Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Gutter Twins "All Misery/Flowers"

A few weeks ago several albums came out that I couldn't deny myself. One of them was Saturnalia from The Gutter Twins. They are former Afghan Whig and current Twilight Singer Greg Dulli and all-around frightening, brooding vocalist Mark Lanegan. Here is a video, discovered via the Forkcast for their song "All Misery/Flowers". I love how this video is both bright and dark at the same time.

All Misery / Flowers

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Best Evil Robots (which I suppose means very very evil)

Mahalo.com continues to reach out to the great beyond, with this, our latest creation, Best Evil Robots (or BER-9000) for short.

I contributed Ash and IG-88, two robots that otherwise would have been left out. Roy Batty from Blade Runner was unfortunately left out, and I'm surprised that Jason was not as upset about this omission. Anyway, it's a pretty cool list for you nerds out there. Feel free to submit your own ideas and we'll expand the page.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Mahalo Featured on FastCompany.TV

Robert Scoble was in the office several weeks ago. He got a little Mahalo Tour and interviewed Jason. Still confused about anything Mahalo related? Hear it from the man who signs the checks.

I'm having some embedding problems but I'll try to figure that out and update.

I wasn't in the office when he came by, so no use trying to look for me in the background. Part 2 coming soon.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Could this be my most popular post ever...?

This is the first part of a short story. Something tells me it might be more widely read than most of my posts....

We were castaways. Traveling to God knows where. Gambol wanted to go east and Stacy west. Falling on hard times, I thought to myself. I hadn't eaten in so long I was starting to hallucinate. Something in front of me, a performance. Skeletons and zombies dancing in on the water like some twisted Doomsday Revue, their teeth wide and grinning, their epic weapons brandished like a cold, hardened winter soldier.
I wish I were back at the Tiger Ranch, spreading my legs out on Bay Hill, feeling the sun on my brown legs, drinking cool lemonade and eating sausages. Not like now. Our reserve was almost empty and we'd eaten the last of the corned beef and cabbage. It wouldn't be long before we all got typhoid and rickets and legionnaires disease. Gambol was getting impatient. I knew he'd be the first to crack without food. I saw the way he looked at Stacy's golden hair. If he was going to die, he wanted something out of it. His eyes looked like the snarls of 800 dogs and his hairy hands pawed at his face like those of a bear, stern scruggs of drool dripping down onto the wooden planks of our increasingly decaying boat. I had to stand up against him, even though my stomach was eating itself and it felt like I should sit on the toilet for two years. He was already moving closer. I reached into my kit and gave myself a quick shot with the last of the benzylpiperazine. I was ready to fight. I knew Gambol had a torn aorta and he wouldn't last more than a few seconds. Stacy wasn't even aware of what was about to go down. She lay there, nearly unconscious, twirling the nautical tow rope around her fingers like a kid's toy. This is it, hardbody. Let's dance.

To be continued...

Monday, March 10, 2008

Click (better than the Adam Sandler movie)

This is a post about search engines and a theory I have (probably debunkable by anyone with more than a rudimentary knowledge of the internet) about how to mess with their system. If you don't know anything about search engines (Mom and maybe a few Irvine friends who read this blog out of guilt), here's a quick summary of what I'm talking about:

When you type in something to Google, let's say "Scantily-clad hobbit", you're going to get some results. These results have a link, a text abstract, and a reference as to where that link goes. When you click the link, a bit of information is saved. Google knows what you typed in and what you clicked on and the site you go to (most likely) knows how you got there and what you typed in to Google to get there. This is how I know that "caravan jokes" is the most frequently searched term to lead to my blog. This is why Google is often misguided, as there are no caravan jokes on my blog. Nor is there albino fetish porn, information about Michelangelo or the country of Beirut. Yet, all of these terms, variations of which are typed into Google, lead to my blog. At any rate, when you search on any search engine, be it Google, Yahoo, Ask, or Mahalo for that matter, you click on a link and that's how you get to the next site. On most major search engines, however, you don't actually need to click the link to get to the site. For some reason, I got into the habit of not clicking on the link but copying and pasting the given URL and pasting it into my search bar. This way, I am going directly to the site instead of being sent there via a search engine. The site I go to will recognize this, and I will be considered a "Direct" visitor instead of a search engine visitor.

This distinction is important. A site can be said to really have "made it" once the bulk of it's traffic is direct. For example, I don't know this for a fact, but I'm guessing that a great deal of About.com's traffic comes through Google and Yahoo. They get highly ranked in these search engines, but as their content is not totally amazing and few people think "Hey, I should go to About.com for this info", not everyone is typing that into their URL bar to get there. YouTube gets tons of search engine traffic as well, but if you're looking specifically for a video, you know that you can go right to YouTube.com and search their content. YouTube probably knew it had something big on its hands once their direct traffic started skyrocketing a few years ago. Also, if you go right to YouTube and search for a video, only YouTube will know what you searched for, whereas if you go to Yahoo! and type it in, both Yahoo! and YouTube will get visits and they'll also have information about how you're searching, what you're searching for, and what you're likely to click on. This information, compounded over millions of people, is very valuable to them. I started copying and pasting the URL, because sometimes I just don't feel comfortable with a site knowing how I reached them. This can be useful if you're a little embarrassed with a search query leading you to a questionable site.

So I'm told.

Anyway, this is a little habit of mine when I'm going around the web, except when I'm at work, when my search engine use is so frequent that I simply don't have the time to cut and paste.

I was wondering if someone with considerable influence (not me...yet) could convince all of their readers to no longer click on links through Google, Yahoo!, Ask, or MSN. Instead, find what you're looking for and go there directly. If 1/3 of all internet users did this it would vastly change the industry.

In the efforts of being open, I'll admit that Mahalo does not visibly show you the URL under the link, and you must physically click it to get where you're going. However, as Mahalo only has the highest quality links and we don't save people's search histories anyway, there's no feasible reason to be concerned about clicking the links.

So, if you've read this far, maybe give it a try, and tell your friends to try it as well. Just copy and paste the link into your toolbar. Take the two extra seconds it will take. We could change the world, people!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Amy Walker Does 21 Accents

I think this video is going to be big. Actress and singer and all-around performer Amy Walker does 21 Accents in 2 1/2 minutes.

Check it out. I think I made a pretty good Mahalo page on her as well.
Suggestions welcome.