The Unknowable Source of Innovation

Relentless flare ups of creativity and innovation in the web dev field continue to surprise me. Today, October 9th 2014, one of the hottest apps going is called Ethan. What does it do? Oh, it lets you message a guy named Ethan. Full name: Ethan Gliechtenstein.

What?! Why would this be the top app? Because it's such a simple idea, it's beautiful.

It's creator realized he wanted a simple way for his friends to contact him. He says he's been moving himself away from Facebook, and this was his solution. It's beauty is in how perfectly it solves a problem many of us face. We want to contact those closest to us, and we have so many ways, sometimes it's unclear which is the best. Imagine if you had a direct messaging line to your partner, or your best friend, or your children.

After the app took off, it appears to have morphed into a stranger-to-stranger random advice service. But the requests for customized versions have been pouring in, and right there is the wonderful intersection of creativity and innovation.


Panda 4.0 further squeezes low-quality content

The latest tweak from Google to its search algorithm has further squeezed low-quality content. But some at eBay may strongly disagree with that opinion. Apparently the new adjustment, dubbed Panda 4.0, has hammered up to 80% of eBay's search results.

Winners and losers from the adjustment have been ranked. Hammered as well is,, among many others. Winners include,, and somewhat surprisingly While some might question Buzzfeed's approach, they are apparently being awarded by the Google adjustment for providing new, original content.

The initial takeaway from this is: your original content can't just be your own, it has to strive to be original. So while in the past a site might have been able to garner search results for yet another article on properly cooking an egg, or explain what basketball is, now a more original zest for content will be supposedly awarded.

Domain records transition plan

The flow of the DNS and Domain records at my employer is just spaghetti. No rational person would set it up this way. But it haphazardly evolved over time without proper stewardship.

However, at this point, if I pull too hard on a strand to attempt a fix, I'll get a big sloppy meatball in my lap. ("Big Sloppy Meatball" is technical jargon for a broken email system).

So to make sense of it, I made some quick graphs. Not the best ever, and there are definitely are some inconsistencies in the logic. But I'm still happy with how it turned out. When I look at it, I feel like, "yeah, I can do this."

Can't ask for much more than that from some simple graphs.

A Good Explanation of the Post-Panda World for the Layman

This article does a pretty succinct job of explaining Content Farms circa 2011 and what Google's infamous "Panda Update" did to them.

The King of Viral Stories Revealed... and You Won't Believe Who It Is


You won't believe who it is, mainly because you've never heard of him. Apologies for the excessively hyped-up headline, but it was entirely intentional. has a great piece about a web designer from Ohio with his own viral story empire, called ViralNova, that aggregates stories and sends them into overdrive with emotional and striking headlines.

Fascinatingly, one of his key motivators is a famous ad (shown at right) from 1926, known as "They Laughed When I Sat Down At The Piano — But When I Started To Play!"

Scott DeLong, the creator, founder and currently sole employee of ViralNova, says this of the ad:

"We want to feel on top of the world, and this ad promises your moment of glory all in just a few relevant words. That's why it works."

Upheavel in SEO land

Google has yanked on the table cloth again. The behemoth search and web services company announced they will start encrypting nearly all searches by the end of the year. This means analytics and SEO monkeys will see a further sharp rise in "not provided" for traffic referral sources.

This has generated such morbidly amusing headlines as "The Day that SEO Died (Sort of)" and "Good bye to Keyword Data." predicts established companies like Moz will see a rise in new business. And sums it up nicely by stating "As the giant of search engines, Google can do whatever it likes, whenever it wants… Still we made strategies that work and adapt well in all situations. And this scenario is nothing different."