Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Wikia Search dead? was released January 7, 2008 as an open source search engine enhanced by user submitted content. But looking at, the wiki about the project, there has been no news in over a month. And the forums look dead too. This could be a really interesting project, but seems like the open source community hasn't embraced it yet. Maybe we're tired of Jimmy? Maybe he's tainted?

If anyone is interested in working on the concept of open search, I recommend Lucene which is the engine Wikia Search is based on, or solr which is an enhacement of lucene. I've done a solr proof of concept in the past several months, and I love what solr can do. I think I'll be spending time their. Google can't be the final solution to search.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

chili's hates vegatarians

My wife and I ate at the new chili's here in town. You expect the service to suck at a new restaurant, but they canned our waitress mid-meal and her replacement was great. No worries there.

But I could not find a single vegetarian entree on the menu. I'm not a vegetarian, but I like to eat healthy, and try to be environmentally friendly. I've learned you can conserve more water than forgoing 1 lb of beef than if you forgo showering for an entire year. And I'm trying to loose weight as my New Years resolution. Plus I love veggies, and that's what I was craving tonight.

The sucky waitress didn't know what they offered for vegetarian choices, but after discussing with the manager said there were some things they did. So I asked for the manager and confirmed that, in fact, there were no vegetarian entrees on the menu. But she was a vegetarian herself and suggested a couple of things she liked. So I took her recommendation and got a fajita with lots of veggies and a bean pattie. It was fine, and I enjoyed it. The manager was awesome, and I made it a point to tell her our new waitress was great, the other one was lousy, and thats when she told us that the other one was "no mas."

We won't go back there though. My wifes peach margarita was way too sweet she said, and the menu choices were just not good. There was nothing healthy.

So chili's.... why not a single vegetarian entree on the whole menu?

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Compete Aquired

Mashable reports Compete Acquired by TNS for $75 Million. Compete offers free public web metrics, like Quantcast. Unlike Alexa, in that it doesn't suck.

I predict that in five years either Compete and Quantcast will be purchased by Google, and the new company will *replace* Nielsen/Net Ratings and comScore. Information wants to be free, and the industry desperately needs a trusted third party to step in so we can all start comparing traffic using the same measuring stick. Mergers and acquisitions rely on this data, and beyond the top 10 sites, Nielsen and comScore methodologies can't see through the data storm.

The survivor will combine data that works by getting anonymized data from a significant portion of ISPs, like HitWise does, and data gathered from javascript that can be copied and pasted onto your website -- does this part sound like Google Analytics to anyone? Google also has the peering relationship with ISPs to get the first part done. And they have the "preventing fraud" chops to get it done right.

Nielsen will not be trusted any more then it currently is (not a lot) and it's Golden Age has past. comScore hasn't shown it can do a better job. Long live {insert successor here}!