Doug's blog

Search Engine Optimisation

A good friend has just asked what SEO ranking software she can buy to improve her web site's Google position.

If only it were that simple! In the best tradition of Slashdot:

  1. Buy SEO software.
  2. Apply to web site.
  3. Profit!


Because I get asked this question so often, I've put together a list of some useful SEO resources.

Thinking of using Drupal?

For a few years, I used to research open source Content Management Systems annually. Two years ago I stopped because I finally settled upon Drupal. It's gone from strength to strength ever since and I now use it for most of my sites.

Steps to determine the factual content of a statement

Here's a handy decision tree to help you determine the factual content of a statement. It's on the internet, so it must be true...

The end for 'fair use'?

Copyright laws were first introduced with provision for fair use - a limited ability to copy for education, art and critique. The United States and Korea have released the draft text of their free trade agreement and it completely eliminates these fair use provisions. Erosion of copyright law in this way is a worrying trend that threatens educational resources.

First, open book exams. Now this...

BBC's technology correspondent Bill Thompson shares some personal thoughts about how student assessment is changing. Are we really assessing a student's ability when we isolate them from everyday resources like the Internet? From the article:

"the way we currently do things has more to do with satisfying the needs of university admission officers and the administrators of the Victorian civil service than helping people show their talents and abilities to the best."

Controversial words indeed...

Will Turnitin need to turn it in?

Scourge of students everywhere, the Californian company Turnitin has been accused of breaking copyright law by two Arizona high school kids. The anti-plagiarism service is used by 6,000 institutions in 90 countries and stores each student work submitted in its database. The pair claim that it violates their right to control their own copyrighted work.

The father of one of the plaintiffs thinks schools should teach students that cheating is wrong. "You can't take a person's work and run it through a computer and make an honest person out of them" he said.


Experts rate Wikipedia's accuracy higher than non-experts

Researchers at Nottingham University Business School in the UK have published results indicating that experts rate Wikipedia's accuracy higher than non-experts. Maybe last year's controversy over Wikipedia's accuracy was unfounded?

A handy round-up of online libraries

Google Books is probably the most famous source of online books, but this article in lists a few more.

Let's replace cheap & handy with expensive & limited

Are e-Book readers up to the job of replacing books yet? Find out from Russel Smith's comparison of the latest models with the Bio-Optic Organized Knowledge device.

Teaching, video games and questionable questionaires

A new report from the UK, says that there's now "evidence" that video games deserve a place in schools. What's the evidence? points out the need for better quality research.

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