Saturday, March 28, 2009

Security Update released for Firefox

Mozilla is rolling out a security release today for Firefox 3, bringing the current stable version to 3.0.8.

Most users are already seeing an automatic updates this morning but if you aren't, just click 'Help' at the top of the browser then 'Check for Updates'.

This latest update addresses two security issues (with more information on the Mozilla blog here).

Earlier this month Mozilla released a public beta of the next major version of Firefox labeled 3.1 Beta 3.

When released, the version number is expected to jump to Firefox 3.5 representing a significant upgrade.  Beta testers can still try the upcoming Firefox. The beta is here.

The full download for the current 'stable' version of Firefox 3 is here.

March 28 2009 - Earth Hour is on ! (or off?)

Sign Up to Switch Off  - Earth Hour 2009 is here.

Sponsored by the World Wildlife Fund,  Earth Hour 2009 has been developing what is nothing less than an incredible (and continuing) internet buzz throughout most of the day.

Using Twitter, Flicker, YouTube, Friendfeed, Facebook, MySpace and 'member blogs' around the world, the idea is simply to 'go dark' for 1 hour at 8:30 PM (your) local time.

The initiative, started by the World Wildlife Fund, has an ambitious goal of 1 billion participants in 930 cities and 80 countries throughout the day today.

Started in 2007, the event has been growing each year.  A little history can be found in this YouTube video:

There's still time to join in! .... Find out how. Log in to turn off' here.

Update: Google Australia has already taken Earth Hour 2009 to the 'front page':

Update 2: EarthHourUS website is now active here and on Twitter here.

Edited 2 AM ET March 28, 2009

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

PageRank - Stop worrying about yours !

If there's one question I get more than any other it's ... "Why did my PageRank just go down?".

PageRank is the original 'formula' that Google used to rank and index websites. It IS very much still alive and well, but it's important to realize that it's now just one part of a complex ranking algorithm.

There are many factors that go into ranking for a specific keyword (or keyword phrase).

Reality ...

You can effectively rank, even in competitive fields, with a PageRank of ZERO.

I see way too many posts every day with people obsessed over PageRank.  There are even people that sell links from highly ranked websites and blogs. (DON'T buy one.  Sooner or later that pretty lame Black-Hat SEO tactic is likely to come back to bite you!).

If you've got a brand-new website or blog, the best thing you can do is allow access to your content from the SEO 'maven' working with you.  There are a multitude on simple on-site changes than can make all the difference.
Write for your target audience firstProduce quality and relevant content.  Follow a few of the tips outlined (by Google and others) in our earlier post here.

Even in a 'crowded space', you can rank.  Continue to deliver quality content and your organic rank will improve.  It actually can happen pretty quickly.

Some say SEO is a sham.  The only time it really is, is if you're using 'tricks' or so-called black-hat techniques.

Think of SEO as free advertising.  A top-5 (or better yet, top-3) position in the Google Main Index under a viable keyword (or keyword phrase) can bring hundreds, if not thousands of new visitors to your blog or website.

Finally, the Page Rank of this blog recently went down to 4 (I rarely look but someone actually e-mailed me).  It makes perfect sense.  Other obligations have prevented me from posting here daily so there's less to read and less quality and/or relevant content.

Hopefully, I can get a little better at my own time management, and fix that soon :)

In the meantime, as always, I'm hoping this helps a few of you ....

edited 3:25 AM

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Browser Wars continued - Microsoft releases Internet Explorer 8

Last week, Mozilla took their next generation browser Firefox 3.1 to Beta 3.  As noted here on Monday, they began to promote the browser to 'regular' users.

This week also saw Google release a new beta release of Chrome which embraces extensions similar to those used in Firefox (and coveted by many in the tech community).

This morning, Microsoft took the Release Candidate label off of Internet Explorer 8 and unleashed official IE8 downloads for Windows XP, Vista, Server 2008 and other MS operating systems in both 32 and 64 bit variations.

Note: This release of IE8 should not be used by Windows 7 Beta testers (but in most cases, the installation program won't let you install it anyway :)

A variety of refined enhancements to the newly-released browser include more security, speed and better control over compatibity mode.

The installation was flawless for us in 32-bit versions of both Windows XP3 and Vista SP1.

Notable, as has been the case in the past, was the installation of new 'core components', which at this early stage, seem to be providing faster system performance.

In our brief tests this morning, the lighter weight Chrome browser from Google still seems to be the fastest  (including as compared to the new Safari 4 Beta from Apple) under Windows XP.  Firefox 3.1 Beta 3 is close behind with much better handling of Javascript as well as other speed and security enhancements, and greater community driven flexibility.

More testing of Microsoft's 'accelerators' and 'web slices' may yield new results.
Hopefully we can post some of that testing shortly.

Regardless, the race continues among the top 4 web browsers.

It'll be interesting to see whether or not Microsoft can motivate users of IE6 (there are still LOTS) and IE7, to upgrade to this new IE8 release.  The enterprise user 'identity crisis' isn't helping Redmond in their quest to keep market share, although Internet Explorer still commands well over 50% of that space.

It's up to the IT guys (and gals :) and large companies.  The latest IE8 doesn't seem to need a whole lot of system resources.  Getting to the decision makers is a different story .... and Google has been pushing heavily for adoption of Chrome.

Updated 3/19/2009 3 PM

Monday, March 16, 2009

Firefox promotes Version 3.1 Beta 3 to the masses

Mozilla has started promoting the latest Firefox Beta on the browser's home page.

It seems like we have a new trend goin' on as of late with Microsoft unleashing Windows 7 Ultimate Beta to millions of users (a few months ago), Google now promoting their own browser Chrome, on a myriad of Google properties, and others, recently reaching out to as many Beta testers as possible.

It's interesting to note that during our brief test of Firefox 3.1 Beta 3, this time, most extensions seem to have made the upgrade.  (Of course, the extensions I use may not be the one you do).

One that seems to stand out .... Google Gears is currently incompatible.

I suppose it remains to be seen whether Google will continue their financial support for Mozilla now that they've entered the browser arena but it really seemed to 'jump off the page', at least to me, that Google Gears missed this cut?

As for this latest Firefox Beta (which will be released as Firefox 3.5 marking a significant upgrade when final), it IS fast.

Mozilla has added the familiar easy 'top tabs' to open a new window as well as private browsing  (both already adopted by Safari 4 Beta, Chrome, and Internet Explorer 8), as well as a new 'Smart Location Bar'.

More details on Firefox 3.1 Beta 3 can be found here.  Techies might find this page more interesting (Note: Firefox 3.5 now at the top of the page).

Both Firefox (and Chrome) have been increasing market share over the past 6 months.

Regardless of the outcome, it should be a fun year to watch the latest sequel to 'browser wars', as long as everyone stays close to some kind of standard that doesn't create havoc for bloggers and website designers.

Most importantly, while I've been writing this brief post using the Firefox Beta (installed on Windows 7 Beta)   ..... it hasn't crashed .... yet.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

New Feed Address for SEO and Tech Daily

While I'm aware we haven't been 'daily' lately (busy?!), I know there are some of you that enjoy what you find here.

The first Feedburner / Google migration experienced some 'issues', so we've moved things around a but and hope you will too!  (IE:  Change your subscription ... )

The new Feedburner subscription link can now be found at: .

Hoping this works a little better ...

Thanks to all.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

This Windows Update Tuesday effects almost everyone

It was one of the first times Microsoft announced a Windows Update in advance.

Today's Microsoft Blog PR campaign kept up the volume, as Redmond rolled out a new batch of security updates, the most prevelent of which were described in Microsoft Security Bulletins MS009-006 and
and MS009-007.

Numerous Microsoft blogs posted links today ... among them the Microsoft Security Response Center, the Microsoft Security and Research blog (at it's new address), employee blogs, and even a page on

What they missed in most of these pieces is that Windows 7 Beta testers should also visit the integrated Windows Update in their Control Panel.  Passive by design in the beta release, users need to click on 'Check for Updates' and will find, at minimum, the update described in MS009-006.

This latest batch from Redmond includes something for almost every Microsoft operating system (going back to Windows 2000), a list of which can be found now at the Microsoft Download Center including a complete ISO image.

A little reminder post in case you missed the earlier buzz .... So far, my updates to XP3, Vista and Windows 7 are doing just fine ...

TV driving search? You bet.

I think most of us would agree that Twitter has a lot to thank CNN for.

Mentioned in previous posts here, CNN was the first 'mass media' network to use Twitter extensively live.

It set a trend which fed on itself.

As I logged on tonight, I noticed that what I was about to search on Google, was already trending in the number one position (little box, lower right).

'Stillwater PA" was in number one, and there was a reason.

The popular (and my second favorite) TV show, NCIS, showed numerous shots of a town called Stillwater PA in tonight's episode.  (I won't ruin it for the West Coast, but suffice to say it's where Jethro grew up).

Living here in PA, I found it a little interesting.  I also have some friends in Stillwater which brought it home. You'll actually find numerous Stillwaters in PA (including townships, etc) but only one with a zip code.
I'm still trying to figure out which the show was referring to, if any (Please don't ask me why ?!).

A few takeaways and some food for thought ...

1) MOST people are probably still watching TV in real-time despite Tivo and DVRs dominating 'our' tech scene.
2) Could Google Trends be more accurate than the 'original' TV rating services or a contributor at some point?
3) TV (and other mass media including newspapers and magazines) still reach hundreds of millions of viewers each day and depending who's watching what, the programming can have a profound effect on your thinking, software you use (on or offline) and much, much more.  (Work on this for a while and you've got your own blog post!)

and 4) .... NCIS is almost as awesome as 24.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Enhancing the SXSW 09 experience with PubCon South

For techies, it's a lot more than Bonnaroo ...

The stage is set.   The buzz is ON.

SXSW 09, (or South by SouthWest) is fast approaching with people from all over the world now chiming in "See you in Austin" on the various online social networks.

The combination Music, Film, Interactive and Tech fest is rapidly becoming a 'don't miss' on many more people's busy schedules.

For some, it's just plain fun.  For others, a valuable networking opportunity.

SXSW is, in fact, an eclectic event with just about something for everyone.

SWSWeek this year runs from March 13-22nd,  and from the looks of it so far, the event doesn't seem to be feeling the recession pinch that many others have.

The event before the event?

Many of you know of or have attended WebmasterWorld's PubCon in Las Vegas.
PubCon has been held in numerous other places over the years but Vegas has been the most talked about conference.

This years, PubCon South 2009 returns to Austin, TX and runs March 11-13 just prior to SWSW ... 

Kicked off this year by a 'fireside chat' with Guy Kawasaki and Chris Brogan, the conference features an  interesting cross section of experts in search, search marketing and social networking.

Change those plane tickets?  PubCon is a great way to expand the SXSW experience if you still can.

The smaller venue allows for more personal networking, some great SEO and SEM workshops, and more.

You can follow Pubcon 2009 on Twitter here

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Firefox Upgrades to Version 3.0.7

Current stable version of Firefox browser moves to version 3.0.7

A short time ago, Mozilla announced and released the latest upgrade to Firefox 3.

Most users are currently reporting that automatic upgrades have not yet begun (as of this post), but, as in the past, you can upgrade easily to the latest version of Firefox by simply tapping 'Help' at the top of your browser, then 'Check for Updates'.

This latest release addresses security and stability issues, some specific 'bugs', and support for three more languages.  Complete release notes can be found here.

The full set of downloads (localized for Linux, Windows and Mac) for Firefox 3.0.7 can now be found here.

Links edited 9:45 pm ET March 4, 2009

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

New Media - The Mix is the Magic

For the past couple of months, I have been watching a group of companies (all large, in two distinct spaces) to see if they are taking advantage of one of the few silver linings of the economic downturn.

There's a literal fire sale going on right now in almost every form of media.

In this completely non-scientific study, I used my own reading, viewing and surfing habits to see who, if anyone, is taking advantage this landscape.
I also enlisted a few 'friends' whose habits are definitely not the same as mine.

There are some true stand outs. Large, 'old-school' companies that have embraced SEO, Social Networking, Microblogging and more. The list came as a complete surprise, as it was others that I expected to be there.

On the whole, about 15% of the companies we watched were rolling out extremely cost effective marketing campaigns and, in fact, they are the ones whose balance sheets are showing it (relative to the economy).

The question becomes ...

Where's everyone else?

While not every advertising vehicle is right for every company, current pricing makes it 'more-than-reasonable' in MANY cases.

Just a few overlooked areas:
Medium and small market TV, medium and small market radio, satellite TV (and radio), rural newspapers, and yes, PPC!

How about wholesale classifieds?
It's still not just about Craigslist.

PPC rates are the lowest in many spaces that they've been in years.

The buyers either aren't there at all or they're doing the complete opposite. Overdoing it by just taking position 1 and throwing $$$ in the trash.

It's the Mix that's the Magic ...
and in these times, it's more important than ever.

 Take a close look at where your ad dollars are going!.

Experiment with a variety of options.

If it doesn't work, try some others.

Almost any company, large or small, should be able to bring a reasonable amount of visibility to their product or service right now.

My two cents for this week. Hopefully back to posting more often soon!

Good week all!

edit 3:42 PM ET Tues