Monday, March 9, 2009

Miscellaneous Monday

I'm running a tad short of time today so I'm taking the easy way out. Mama Kat and others have been touting the LinkWithin widget, so I decided to give it a try. The installation was easy. Just click on the "get this widget" link below and follow the bouncing two step ball.

Now being a techno geek at heart, my real goal was to see if it does a very good job of picking posts out of the archive to link with. Given that I often have a hard time finding the post I want to link to even when I know the wording of the post, this blog could be a challenge to the LinkWithin heuristics. (And see, you just knew I couldn't resist using heuristic, just like I had to use canonical the last time I talked about search.) By looking at what it does and what the LinkWithin site says, it's pretty clear that they do a crawl of your archives and then select matches to the current post from the archive posts. Since it takes them some finite amount of time to do that initial crawl, I'd expect that one would see changing selections with each refresh until the crawl was done. I'd also expect that there is some degree of randomness in the selection, so that each display of the blog might get a different set of links displayed.

When I installed the widget, I immediately started a series of refreshes in other browser windows. The earliest refreshes did indeed return pretty much random stuff, but later displays sometimes seemed a bit more on topic. I'm still undecided about the true effectiveness of the links suggested. My experience thus far is that the proverbial "10,000 monkeys typing on 10,000 typewriters for 1 million years will reproduce hamlet" type of randomness seems to be at the forefront in the selection process. If that indeed remains the case over the coming days,  the lifespan of the widget may very short here.

So that is where you all come in. I'm going to leave the widget enabled through the rest of this week and then post a poll to see whether it stays or goes. (Anyone with the widget installed interested in running a multi-site poll?) So pay attention and be prepared for a quiz after class! {*grin*}


  1. Interesting. For some reason, I was expecting it to link ummm within the post rather than after it. Gotta love what technology can do, eh?

  2. I'm really interested in the results of this poll. What I would like to know is if anybody is actually clicking on the links it provides. If they don't, is there any benefit to it?

  3. I put it on mine too...and I feel about the same way as you. It's pretty neat but we'll see :)

  4. I've seen that widget on a couple of blogs of friends. I think one day when I have enough posts, I might throw it up. But for now - I'll admire it from afar.

  5. Techtard that I am, this widget dazzles me. As for putting it on my blog, I have a hard time believing that anyone would be so enamored of my stuff that they would need more than a daily dose. And I'm not sure if I'm willing to click on anyone else's archived stuff either. Too lazy/not enough time. Good job, though, using heuristic and canonical in the same post.

  6. So that is what that is! I've been seeing it around. I don't think I'm going to jump on this one yet. I'll let you brave people test it!

  7. I was curious and added the link to my blog. However, I noticed other than suggesting to read other weekly Rant and Rave blogs, it only suggests one other blog title over and over "The War of the Penguins and Snowmen".

    This cracked me up because it had to do with candy my sister sent to me around the holidays. I'm struggling with its connection to a body monitoring device, troubles I'm having with the neighbor's cat peeing in my garden bed and etiquette.

    I'm going to remove the widget. However, thanks for a good laugh...


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