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Drupal Vs. Made From Scratch December 26, 2006

Posted by Pontiff in Drupal, Pontification, web 2.0, web applications.
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Peter Van Dijck’s Guide to Ease

has an interesting discussion that considers the relative merits of using Drupal for startup businesses. The assumption one must make is that this is instead of creating a solution from scratch. He general thesis is :

… Drupal keeps evolving to solve a lot of different problems, it tries to be a swiss army knife. You’ll probably use 20% of Drupal, which means you have 80% cruft (which 20% can be different for everyone), and you’ll probably only have 20% of your needs addressed by Drupal, which means you’ll have to hack around the 80% cruft to get your 80% needs addressed. It’ll just keep frustrating you. ..


I would agree but think it is still better than many alternatives.

I do think the point could be made by saying something like this: The start ups don’t fully understand that it can provide a basic framework but should not see it as more than that. If you start from scratch 80 percent of your time and energy will be spent creating the core system or the systems represented by Drupal Core. Its the other 20% that makes their start up a unique business and this 20% is 100% of what they should be focusing on.

Another way to look at this would be Drupal VS. Scratch. I contend that except in rare circumstances starting from scratch is a competitive disadvantage and can’t think of one inherent benefit

The big assumption here is that they want to use the functions and not creating a software distribution for actual resale. That analysis is slightly different but not completely.


American Airlines has the worst managment on planet Earth and beyond. December 25, 2006

Posted by Pontiff in American Airlines, assholics, assholism, Pontification.
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I hope they don’t close down the Guantanamo Bay water-boarding facility too soon. Honestly I’m as serious as I’ve every been about anything in my life. The skills those guys gained at administering human misery and degradation would both be appreciated by American Airlines management and employees and be an appropriate Christmas present.  It would be my gift to them for making my Christmass  so special . I’m sure all these angry humiliated and exhausted people would support this and chip in if air fare were needed to get the American CEO to Cuba..

I’m sitting here on Christmas eve after the worst Airline on the planet and beyond could not find a flight attendant to ride with a plane FULL of Christmas eve passengers to Tucson from Dallas. Now if you want to know how this company is doing consider that the worst airliner on the planet and beyond — American Airlines — has part of their corporate headquarters here in Dallas.

They had a flight attendant at 8 PM. She decided it was not her job to fly on Christmas eve. They had another flight attendant at 9ish. She was on her way but decided to bag it,, call it a night,,, tip a few with the boys,, attend a water-boarding exhibition given as a Christmas present by the Amercian management.

THEN THEY HAD ANOTHER ATTENDANT CANCEL WHO WAS IN THE BUILDING. They got one who was on the way from Long Beach after that and SHE TOO CANCELED. If you’re counting you will note that FOUR FLIGHT ATTENDANTS DECIDED TO SAY SCREW YOU TO THE CUSTOMERS OF American Airliess the worst airline on Earth.

This absolutely absurd Christmas eve nightmare at the hands of American Airlines the worst Airline on planet earth and beyond is not a joke nor is it an exaggeration of the facts. The weather is fine. The airplane is supposed to be fine but if I were betting I’d say there are major structural problems with the machinery because they employee attitudes would seem to suggest that not only do they not care what happens to the customers.. they are making plans to administer pain and suffering at the most critical times possible. Certainly unsafe aircraft are more possible with this bunch than most.

Here is a quote from their website’s ‘About Us’ page.

American Airlines and American Eagle are in business to provide safe, dependable, and friendly air transportation to our customers, along with numerous related services. We are dedicated to making every flight you take with us something special.

Well some of this is true. Torture and humiliation are related services in by their definition I suppose. And certainly we have a unanimous group of travelers here who feel American has made this flight ‘something special’.

I personally wish the entire company a merry Guantanamo Christmas.

Articles. VS. Blog Aggregation and Search visiblitiy December 15, 2006

Posted by Pontiff in Pontification.
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I was asked how we find blogs for the aggregation sites. The next question inevitably was why we don’t use the static article sites to create search profile for a topic or regionally focused site.

The article sites with free articles ARE where the duplicate issues come into play. That content does get seen as duplicated and might actually hurt you in search visibility.

This is speculation like all things to do with SEO but I see some problems with pulling these articles in terms of a wasted effort .

The problem you face is the information velocity is so low on that stuff. “Duplication filters” as they are termed by SEO experts only come in to play over a longer time span — the longer it sits the more duplicated it is or seems. So the articles which are pulled by multiple sites and seen everywhere are discounted in terms of relevance and therefore useless to your users. That last part is the key. If they find it relevant then so will the search engines. Its simple to know what to do. Pretend you will use the site if you have not.

Allot of this is just my own observations and some is what I’ve read but it all is verified by my own two eyes .. literally.

I’ve been asked how we find blogs to aggregate.

  1. We do a blog search on Google Blog search
  2. Look at the blogs and make a visual inspection and its hard to explain but if it looks like an article site — i.e. where someone is doing the old copy and past of articles AND THAT IS ALL. then its discounted by us.
  3. When we find one that looks okay and the content seems genuine.. even without reading it carefully we start to look at the links or blog roll for more blogs. Our assumption which is almost always correct is that bloggers add bloggers to their rolls who are of like mind and deal with like subjects.
  4. The become quickly exponential and one GOOD blog may be hard to find but once its found then others are much easier.
  5. We look at these sites. See the ones that are posting new content allot and give priority to those. then we read the content and if there are allot of comments we assume that the content is better than sites with few comments.

I’m writing this just because I think its worth repeating to myself and don’t want to let you go down a path without first hearing my take. I can easily be wrong by the way and have zero stake in being right. My stake is in proving results and not defending a positron.

There are a million and twenty SEO experts and all have something to sell. You can find a position and argument for everything and most of it is vague and not provable save for over a long time frame if then .. I.E most of it is bull.

So go back to what it is Google is selling or doing.

They see themselves as not Google but as a search engine that is as vulnerable to completion. Their search results have to be better than Yahoo or Ask or whatever. They want the users to find what they are looking for. End of the story.

So think about this for a sec. If you have a series of sites that have even ONE of the same article (as opposed to RSS fed blog) it will be a warning to anyone that maybe you are collecting ‘articles’ from the free article sites. Again the RSS feeds are SUPPOSED to be duplicated. Also legitimate blog feeds procure two way links.

Here’s the thing of it. Also its the key and the basic tenant. Google is selling users on NOT sending the to article sites.

Look at that list of things we do to find content.. I could expand it by listing some of the ancillary things like searching delicious and Technorati and IceRocket ect.

The point is that after we did it over and over and over I realized something. Every single solitary thing we do right down to the judgment on the look and feel of the site is exactly what Google does when trying to find relevant content for its users. Again look at the main things we do and look at number 3. Does that seem familiar? So I started to think about times when we don’t follow the links.. If there are too many ….


  • Too many outbound links on the first page or the blog tool
  • more than 20 key words per page
  • stale articles — ie. articles for articles sake


  • anything that helps define what your really are and what your really do.

see http://publications.mediapost.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=51784


  • a site on Acne with a bunch of articles about acne that can be found in various places and seem to be in all the same kings of site. — millions of these sites.


  • An aggregation site of bloggers who have acne and talk about their acne problems.. == major opportunity I think.

Users make instant decisions and remember patterns like you wouldn’t believe. Websites and content are like faces which we have an amazing capacity to recognize.,,, Its a very long story and I’m tired .. really and sorry I can’t be more convincing. My opinion. and it is only opinion is that the articles are not going to help you becasue the users will find no vaule in them. It was a short lived trick.