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Ecosamurai
10-25-2006, 04:34 AM
Hello all,

Some of you may or may not know that Google have launched a new toy, the google co-op. It enables you to design a personalized search engine by listing the sites it should search rather than just searching the entire internet (but it can do that too as google normally would).

If anyone wants to collaborate and add sites I've set up search engine and added aikiweb.com, aikidofaq.com and aikidojournal.com so far. Will be adding more soon.

Check it out here:

http://www.google.com/coop/cse?cx=011352398458356295733%3Am_vda7wnek0

I can only invite 100 people to collaborate, all you have to do is go to the page and volunteer :)

Cheers

Mike Haft

Paul Nicholls
10-25-2006, 08:57 AM
Hi Mike. This certainly looks like a good idea! Signed up to volunteer but also wondered about a few things. Wrote up some background on the new Google customized search yesterday (http://www.ebiztutors.com/index.php/?p=316) in case anyone is more curious about it. But a few issues come up:

(1) Are you planning to keep fairly tight editorial control over this? I think you (or some kind of editorial board) should. The way the search engine finally operates will be determined by what sites it searches. Thus, you get to decide what's "in/out" and just broadly putting in everything vaguely aikido-related puts us back to square one with a pretty broad search? Think that the ultimate quality of this is very much determined by careful selection of the sites?

(2) Can't quite recall, but isn't there a bit more you can do with this, such as specifying keywords or subject terms or something, plus customizing the search features to some extent? Any plans there so far?

(3) What about the PPC advertising? Think Google will MAKE you take it (plus whatever money it makes). Which brings up a couple things. First, if suppliers are included (which I think they should be--lots of people will be looking for a good place to buy equipment?) they should like those PPC ads a lot and you may have a going concern so far as the ad business is concerned. But, although this search engine looks like it's at Google right now, is the intention to integrate it with the AikiWeb site finally? Then have to wonder what they will think about having the PPC ads around. Think they have advertising already so maybe wouldn't care.

Anyway, those are the only issues that occurred to me when first hearing about Google's new thing and what you mean to do with it (which is a natural!). Anyway, just waiting to see what direction you're taking this in and all ready to start collecting some sites to add! Duh--I didn't even try it so far, which I guess would be pretty interesting to do?

Ecosamurai
10-25-2006, 09:17 AM
(1) Are you planning to keep fairly tight editorial control over this? I think you (or some kind of editorial board) should. The way the search engine finally operates will be determined by what sites it searches. Thus, you get to decide what's "in/out" and just broadly putting in everything vaguely aikido-related puts us back to square one with a pretty broad search? Think that the ultimate quality of this is very much determined by careful selection of the sites?

Yup, I was planning on adding only 'official' HQ sites rather than individual dojo sites, so aikikai hombu, ki soc hombu etc, plus any they may have on a country by country basis, i.e. NY aikikai or USAF type websites. Individual dojo aren't going in there (at least I hadn't planned to put them there)


(2) Can't quite recall, but isn't there a bit more you can do with this, such as specifying keywords or subject terms or something, plus customizing the search features to some extent? Any plans there so far?

Yes, you can add labels as you can in google mail, I've only added one label so far and thats 'history' which i've tagged aikidojournal.com with.


(3) What about the PPC advertising? Think Google will MAKE you take it (plus whatever money it makes). Which brings up a couple things. First, if suppliers are included (which I think they should be--lots of people will be looking for a good place to buy equipment?) they should like those PPC ads a lot and you may have a going concern so far as the ad business is concerned. But, although this search engine looks like it's at Google right now, is the intention to integrate it with the AikiWeb site finally? Then have to wonder what they will think about having the PPC ads around. Think they have advertising already so maybe wouldn't care.

I have no plans to make any money from it. I haven't signed up for a google adsense account. You can switch the ads off by saying you are a government or non-profit concern, I haven't done that yet because I wasn't sure what the deal would be with people like equipment suppliers etc maybe wanting to see their paid for google ads being removed from the search.

With regards to integration with aikiweb, I emailed Jun about it before I posted this and he reminded me that aikiweb already has an (underused) search function. The small bit of google code thats available can be freely integrated into anyones website if they want it (its definitely going on mine).

Like I said, I'm not really intested in making any cash out of it. If suppliers would like to continue to see their ads listed next to the search results then they should probably stay. If thats the case then it seems a shame to waste a potential source of revenue, in which case deciding what to do with it would become an issue. Donating it to worthy causes such as aikidojournal.com or aikiweb.com is one possiblitiy. But we'll see how things work out.


Anyway, those are the only issues that occurred to me when first hearing about Google's new thing and what you mean to do with it (which is a natural!). Anyway, just waiting to see what direction you're taking this in and all ready to start collecting some sites to add! Duh--I didn't even try it so far, which I guess would be pretty interesting to do?

Thanks for the feedback.

Mike

Ecosamurai
10-25-2006, 09:24 AM
That reminds me, 9 people have so far volunteered to contribute, only one of them has given their name, I've accepted them as contributors anyway but will no longer be accepting unnamed contributors from no on.

Cheers

Mike

RampantWolf
10-25-2006, 09:55 AM
Hi Mike

I was one of the volunteers and have updated my profile there... but I never received any sort of confirmation that I'd been accepted. I just happened to look at it after seeing your last post and noticed that my 'Waiting for Mike to accept' flag had gone... but the 'Volunteer to contribute to this search engine' link is still there.

Google haven't made it very clear at all.

Cheers

Ecosamurai
10-25-2006, 10:05 AM
Google haven't made it very clear at all.

Yeah, I never got any notifications that people had volunteered, I suspect that will come later, its pretty new after all.

In the meantime, the following code creates the customised google search box, if anyone wants it, just add it to your website code and away you go.

<!-- Google CSE Search Box Begins -->
<form id="searchbox_011352398458356295733:m_vda7wnek0" action="http://www.google.com/cse">
<input type="hidden" name="cx" value="011352398458356295733:m_vda7wnek0" />
<input name="q" type="text" size="40" />
<input type="submit" name="sa" value="Search" />
<input type="hidden" name="cof" value="FORID:0" />
</form>
<script type="text/javascript" src="http://www.google.com/coop/cse/brand?form=searchbox_011352398458356295733%3Am_vda7wnek0"></script>
<!-- Google CSE Search Box Ends -->

Paul Nicholls
10-25-2006, 10:17 AM
Hi Mike. Looks like you are well on your way if nine volunteers already signed up! Think that's wise just putting the hombu dojos in--you can imagine someone typing just two terms: "yoshinkan france" and getting the hq dojo precisely? And all the local dojos are going to be listed on that site anyway?

Those labels (tags, subject headings?) look like one of the keys to the glory of your search engine--if expanding the list beyond HISTORY, applying it consistently and making it available so others can search using it, then you've introduced a lot of control? Don't know exactly what or how many you would come up with, but I can imagine an HQ one for all those hombu dojos, some kind COMM one for suppliers/businesses and don't know what else. I know it's important to decide how many though, make sure they're right, and that they're applied consistently.

Yes, forgot that you and probably AikiWeb are non-profits so Google would let you out of the PPC. Expect that businesses would LIKE ads to appear (or maybe not if they're relying on their site itself rather than ads--in fact, those sites would probably prefer no advertising allowed and everyone rely on pure merit/reputation?) but it's no deal-breaker if you are ad-free and it's not their decision whether you index their site or not.

Guess I will try to submit some Canadian suppliers sites then, unless there are more specific assignments about who should be doing what?

Ecosamurai
10-26-2006, 04:49 AM
In answer to your question, no, there are no specific jobs for people. Just login to google coop, go to my search engines and you should be able to add websites and label them.

Mike

David Humm
11-14-2006, 04:10 AM
Count me in.. Fantastic idea

Ecosamurai
11-14-2006, 04:34 AM
Hi Dave,

I've added everyone who has volunteered so far.

Tried a few times to post about it over on aikido-l but all my emails are being bounced (Marc Kupper you listening? Sorry I haven't replied, thats why).

A few things I've noticed. Frames aren't good, I have three domain names which forward to my dojo website and putting in my name should return pages from that site but it doesn't. If you're adding a page which you know is a forwarding domain name, try to add the source page instead.

I only have editorial control over the labels people can apply to sites, my list of sites consists only of the sites I have personally added, I can't see the sites other collaborators have added.

The code you need to add it into a website is posted earlier in this thread.
Have fun

Mike

RampantWolf
11-14-2006, 08:35 AM
Hi Mike

I have added a few sites as well but, like you said, you only see the ones that you added personally so hopefully we are not all doubling or tripling up. I might have to try adding the same site a couple of times and see if it flags it as already existing.

For an organisation like Google, it really seems like a half baked attempt at it, with the page widths and other issues that we have found so far. Good idea, execution needs work :)

Cheers
Gavin

Ecosamurai
11-14-2006, 09:06 AM
Hi Gavin,

I don't think doubling up on sites will make much of a difference really, don't think they will be searched twice by google or will skew results much, and in any case if they were duplicated by all contributors it would likely indicate they were important sites and so results would be better skewed towards them :)

Typically of google they release half finished things that sort of work and add bits as they go. I think their policy is deliberately opposite from the old microsoft policy of: We're releasing something new now, ok we're delaying it, delaying it again, delaying it again we'll let you have it sometime when we can be bothered....

I think that google release stuff that works but needs improvement, so I suspect that google co-op will be no different and will improve over time, if we stick with it it will prob do better.

I think that for the future I'll use this thread to update people about things that they send me.

Cheers

Mike

Ecosamurai
11-14-2006, 09:16 AM
I should add that so far the aikido search engine is working well, to try it out I searched for 'Yamada' and the first two sites it returned were NY Aikikai home page: www.nyaikikai.com/yamada.asp and aikikai hombu's website page listin 'instructors abroad'

Mike

David Humm
11-14-2006, 12:44 PM
Just because Google have made it easy for people to admin this feature.. For those who've subscribed to be collaborators:

http://www.google.com/coop/cse?cx=0...3%3Am_vda7wnek0

1.. Go to "My Account" (Top right hand leading edge)
2.. Under "My Services" click "Co-op"
3.. on the page "Welcome to Google Co-op"

"Create your own search engine" click "Custom Search Engine"

4..Left hand menu.. click "My Search Engines" That should bring you to those you are subscribed too.

5.. Also left menu click "My Profile" and add your details to be seen by those visiting the aikido Co-op page.

Regards