Bryan Ruby


Thoughts, Words, and Deeds

Knowing Tech in South Dakota

Yesterday, I spent my time at the Techknowlogy Summit in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. We don't get too many technology or geek conventions in the state of South Dakota, so I didn't want this one go to by without a mention here at CMS Report.

Keynote Speaker

The Techknowlogy Summit is a trade show with presentations by both national and regional leaders in technology. The keynote speaker for the show was Kodak Company's Bill Lloyd, CTO, discussing his company's transformation for meeting the demands of the digital age. It was an interesting discussion on the challenges a century old company faces when needing to shift their primary products (film) over to new digital products. Kodak's current modernization efforts began around 2001 and is expected to be near completion in 2007. It was an interesting story, a story that looks likely to have a happy ending for the company and its investors.

Breakout Sessions

The show also had some breakout sessions. I attended a couple Web oriented sessions as well as a session on project management (well done). Regarding the Internet focused sessions, all the speakers were knowledgeable but I'm not convinced all the speakers fully understood who was in their audience. The make-up of the audience was made up by about half developers and half small business people (many of them small retail owners). Naturally, a business technology show should have made sure those talks had the small business owners in mind.

No claim to JPEG

Website owners rejoice! Forgent Networks has dropped their claim on owning the patent rights for JPEG. While this hasn't been a huge concern for most Web designers it's still one less worrisome thought to worry about! Groklaw was the first site that I came across this story:

Here you go, straight from the Public Patent Foundation's press release: Forgent Networks has stopped asserting its patent against JPEG, has dropped all its pending cases that were asserting the patent, and says that it won't file any other infringement claims based on the patent. Read more...

Uncle Ray on E-Bay

Ray Evans Steelers Football Player 1948

After 20 years working with computers and 10 years putting Web pages on the Internet, I finally got around to making my first eBay purchase. My first purchase on eBay helped end a five year search for a 1948 football card of Ray Evans while he was quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Ray Evans not only was an NFL quarterback, but he also the University of Kansas' first All-American in both football and basketball.

Why did I want this football card of Ray Evans? Well besides the fact that he was a great athlete he was also my great Uncle. For the past five years I've searched the Internet looking for this card and ironically it showed up three weeks ago on eBay. The auction ended just in time for me to give the card to his niece for a birthday present.

To my surprise no one in the family knew that this card ever existed. I cannot help but wonder how many things we let slip away through the passage of time before we had the Internet. Suddenly legends are able to live on a lot longer before slipping away in the history books. This is the kind of stuff that makes me proud to be in the field of information technology

So Is It a Smart Move or Silly Money 2.0?

Google Buys CMSReport.com. That's at least what I would have liked this week's headlines to read. Instead, everyone in the business world is still scratching their head and wondering what to make of the Google and YouTube deal. Are we about to enter real growth and value in tech or are we about to face a Dot-Net Bubble 2.0? I don't have all the answers, but it looks like everyone is watching. BusinessWeek has this to say in their article, Smart Move or Silly Money 2.0?

WHO'S NEXT? Now, the question is whether YouTube's valuation will extend to up-and-coming buyout contenders. So far, it looks like only a few sites have demonstrated growth and engagement with users that might command similar prices. Exhibit A: Facebook, whose value as determined by its venture investors has jumped from $100 million in its first round in September, 2005, to $500 million in a second round last April. And that's just the start. Sources say bidders such as Yahoo are willing to pay up to $1 billion today.

So was Google's buy of YouTube smart or silly? Just as the BusinessWeek article discusses in their own article, the answer to that question is anybody's guess. I think if Google bought YouTube only for its young fickle audience and the level of synergy currently present at the site...it was a silly move. However, Google may have also bought YouTube before anybody else could which is likely a very smart move.

Traffic Rank and Site Confusion at Alexa

A few months ago I came across Alexa Web Search for the very first time. Alexa not only offers the usual search engine features, but also additional site statistics dealing with traffic ranking. Naturally, I entered my own site into the rankings to see what I could find. Considering my site has been around for only six months I was impressed that I had a traffic rank under 300,000.

Considering that there are nearly 50 million sites presently on the Internet, a site ranking under half a million is pretty good in my book. I had heard that sites using the Drupal content management system ranked well with the various search engines so I was pleased I chose Drupal for my site. All and all, those first few moments visiting Alexa were spent patting myself on the back for a job well done.

Then to my surprise I noticed that although I had typed in cmsreport.com, Alexa displayed uly.net. Uly.net was a domain I had never heard of before visiting Alexa.com. Worse, it appears that uly.net may have been benefiting from the traffic my site receives.

Traffic Rank for uly.net:

218,200

Where do people go on uly.net?

  • cmsreport.com - 98%

Now some of you might be asking yourself, why do I really care how my site is ranked? I'd like to say, it really doesn't matter to me either since I do run this site for "fun". But, I have an ego. I do get a sense of pride for finally having a site where people actually show up and visit. Put it this way, when you host sites that rank above 2 million you feel somewhat rewarded to finally have a site with only six digits in its rank. More importantly, there is benefit to understanding how traffic rankings from sites such as Alexa, Google, and Technorati are being utilized.