Intergen

Jeremy Norman gets blogging!
9 August 2006 in Blogging & Intergen | Comments (0)

Another Intergenite has started blogging recently (including being greedy and starting 2 blogs! ;) ) which is great to see. Jeremy specialises in the content management space and has a special interest in EPiServer. Understandably he has a personal blog and an EPiServer blog.

RSS Link Jeremy’s Personal Blog
RSS Link Jeremy’s EPiServer Downunder Blog

- JD

Search: How to get your site indexed faster
18 July 2006 in Google & Intergen & Search Technology | Comments (6)

Search Series

Over the next few weeks I’ll be posting about common challenges that people face with website search (both with public search engines like Google, and website search such as SharePoint search). If you have any questions about a topic or would like to see an entry about a specific challenge you have then please leave a comment :)

The challenge
It’s the usual story, somebody has spent a lot of money on a website and they want to start seeing a return on that investment as soon as possible. There is nothing wrong with that, I’d be concerned if I was building a website for somebody who doesn’t want to see a return. The challenges arise when a site goes live and it is expected that the site is indexed by the major search engines in a matter of minutes of that go-live. So how do we get a website indexed by search engines as quickly as possible?

A solution?
Back in the 1990′s it was common practice to need to submit your website to search engine for it to index you. Some started following links and automatically found sites however this was usually seen as not a priority compared to manually submitted sites. The view that this practice is still the best is strong with some and they see site submission as the best way of getting their site indexed fast.

These days it’s not uncommon to see sites offering to submit your site to more than 1000 search engines for a small fee of $500 or more. Some people would see that as value for money without realising it’s almost a complete waste of time.

The real solution
Modern search engines don’t prioritise on submitted sites. They don’t see them as valuable and for good reason – would you trust a website that was brand new or one that has been around for a significant period of time with many links to it? I’ve read many accounts (and see this in practice) where a site can be manually submitted to a search engine and not appear in search results for several weeks. Yet, when another website that is mildly popular links to that same site they’re in search results within days.

One way to get links to your site early is to allow a case study of the site development to be posted on the vendors website. I’ll go into more ways to help build your link collection legitimately in future search posts.

When considering the value of paying somebody to submit your website to hundreds of search engines, remember that 95% of your search result referrals will be coming from the big 3: Google, Yahoo, MSN Search. I would never advise on the use of such submission tools because, frankly, they’re a waste of time in terms of return on investment.

Always an exception to the rule
It is important to note that I’m not advocating never submitting yourself to an index manually. There are specific industry sites, directories and community sites that are related to your business and submitting to these sites is important for visibility within your industry sector. Automated tools won’t even know that these sites exist or that they’re more important to you than a mass spamming to various indexes around the world.

– JD

Want a free 19″ LCD Monitor?
5 July 2006 in Intergen | Comments (1)

Intergen, the company I work for, is looking for more people to join our team. It’s never easy deciding to make a move but to help sweeten the deal Intergen have a promotion that if you apply and we employ you before the 31st of August you’ll receive a free 19″ LCD monitor. That’s not the only reason you should look to apply to work with us, we also offer:

  • Working with cutting edge technology (Office 2007 suite, .Net Framework 3.0 and more)
  • Free fizzy drinks (seriously we order so many flavours and the volume is crazy)
  • Opportunities to work with a variety of clients
  • Free cell phone + $100 of credit per month
  • Free international travel insurance
  • Personal access to our supplier pricing for computer gear
  • Chill-out zone with xbox, dart board, couches etc
  • …and more :)

We also have some of the best people in the industry (MVPs, Microsoft Regional Director etc) so you’ll be working alongside some of the best minds in the industry.

For a complete list of positions check out our available positions page. Don’t forget, Intergen also operates out of Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch so location shouldn’t be a big problem :)

So, now that you’ve decided you would like to apply, what should you do? Email me at john-danielt@intergen.co.nz with your CV and cover letter and I’ll pass them on.

And if you’re not sold yet? Email me any questions you have if you want to know a bit more or, if you live in Wellington, I’m happy to come and have a coffee with you :)

– JD

Gabe is blogging
16 June 2006 in Blogging & Intergen | Comments (2)

Gabriel Smith, a fellow Intergenite is now blogging which is very cool (I’m trying to slowly convince everyone to blog! :) ).

Gabe is going to be blogging about his soon to be released child and tech stuff as well. If you don’t know Gabe, he’s into HDTV, PVR technology, Coding and general gadgets. Good to have in your RSS reader and always good for providing advice when you’re looking into any of those topics :)

And for a bit of a Friday funny… the url is http://www.gabelog.net.nz (don’t say it too fast… great marketing if you ask me ;) )

- JD

WebStock
28 May 2006 in Intergen | Comments (3)

For Thursday and Friday I attended the the first WebStock conference here in Wellington. I had a fantastic time and attended all the sessions that I wanted to see. Some of the speakers (Joel Spolsky and Tony Chor) were fantastic and I throughly enjoyed their presentations.

I could spend a considerable amount of time writing about sessions and the time there but John has done a fantastic job of blogging while he attended.

I’d certainly want to go again and if you didn’t attend this time then you should certainly jump at it if they run it again :)

– JD

Updating the .config file from a .net 2.0 application
10 April 2006 in .Net & Code & Intergen | Comments (2)

This is more for my own reminder but somebody else might find it useful. This code allows you to update the value of a config key in your .net 2.0 application. It also updates the section so subsequent reads from the .config will reflect that change. Really useful when you just need to store a single peice of information.

In this example I’m setting a last run date.

// Open the app.config
System.Configuration.Configuration config = ConfigurationManager
.OpenExeConfiguration(ConfigurationUserLevel.None);

// Update the last run time 
config.AppSettings.Settings["LastRunDate"].Value
= lastRunTime.ToString();

// Save the configuration file
config.Save(ConfigurationSaveMode.Modified);

// Force a reload of a changed section.
ConfigurationManager.RefreshSection("appSettings");

- JD

James Story Blogging
16 February 2006 in Intergen | Comments (0)

Recently several people I know have decided to make the jump into blogging so I thought I’d post a small write up for each as they started.

Today a friend of mine, James Story, started blogging. He’s pretty much into a whole variety of tech stuff – O/R Mappers, VSTS and FPGAs to name a few.

He’s written his first entry about VSTS and how to upgrade it and keep it working with Cruise Control. Why not pop over and say hello? :)

Other folks I know should be starting soon (come on Andrew!!) so I’ll mention them as they pop up.

- JD

Meebo.com
26 January 2006 in Intergen & Tools | Comments (4)

With my decreased posting while working in Christchurch I thought I would share some various things I’ve found. First there was the Firefox extension, now there is http://www.meebo.com.

Meebo is a “Web 2.0″ application that allows you to chat on MSN/AIM/ICQ/Jabber through your browser. Now normally I would avoid anything that labelled itself “Web 2.0″ simply because I’m not fan of meaningless buzzwords however this is a very cool application.

At first I wasn’t sure that I would enjoy using Meebo but over the time I’ve been here it has grown on me – it’s so much less intrusive to have a web application for chat than what MSN has become these days. It was great getting notifications up the screen every time somebody logged on… back when you only had 10 contacts and you’re friends were still discovering this new fangled internet thing. These days I have well over 150 contacts and I just don’t need to be notified everytime somebody comes online. Meebo – probably not intentionally – has solved this problem for me. I should add that there is probably an option to turn off the notifications but I can’t check since I don’t have normal MSN here :-)

Geek pointed out that he doesn’t quite “get” Firefox. That’s fine, I didn’t like Mozilla but did really enjoy FireBird (precursor to FireFox). I guess you just need to gel with something. The reason I bring this up is because I’ve found that Meebo (and perhaps other modern web applications) seem to be a bit more sluggish in IE and certainly IE starts to die if I run applications like that for many hours on end. I hope IE 7 is a bit better.

Anyway – Meebo is certainly cool enough to deserve a mention. Hat tip to John Lewis.

- JD