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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Google’s Tribute to John Lennon

A visit to Google this morning reveals a new Google Doodle – a tribute to John Lennon on what would have been his 70th birthday.

But today’s Doodle, (Google’s nickname for their holiday logos), includes a little extra surprise. When you click on the Doodle itself, a short audio clip from Lennon’s haunting ballad Imagine plays, accompanied by an animation sequence inspired by the music.gg-john-lennon-final

The Doodle itself incorporates the famous self-portrait hand drawn by Lennon from the ‘Bag One Portfolio’, an artistic chronicle of his wedding ceremony to Yoko Ono, their honeymoon and their plea for world peace.

After the animation clip plays, the Doodle morphs into a drawn style and then you are naturally redirected to search results for “John Lennon”.

A fitting tribute and much more inspiring than some of the more recent Doodles being churned out from Mountain View.

Nicely done Google.

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Win a Tag Cloud T-Shirt in Search Engine Wiki’s Birthday Competition

Ms-Parker2Three years ago, staff at Search Engine College launched Search Engine Wiki BETA, the world’s first vertical wiki dedicated to search engines and search engine marketing.

Search Engine Wiki is basically a collaborative online library of search engine marketing (SEM) resources. With the search community’s help, Search Engine Wiki has now grown to include thousands of SEM resources, freely available to the public.

Some of the most popular resources on the Wiki include:

  • Lists of regional search engines categorized by country, type and industry.
  • A glossary of definitions for common terms used in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC) and Search Engine Marketing.
  • An extensive library of search engine marketing articles.
  • Employment resources where you can find SEO, PPC and SEM jobs.
  • A collection of popular search engine marketing blogs and newsfeeds.
  • Frequently Asked Questions about search engines and SEM.
  • A list of popular search engine marketing tools and time saving software.
  • Links to upcoming search industry conferences and events.
  • A list of social media sites and related tools.

View the entire list of wiki categories.

Search Engine Wiki is now out of BETA and celebrating three years of activity. Read our official Press Release.

We’re so excited about Search Engine Wiki’s birthday, that we’re giving away a geeky Search Engine College tag cloud tshirt every (business) day this month to the first person to find Ms Parker on the Search Engine Wiki website.

You can see a picture of Ms Parker on this page. She’s always on the move, tidying up resource pages and messy aisles of ebooks, so she can be very hard to spot. If you see her first, make sure you tweet the phrase “I found Ms Parker!” and a link to the page that you found her on to: @sewiki.

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

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Comment Spam Comedy

clown-sadLike most bloggers, I am inundated with comment spam, where link droppers post a random comment on your blog that includes a link to a web site, for the sole purpose of gaining traffic and link popularity to the site.

Wikipedia defines comment spam or blog spam as:

“Spam in blogs is a form of spamdexing. It is done by automatically posting random comments or promoting commercial services to blogs, wikis, guestbooks, or other publicly accessible online discussion boards.”

Being a WordPress user, I find that most spam is caught by WordPress’ built-in anti spam plugin Akismet, but sometimes a few gems make it past the filter and into my comment review list.

Most comment spam is completely non-sequitur to the post it is dropped on, making it highly amusing. Having chuckled on a daily basis at the comment spam received on this blog, I thought the comments deserved a blog of their very own. Therefore, this week I launched Comment Spam Comedy.

The goal of Comment Spam Comedy is to publish the most amusing non-sequitur blog comments posted across the web. I welcome submissions so if you have a worthy contender for publishing, please contact me via the site or via the Twitter account.

When you submit your comment spam, please include the commenter’s name, the URL he/she link dropped and the URL of the post it was dropped on.

Enjoy the randomness!

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Google Doodle Celebrates 30 Years of Pac-Man

The iconic arcade game Pac-Man celebrated it’s 30th anniversary this month. That’s right, 30 years ago, Pac-Man was launched in Japan and it’s been a firm favorite ever since, with young and old.

To commemorate Pac-Man’s 30th birthday, Google created an interactive Home Page Doodle:  a Flash-based mini game of Pac-Man incorporating the Google logo. The “I’m feeling lucky” was replaced with a new button “Insert Coin” and you could play Pac-Man complete with 1980’s sound effects without leaving the Google home page. Apparently, it’s the first time Google have ever used Flash on their home page.

The game proved so popular with office procrastinators, that Google has kept it live so you can play it to your heart’s content. To play, you simply click that button or wait a few moments and the game will start by itself. If you click twice on “Insert Coin” then two people can play. Ms Pac-Man joins the game, with the second person controlling her movements using the WASD keys.

If you’re a Pac-Man freak, Mashable has shared how to download Google’s Pac-Man game to your PC so you can play without an Internet connection any time you like.

Happy Birthday Pac-Man.

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