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What Happens in Vegas …

Posted by Melanie Phung on Monday, November 13, 2006 at 1:33 pm

I’m off to Las Vegas this week to attend the PubCon conference, where I look forward to learning new stuff, meeting some cool people, and enjoying warmer weather than DC is currently experiencing.

Hope to see some of you there!

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eBay, PayPal Suffer Halloween ‘Trick’

Posted by Melanie Phung on Thursday, November 2, 2006 at 9:48 pm

Senator Stevens, grossly misunderstanding a junior aide’s recommendation to try “Googlebombing” this campaign season, sets eBay headquarters ablaze Tuesday night. He missed his intended target by 11 miles,

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Are Search Queries a Private Matter?

Posted by Melanie Phung on Wednesday, October 25, 2006 at 4:16 pm

“Using search engines to search the the internet is simply not a private activity, nor will it ever be.” (



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It’s Not Just a Bug, It’s Our Featured Bug

Posted by Melanie Phung on Tuesday, September 19, 2006 at 3:41 pm

Windows Live (aka SNAFUBAR) has thrown search marketers and web analytics folks into a bit of a tizzy with their switchover from MSN Search (MSN Search is dead. Long live this new brand name stuck onto the same old search engine.)

Results on the “new” Windows Live Search, which now processes MSN search queries, aren’t including the referer data when passing traffic on, so you can’t tell where that traffic came from. The referer URLs are apparently stripped out via a piece of JavaScript that is using for its own click tracking purposes.

Major pain in the butt for people who care about that sort of thing (oh, say, anyone in e-commerce). Especially annoying to those of us who track conversion from organic search specifically, since there are usually other ways to track PPC ads.

MSN dude reportedly chimed in to say:

This is NOT by design. We’re looking into it. Thanks for telling us.

So rest assured, I am sure there will be a fix pretty quickly. Well, not over the weekend [] , but hopefully some time today or early this week.

(Ye can rest easy in knowin the editor has been made to walk ye ol’ plank for not writing this here post in pirate-ese. Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day. Yarr!)

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Anousheh Ansari: The World’s First Space Blogger

Posted by Melanie Phung on Monday, September 18, 2006 at 1:09 pm

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think Anousheh Ansari, who blasted off this morning as the first person (correction: woman) ever to visit space as a tourist, is also this planet’s first person to blog from space. (No, clearly she’s not on dial-up or a cable modem.) How cool is that?!

Watch “” for first-hand accounts of her trip.

She’ll be back in 11 days, so expect to see her at the X Prize Cup event in Las Cruces, New Mexico, spanning October 21 through 22. There’s going to be all sorts of cool stuff including, but not limited to:

The Lunar Lander Challenge (a NASA-supported prize effort to demonstrate the ability of private companies to develop next-generation lunar landers), the Vertical Rocket Challenge (another lunar-landing-technology-focused competition), and the Space Elevator Games (a test of over 20 teams to use light to power a vehicle along a tether, this year up about 50 meters, but eventually hundreds and thousands of miles).

For reasons I’m not going to go into, I’m following the [formerly Ansari] X Prize events closely this year. Stay tuned!

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