How to Fix Adblock Plus clash with Lijit search

Firefox users: To disable Adblock Plus on Lijit.com (or any site), you’ll need to add this handy red icon to your toolbar.

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I was trying out the search widget Lijit on this site — not just for site search, but as a “me collector” (to aggregate all my content posted in various places online). It appears to be working fine — except in the Firefox web browser, where I’ve hit a snag.

Turns out that Lijit search and the popular Firefox add-on Adblock Plus (which I use) don’t play nicely with each other at this point. Consequently, if you view Contentious using Firefox (at least the Mac version) and try to conduct a Lijit search, it’ll probably just hang there and deliver no results. However, the Lijit search for my site works just fine for me in the Safari browser.

Lijit community analyst Tara Anderson recently contacted me to ask how Lijit was working for me, and I described this problem. She replied, “Do you have AdBlock as a plug-in on your Firefox browser? If so, then that will block any results from being returned. There is a workaround — you have to add Lijit into the whitelist of your AdBlock and then it should recognize Lijit as a safe site, allowing the results to be displayed.”

OK, so how do you do that? Tara was kind enough to give me the answer…
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Lijit search: Good start as a “me collector”

Lijit as a “me collector” — see it in action in my sidebar.

Yesterday I finally got around to implementing the Lijit search widget on this blog. I didn’t realize until I started playing around with the widget settings that this cool little tool actually goes a long way toward being the kind of “me collector” I’ve been wanting.

Over the summer I wrote a post, I want one place for all my content: Pipe dream?, where I bemoaned the fact that since most of my work is distributed across various sites, forums, services, and social networks, it sometimes is hard for me to find and retrieve my own work.

Lijit allows me to create a search box that works across any collection of sites and accounts that I specify. You can now see it in action on the top of this blog’s sidebar. I have Lijit set to search the archives not only of Contentious.com, but also content I’ve posted on several services (my accounts on Del.icio.us, Flickr, Furl, Facebook, YouTube, etc.). Furthermore, it’ll also search my other projects such as The Right Conversation, I, Reporter, Boulder Carbon Tax Tracker, and more. I’ve also included the group weblogs E-Media Tidbits and SEJ2007, to which I’ve posted considerable content — although search results will pull up other folks’ contributions to those sites. And I’ve included my feed from Co.mments, the comment-tracking service where I track conversations I’ve joined on other blogs. (There again, Lijit returns comments by others in those threads, but my stuff is definitely included).

So now I can more easily find all of my stuff — and so can anyone who uses that search widget. Just remember that when you use my Lijit search, “blog” refers only to content on Contentious.com, while “content” pulls from all those resources I mentioned.

Also, I can update, add, or delete resources for my Lijit search widget and not have to generate new code and copy it to my site. I update my profile on Lijit, and the widget starts pulling from my updates list of resources. Way cool. Less hassle for me.

Plus Lijit gives me interesting search stats, too. That’s all free.

My “me collector” dream is still not completely fulfilled, however…
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How Feeds Make You Findable

freelanceswitch.com
Freelance Switch offered great search visibility advice — for about five years ago.

The blog Freelance Switch just published an intriguing post, Getting Exposure On Search Engines, which addresses one of the most common questions freelance writers or other content producers have. Namely, how can I make myself easy to find online?” For freelancers especially this can be an issue of professional life and death.

The author, Shaun Crowley, offered great advice — for about five years ago.

His column overlooked entirely one key tool — feeds — that can easily outpace the results of everything else he recommended (SEO keywords, search-engine-friendly presentation, browser compatibility, inbound links, directory listings, etc.).

While Crowley did recommend that freelancers start blogging, he only addressed that in terms of a publication, not in terms of what they should do with their feed.

I’ve said it before: Learning to use feeds is a cornerstone skill for today’s online media. And that’s not just about learning to subscribe to feeds in a feed reader (although that’s a great starting point). It’s also about learning how to get your feed well connected so that it’s delivering you the most value by increasing your exposure and search engine positioning.

Here’s what everyone who wants to improve their search visibility should be doing with their feeds, and why…

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Fixing Old News: How About a Corrections Wiki?

NYtimes.com
Any news org should be able to do more with corrections than this…
Denver Post 8/30/2007, p. 2B
Or this… What? You can’t see the corrections on that page?
Denver Post 8/30/2007, p. 2B
…Look way down here in the corner

Even the best journalists and editors sometimes make mistakes. Or sometimes new information surfaces that proves old stories — even very old stories — wrong, or at least casts them in a vastly different light. What’s a responsible news organization to do, especially when those old stories become more findable online?

On Aug. 28, Salon.com co-founder Scott Rosenberg posted a thoughtful response to a Aug. 26 column by New York Times ombudsman Clark Hoyt: When Bad News Follows You.

In a nutshell, the Times recently implemented a search optimization strategy that increased traffic to its site — especially to its voluminous archives. This meant that stories from decades past suddenly appeared quite prominently in current search-engine results. The Times charges non-subscribers to access archived stories.

Hoyt wrote: “People are coming forward at the rate of roughly one a day to complain that they are being embarrassed, are worried about losing or not getting jobs, or may be losing customers because of the sudden prominence of old news articles that contain errors or were never followed up.”

“…Most people who complain want the articles removed from the archive. Until recently, The Times’s response has always been the same: There’s nothing we can do. Removing anything from the historical record would be, in the words of Craig Whitney, the assistant managing editor in charge of maintaining Times standards, ‘like airbrushing Trotsky out of the Kremlin picture.'”

Hoyt’s column offered no options for redress. He didn’t suggest that the Times might start researching more disputed stories or posting more follow-up stories. Nor did he suggest that the Times might directly link archived stories to follow-ups.

Rosenberg asserts that the Times has an obligation to offer redress. Personally, I agree. Plus, I’ve got an idea of how they (or any news org) could do it — and maybe even make some money in the process…

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