To all three of you reading this via LiveJournal syndication, sorry for filling up your friends list with repeats. I changed the footer on the feed, and didn’t realize that LiveJournal will repost articles as new if there’s any change.

I guess this means I’ll have to be careful about things like fixing typos on the latest 15 posts.

Does anyone know how to convince Google to prefer an HTML page over an RSS feed when serving standard search results?

With the demise of the Jamie Jack and Stench show, Another One Bites the Dust has shot back up to the top 5 pages on the site. It turns out it’s the #7 hit on Google for “jamie jack and stench.” Oddly, the comments feed for Alternative to Music? is #8. Not the post itself, which includes all the same comments, but the feed.

I don’t want to keep the feeds out of Google’s index — if someone’s looking for feeds, and mine happen to be relevant, I want them to show up. But if someone’s looking for web pages, shouldn’t Google bring up the web page with substantially similar content in favor of the feed?

Well, Firefox 2 beta 1 is out, and I’ve been trying it out. I used to run nightly builds back in the early days, but since 1.0 hit, I haven’t been willing to go below beta-level for my primary browser, so I haven’t really been following development of Firefox 2. (Let me just say I really like in-line spell checking!)

As a web developer, one of the new features that caught my eye is microsummaries. If the name weren’t already taken, “live bookmarks” would have been the perfect description.

Basically it retrieves info from the bookmarked page and updates the label on your bookmark. Examples given include the current price and remaining time for an auction, or current stock price, or weather data. The page author can describe what chunk of data to use, or you can write an installable “generator” that applies itself to some list of pages.

This is a pretty cool idea: basically a 1-item RSS feed, automatically generated from the current page. (The disadvantage is that the browser retrieves the full page and then extracts the data, whereas an RSS feed is already summarized.) Edit: Apparently it’s also possible to link to a 1-line text document instead.

So, being handed a new tool, I immediately started trying to come up with something to do with it.

And came up more-or-less empty.

There are only two areas on my site that I update regularly: Flash: Those Who Ride the Lightning and this blog—and both are more suited to the list of recent updates that you get with RSS or Atom than the latest-info-only that you get with a microsummary.

It might prove useful for server monitoring, though. Condense the important info from a report (like “No alerts” vs “Server X down!”) and put it on the browser toolbar.