Category Archives: Blogging

In the News: CIA Uses Social Media as an Intelligence Tool

On 4 November, some of the major media sources ran what we already knew, that the folks over at Langley were doing, watching, and analyzing social media including blogs, Twitter and Facebook. It should not come as a surprise. We already know that many employers and landlords check social media for perspective employees or tenants before making a decision. What was news was that a special interview and tour was granted.

During this, the CIA said it used librarians to aid in the research and analysis. For those of us who research online, including those engaged in white hat SEO (search engine optimization), this is a wise choice. Librarians continue to be one of the best resources for research on and offline because of their training and experience in reference research with keywords.

This research by those who have been nicknamed the “vengeful librarians” is combined with other sources of information, such as those conducted from ELINT (Electronic signals intelligence), personal communications, chatrooms, newspapers, television and radio broadcasts. The Agency’s Open Source Center (OSC) reviews about 5 million tweets a day.

Links from a variety of sources with different perspectives:

http://www.npr.org/2011/11/04/142029141/cia-analysts-comb-social-media-for-trouble-spots

http://news.google.com/news/story?ncl=http://www.npr.org/2011/11/04/142029141/cia-analysts-comb-social-media-for-trouble-spots&hl=en&geo=us

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2011/11/how-the-cia-uses-social-media-to-track-how-people-feel/247923/

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/world/52850565-68/center-naquin-media-social.html.csp

http://slatest.slate.com/posts/2011/11/04/cia_s_vengeful_librarians_track_up_to_5_million_tweets_per_day.html

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/11/04/cia_open_source_center/

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/twitter-facebook-are-catching-cias-attention/2011/11/04/gIQAiWyumM_story.html

All rights reserved. This article, all articles, images, etc., are copyright Little Mountain Web Design.

Website Basics: An Introduction to Important Terms and Concepts-Search Engines

PART II: WEB DESIGN

1. Search Engines and Search Engine Optimization (Continued)

In order to understand search engines better, it is best to familiarize yourself with different types of search engines and directories. While some search engines use the same search engine algorithms — for example, AOL currently uses Google’s algorithm — many have different types with different criteria of how to find your website and catalog it. As stated earlier, these search engines used programs called robots to scour the web and collect information that is evaluated by the algorithms.

Here are some popular and useful search engines and directories:

About.com, located at http://www.about.com, it contains a collection of different information and articles. While some do not consider it a true search engine, it is listed here as some people use it like one. At one time, preceding the boom of Wikipedia-style information, they captured a huge section of the informational market.

Alexa.com, located at http://www.alexa.com, contains information regarding ranking and traffic for websites.

Altavista is located at http://www.altavista.com. Previously this was an interesting alternative search engine to use, but seems to be advertisement-, not search-driven at this point in time. It is now run by Yahoo.

Ask.com is located at http://www.ask.com. The descendent of Ask Jeeves, this search engine is a pale version of its predecessor in more than branding and the loss of the Jeeves character. For those of you who are younger, Jeeves was the name of a famous butler in shows of a time gone by. He always had the answer, which is why he was such a good candidate to personalize and brand a search engine as your informational servant. Back some years, it became popular with a different type of algorithm than Google was using. It was particularly good for scholastic research and question based searches, bringing to the forefront educational and informational websites that the competition did not.

Bing, located at http://www.bing.com, is the latest version of a search engine by MSN.

Google, located at http://www.google.com is among the most popular search engines for the English language. It is so popular and well-used that its name has become a phrase in popular language. To “google” something has come to mean perform a search using a search engine, just as Xeroxing became synonymous with making photocopies and Kleenex with tissue.

Open Project Directory is located at http://www.dmoz.org They describe themselves as “the largest, most comprehensive human-edited directory of the Web. It is constructed and maintained by a vast, global community of volunteer editors.” ( http://www.dmoz.org/docs/en/about.html). Because this information is added by humans and not bots, it provides an interesting alternative to search engines. Submitting your website here for evaluation is an important step to include when adding your website to search engines.

Technocrati, located http://technorati.com , has a blog directory and search capability for blogs.

Yahoo is located at http://yahoo.com. Its search engine has a serious following. Yahoo has a history of purchasing other search engines and relationships with search engines such as Google and Bing.

When submitting to search engines and directories, you may wish to keep the above in mind and make your own list.

The next installment of our series, “Website Basics: An Introduction to Important Terms and Concepts,” will continue our segment on search engines.

All rights reserved. This article, all articles, images, etc. are copyright Little Mountain Web Design.