Find Ms Parker July Competition

Hey guys

To spice things up a bit during what can be an otherwise boring time of year, we’re resurrecting the monthly Find Ms Parker competition on Search Engine Wiki.

Find Ms Parker is a good old fashioned hide and seek competition, with regular clues posted on our Facebook page and tweeted via @sewiki. Your task is to Find Ms Parker – our resident librarian – who is hiding on a page somewhere in our resources library at Search Engine Wiki. There’s a picture of her in this post so you know what she looks like.

It’s easy to win. Just find a pic of Ms Parker somewhere on Search Engine Wiki and tweet @sewiki with the page URL and *I found Ms Parker!* in your tweet, as well as the hashtag #FindMsParker so we can track it. If you don’t have a Twitter account, send the URL to us via our Contact Form and put *I found Ms Parker!* as your subject line.

The first person to find her and notify us as per the rules receives a training voucher to the value of USD395 to use towards any course/s at Search Engine College.

So what are you waiting for? Go find Ms Parker!

CLUE #1 : I keep a diary with entries typically displayed in reverse chronological order.

Update 2 July 2012: Ms Parker has been found! Congratulations to David Gall in Brisbane, who found her lurking here. Well done David, your training voucher will be sent out shortly.

 

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Google Celebrates Art Clokey’s Birthday

gumby-doodleNot many people will recognize the name Art Clokey. But a lot more people will recognize the green clay animated character Gumby that he created.

Art Clokey was the pioneer of stop motion clay animation, bringing to life Gumby and his horse Pokey, who first appeared on the American kid’s show Howdy Doody. Art Clokey died last year, but to celebrate what would have been Clokey’s 90th birthday yesterday, Google’s home page featured the tribute doodle you see pictured.

The initial image shows a toy block and 5 balls of colored clay representing the letters in GOOGLE. Clicking on any one of the clay balls launches a delightful animation of the clay taking the shape of one of Clokey’s famous animated characters. A link above the doodle takes you to SERPs for Art Clokey and his life.

One of Google’s better doodles!

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Google Meets Teenage Angst

Google turns 13Today marks Google’s 13th birthday. No longer a tween, Google’s a teen!

To celebrate, Google’s home page sports a tribute doodle 3D birthday card. The card features a retro-inspired birthday party scene complete with party hats, balloons and nanna’s flowery tablecloth. Clicking on the doodle takes you to SERPs for, (unsurprisingly) Google.

Seems like just yesterday that Google was still in diapers, clutching lovingly at the legs of it’s users at every opportunity. Teething was tricky, with quite a few painful months sucking on everything across the web in an effort to stop the pain. Independence came early, with Google spending less time with it’s family of users and more time with those naughty shareholder kids in an attempt to grow up too fast.

Then Google went through that greedy stage, eating everything in sight, including smaller competitors. No wonder it’s grown so large, although we did warn it.

Last year was a challenge, with Google getting bullied by the neighbor kids Bing and Yahoo. But this year has been the hardest of all, with Google getting all emo over Facebook status updates.

Let’s hope the rest of Google’s teenage years aren’t full of angst and acne.

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Google Tool Shines Light on 200 Years of Cultural History

If you fancy yourself a bit of a word-smith, you’ll love the latest plaything to come out of Google Labs.

The Books Ngrams Viewer is a search engine that enables you to trawl the 500 billion words making up the 5.2 million digitized books in Google’s Book Search. The viewer lets you look for specific words or phrases – and here’s the fun part – it graphs the frequency of their written use over time, giving you a historical snapshot of word usage since the year 1800 and up to 2008.

Just before Xmas, I spent a fun few hours testing out the new tool and tracking down the earliest reference I could find to the term *Lord of the Rings* – way back in 1815!  You can check out how I did it via the article I wrote for SiteProNews about my experience.

Happy New Year to you all!

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Educating the Non Geeks in Your Life

teach-parents-techThis time of year can be a bit of a challenge for computer geeks.

If you’re anything like me, you get bombarded at every Xmas function or family get together with the dreaded “Will you fix my computer?” question.

While there are tshirts you can buy that tactfully state your opinion on the matter, they don’t actually address the problem itself, which is the computer issue keeping your friend / colleague / relative awake at night.

Never fear geek friends! Some Google staffers with too much time on their hands have put together the solution in the form of the web site Teach Parents Tech.

Now you can simply avoid awkward technical conversations by sending helpful tech support videos to all the non-geeks in your life. You simply choose the most appropriate wording for your email care package (with tone ranging from condescending to helpful) and attach one or more video tutorials.

There are over 50 basic instructional videos available, divided into the following categories:

* The Basics
* World Wide Web
* Communication
* Media
* Finding Information

Now, instead of dreading a drunk Uncle Dave cornering you after Xmas pudding with the question “I want to be an Internet zillionnaire. How do I schtaart my own webblog thingy *burp*?”, you can simply pre-empt it by emailing him a helpful How to Make a Blog video tutorial.

When your school secretary contacts you complaining that her computer is broken because nobody in her 2000 member email list has received her 20MB newsletter attachment, you’ll be ready with a helpful How to Share a Big File video.

When your elderly neighbor asks you to switch out her David Hasselhoff screensaver for one featuring Justin Bieber, you’ll be able to send her the perfect video instructions to do it herself.

Geeks Unite! Now the only thing you have to dread is the awkward silence next Xmas when Uncle Dave asks why nobody is visiting his blog.

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