links for 2010-03-08

 by Martin Belam, 8 March 2010
  • Maybe I'm missing the point here, but does this story not boil down to "Woman may not have voted the same way her husband (presumably) does, some time before he became leader of his party?". And, unless the Camerons at some point lived in Sedgefield, she can't have "voted for Tony Blair" can she? I don't tell my wife how to vote, why should Cameron?
  • "Local newspapers have been in decline for several years. The depression has accelerated the process with more than 1,000 editorial jobs axed in the space of a year. Instant news on the web has replaced in-depth reporting & investigation. Pat talks about what has been lost & what the future may hold". I'm gutted that I'm going to be away on holiday and will miss this. Pat Stannard was editor of the Waltham Forest Guardian for many years, and this talk about the local newspaper industry looks to be well worth attending. If someone goes and takes notes for me, they can have the first ever guest blogging spot on currybetdotnet to write about it...
  • "Starting late Friday afternoon we conducted a 12 hour experiment to see if it would be possible to simply make content disappear for visitors who were using a very popular ad blocking tool. Technologically, it was a success in that it worked. Ad blockers, and only ad blockers, couldn't see our content. We tested just one way of doing this, but have devised a way to keep it rotating were we to want to permanently implement it. But we don't. Socially, the experiment was a mixed bag. A bunch of people whitelisted Ars, and even a few subscribed. And while others showed up to support our actions, there was a healthy mob of people criticizing us for daring to take any kind of action against those who would deny us revenue even though they knew they were doing so. Others rightly criticized the lack of a warning or notification as to what was going on". [via Martin Stabe]
  • "Now all search engines struggle,  to varying degrees,  with the knotty mess that is natural language. But they don’t generally don’t get called rubbish for not succeeding with the meaty search challenges. Rubbish search engines are the ones that can’t seem to answer the most basic requests in a sensible manner. These are ones that get mocked as “random link generators”, the jibbering wrecks of their breed."
  • "Overall the project was a great success but it raised some interesting questions. The design of the indexes was created by the user experience team. The algorithms were written by developers and informed the ordering of the stories.  This left journalists to simply tag stories and watch their stories appear on indexes they had no control over. It certainly felt like their influence on part of the product had moved a step away from them. This was reflected in journalists’ feedback and the frequent questions about how to game the system to control the order of stories on indexes."

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