267 Always Password Protect, and make Robots.txt files FIRST, even if your site is still just a prototype. I learned that lesson the hard way.

It seems MSN has a perfect cached image of some internal web applications of mine that aren’t meant for external eyes. The page in question (while still in development) had links to external websites on it, and somebody working on the site clicked them. The problem is, this external website’s referer log is indexed by MSN search and publically accessible (FYI it’s not a good idea to share your server logs with the world). Thus, the URL of the internal application (complete with parameters) shows up in their stats page.

For some reason, it only took a day for MSN to index this URL, and now what should be password protected and robots.txt excluded information is showing up for some obscure searches.

The problem is this site isn’t linked anywhere anymore, so spiders aren’t likely to return anytime soon. There’s also no way to remove a site from MSN other than by using .htaccess and robots.txt (I’ve done that). A user can’t see the current site, but that cached version looks like it’s going to be there for a long time.

Lesson learned I guess, always prevent spiders from accessing stuff… even if it’s not linked anywhere and especially if it’s still in development.

November 17, 2006

Bo Schembechler Dies

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ryan Jones @ 12:00 am

Glen (Bo) Schembechler died this morning. Bo Collapsed during the taping of the Big Ten Ticket show and was rushed to the hospital where he died shortly thereafter.

The 77 year old former Wolverines coach had been recovering from sugery a month earlier to implant a heart regulating device. It wasn’t his first heart problem, as Bo also suffered heart attacks in 1970 (his first rose bowl.. a 10-3 loss to USC) and 1987 (which also featured Michigan losing to Arizona State)

Bo will always be remember as a great football coach – the winningest coach in Michigan history – a legend. I’ve had the opportunity to meet him several times and he was always a class act. Bo loved talking football to anybody who would listen, and he was never too busy to do so – no matter who you were.

In his 20 years at Michigan (ending in 1989), Schembechler achieved a record of 194-48-5 (yes, at one time there were ties in college football). While Bo wasn’t planning on attending saturday’s game at the horseshoe, it’s certainly a shame that he won’t be around to see it. It’s probably all he thought about for the last week of his life.

Looking at history, Michigan has amassed a record of 1-2 in weeks where Schembechler has had a heart problem, but something tells me that the sun will be shining on the Wolverines from above as they take the field this saturday.

November 15, 2006

A Great Example of Geurilla Marketing

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ryan Jones @ 12:00 am

A lot can be said for finding new and innovative ways to market one’s product. A lot more can be said for finding a way to get national coverage of one’s product for free while still shedding positive light on the company. That’s exactly what the Beverly Hills Teddy Bear Co just did.

The company decided to donate 4000 talking Jesus dolls to the Toys for Tots charity. Of course, being a govt entitity, the marines weren’t allowed to accept the relgious toys. The genius part though, is that this made the national news.

So not only does the company get to look great for trying to donate, but thousands of christians are now screaming “I want a talking jesus doll… I didn’t know they existed.” It’s brilliant!

On a side note… Christmas is a christian holiday, so what’s wrong with having christ themed toys. Don’t tell me that they’re giving christmas presents to Muslims and Jews. I don’t really have perspective here being raised christian myself, but wouldn’t that be offensive?

November 14, 2006

Quoted on CNet

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ryan Jones @ 12:00 am

There’s a great article over on news.com about teens and internet slang that quotes a shockingly intelligent expert (ME!). Check it out. Then buy my book. 🙂

Targetted Spam

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ryan Jones @ 12:00 am

I just recieved an email with the subject of “RE: Michigan Football Tailgate” that advised me to buy some stock in West Excelsior Inc. Normally I’m good at not opening these types of emails, but this one got me. It just happened that I had an email in my inbox with a subject of “Michigan Football Part” and a “RE: Michigan Football Party”.

Is it targetted spam? Do they know something about me and my alma matter? It’s probably just a coincidence, but how long until we actually start getting targetted spam?

Just think about all the information we leave out on the net on a daily basis. How hard would it be for somebody to start mining information about us for the purposes of spamming us? We send targetted marketing emails out for work every day, I guess targetted spam is the next evolution. The football one is a new idea. It wouldn’t be that hard to geolocate email addresses and insert a local sports team into the subject. (of course, it all depends on how you scraped the emails right?)

Anyway… It’s now Spammers: 1 Ryan: 0

Note: WEXE is actually up 2% at the time of this writing, should I have bought? Typically these stocks all do good briefly, then crash hard as the original spammers sell off all the shares they bought prior to sending out the spam.

Update: it’s trending to crash… each localized maximum of it’s graph is less than the previous… a typical “day trading” trend which means it’s not going to go up.

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