the Vernon Journal

Serving the Kingdom in Southeast Asia

Filtering by Tag: internet

How to Read the Web

I love Google Reader. It is the best way to get the newest news and information from all the sites you like without having to travel from site to site. The great thing about Google Reader is that it allows access from any computer in the world. Google really is keeping the world's attention, but it's hard to complain when their products are so good.

Here's the simple version of how to use Google Reader:

1. Set up a Google mail account by going here.
2. Go to your favorite website and look for a (usually orange) box that says RSS or rss or search the site for "RSS feed"
3. Once you click on a feed you will stumble upon a variety of pages which will either look like code or a website depending on your browser and the feed provider. Nothing here matters except for the Web Address in the Address Bar (http://somthinghere...). Highlight the address and copy it. Or you can just copy this link : http://feeds.feedburner.com/tvj-allfeeds : to subscribe to all the news from The Vernon Journal.
4. Now go to your Google Reader page here.
5. In the left-hand side of the page there is a light-green box that says Add Subscription - Click it!
6. Paste the link you copied into the Add Subscription box and then click Add!
7. You did it! You have now subscribed to a website and whenever new articles, news, or even comics are available you can read them all on one page!

This allows you access to an incredible amount of information to be read at your leisure, allowing you to read only the articles that are interesting to you in a way that is much faster than wading through the web. Here's my recent reading activity:

From your 88 subscriptions, over the last 30 days you read 3,393 items, starred 23 items, and shared 43 items.

There are, of course, even more neat tips and tricks for you to enjoy within Google Reader, especially as your collection of websites (feeds) grows, but I will save those for another time. For now, enjoy reading the web!

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lijit :: who can i trust in cyberspace?

lijit logo - search the web with your friends

Despite the fact that we share a last name, Todd Vernon is not related to me, but I do trust him. Actually, to be more accurate, Andy Stanberry trusted me, I trusted Stan James and Stan trusts Todd.

Todd and Stan, respectively CEO and CTO of Lijit Networks, Inc., are hoping that more people will trust them too. Not their opinion of what websites are good, but their idea that it is easier to navigate the web when we know what sites are recommended by our friends. Lijit is hoping that trust will change the way the world searches the web, and the tagline from the lijit.com splashscreen tells it all (including the generation these guys are from):

There are over eight billion web pages.
Most of them suck.
Lijit helps you find relevant information on the Internet by leveraging connections with your friends and trusted sources to separate the good from the bad, the wheat from the chaff, the gold from the ore...well, you get it.

Currently, most of us trust one of two major authorities for our web searches: Google or Yahoo. Occasionally, however, some slimy website will sneak up the rankings of these search giants and we end up wasting a day fighting viruses, spyware, malware or paying for something we shouldn't. It's times like those we need a friend. We need people we trust to help us along as we walk down the information superhighway.

Well, it's coming. Our friends, our community, people we really know, who can search with us without having to be in the same room as us.

Lijit adds ratings to pages within our search results which show us what sites our friends like, thus allowing us to navigate the millions of results every web search returns by highlighting the results that our friends recommend.

A recent article on lijit from the Daily Camera reported:

The company hopes to reorganize Internet search results so users are not at the mercy of page rank, said Todd Vernon, chief executive officer of Lijit. The software is able to accomplish this by sending the reports, or "trust assessments," generated by users' friends and sources through RSS feeds and other means. By doing this, the company hopes to stop people from stumbling onto spyware sites and get people to the Web sites they want to see in a more productive manner.

The idea is analogous to walking around town with friends and receiving feedback from them about the shops and restaurants passed by, Vernon said.

If you had a chance to go with what your best friends think or what the world thinks, you're going to go with your friends," he said.

The project is still in Beta, so it's not ready for general public consumption, but this small, community-driven extention seems to be exactly what we have been looking for as we search the web and even stay up-to-date with our friends. Already, I've found a great real-estate pricing site, a friend's wandering website and a rss feed of the best prices on the internet (even better than woot or pricegrabber). Isn't community fun?

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Definitions by Paul: "E-Guilt"

I often make words up. I think this is largely because of my poor memory - I forget the word I want to use so I just make one up in the moment. Unfortunately, the only person who can ever understand these words is my wife, who (because she is a saint) has spent so much time with me that she just miraculously knows what I'm talking about. Through my hundreds, even thousands of bumbling words, I will occasionally stumble across an idiom which should be a part of daily speech. One of these words was used in the recent post My Secret, and needs clarification:

e-guilt: (e gilt) (also: electronic guilt) the nagging shame of leaving emails, instant messages (IMs), Voice over IP (VOIP) calls, text messages, blogs or podcasts unanswered or unupdated.

Now, if you need definitions for any of the words within this definition, you probably do not suffer from the full effects of e-guilt; but to those who are afflicted, this is the diagnosis for that which ails us. Now, it's out there. Go ahead world, use it.

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