Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Miscellaneous/2008 September 1

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September 1[edit]

Names to Music Industry faces[edit]

Howdy! Way back in November 2007, I found a batch of unidentified celebrity photographs. Given how successful the Reference Desk was in identifying people last time, I figured I'd give it a go with another, smaller, batch from the American Music Awards of 2007. Images are courtesy of Luke Ford. With no further ado:

Jesse Carmichael? -- (talk) 04:58, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

Any help would be appreciated :) GeeJo (t)(c) • 22:56, 31 August 2008 (UTC)

Extra bonus credit if anyone can identify the only unidentified person from the last batch. GeeJo (t)(c) • 23:02, 31 August 2008 (UTC)

Eurasians in Japan[edit]

Please don't cross post. This question is already on the Ref Desk Humanities. ៛ Bielle (talk) 03:00, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

No one answer my question about the population of eurasians in Japan. (talk) 02:57, 2 September 2008 (UTC)
Some questions are unanswerable. It's perfectly possible that such data has never been collected. We don't generally have a way to say "Nobody knows the answer to your question" because we never know whether someone may eventually come up with something. But generally, if you ask on the right branch of the reference desk and don't get a satisfactory answer within about four days - there is little point in asking it again. Sometimes it's simply that nobody knows - so nobody answers. SteveBaker (talk) 06:05, 2 September 2008 (UTC)


Since AFAIK these work by making a pledge and people send a cheque in later, is there generally a significant difference between the total pledged amount as compared to actual receipts (either people deciding to donate more, or not making their donation for whatever reason)? --Random832 (contribs) 03:44, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

Yes - but they must take the vast majority of their money from credit cards or PayPal or (in some countries) 'cheques by phone' - so the overall percentage evidently isn't too terrible. My local NPR radio station KERA get the majority of their funding from pledge drives. I looked up their annual financial report. It says:
"The Corporation determines its allowances based on historical write-off trends. The Corporation writes off receivables when they become uncollectible based on a delinquency status in excess of 120 days and when the collection efforts have been transferred to a third-party agency. Payments subsequently received on such receivables are credited to the provision for bad debts account."
So (at least with KERA) they have a good idea what percentage of people will weasel out of their promises (I'm not good at reading financial statements - but it looks like they are using 12% as their "contingency" for planning purposes - but I don't see the actual delinquency amount written down anywhere). But it's clear that if you pledge and then don't follow through with the money - they nag you for 120 days and then sell your debt to a debt collection agency!
"A promise is a promise" !!
SteveBaker (talk) 05:05, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

New post[edit]

How do i make an new entry, such as a Biography of my self and the Charity i have started, The Miracle health network? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Zanderboy (talkcontribs) 04:02, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

We don't encourage people to write their own biographies. See WP:Biography for more information. See also WP:N for more information on why people need to be notable before they get a Wikipedia biography. If the charity becomes successful and renowned, someone will quickly write a bio of the charity, and perhaps yourself. Steewi (talk) 04:18, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
It's certainly not considered OK to write your own biography - and it would also be a conflict of interest for you to write about a charity that you between our rules covering biographies of living people, our rules about notability and our rules about conflicts of interest...there is no doubt that neither of those things are allowed. If you were to create those articles, they'd be swiftly deleted by people who spend large parts of their lives looking at newly created articles and deleting the bad ones. If you are indeed a "Notable person" within Wikipedias stringent standards, then someone else will sooner or later get around to writing about you. If not...not. The same is true for your charity.
However, you did say "...such as..." those things. If you have found another subject to write about for which no article exists (the Caliroa cerasi species of Sawfly for example) then you could enter it's title into some another article (or your own Talk: page for example) between double-square-brackets like this: [[My article title]] - and it would show up as "red link" like this: My article title when you save that page. Then you could click on that red link and Wikipedia would pop up a message telling you that the article doesn't exist and asking you if you'd like to create it. Then you can just type your text in as you would when editing any other article and hit "Save page" when you're done. The "red link" will then turn blue and you have the beginnings of your article. But PLEASE don't create one about either yourself, your business, your high school, your rock-band, any of your friends or relations, or about your charity...because it would surely be deleted very soon afterwards - and a lot of people would be very unhappy with you for doing it. SteveBaker (talk) 04:43, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
I would beg to differ about high schools. They are generally notable. bibliomaniac15 04:56, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
I think "generally notable" is putting it too strongly. How about "some high schools are notable"? But I believe SteveBaker's point is that one ought not to create an article about their own high school. Wanderer57 (talk) 05:06, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
I'm generally an "inclusionist" - and I'd be quite happy for every school on the planet to have an article written about it. However, we have rules. There was an effort (See WP:SCHOOL) to write a notability guideline for schools - which would (IMHO) have excluded a large percentage of schools on grounds of lack of notability. However, that proposal hasn't gotten right now, schools fall under WP:CORP - which specifically states that educational establishments are indeed covered by it's rules. (Specifically under the "non-commercial" section for public education - maybe under commercial for private schools). Of particular concern is: "Organizations whose activities are local in scope are usually not notable...". That means that very few high schools indeed should be able to meet the bar and most should be listed as a section under their educational district or some such thing. SteveBaker (talk) 05:28, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
Nevertheless Bibliomaniac is right; a rough consensus exists at AfD that high schools are (pretty much) inherently notable. Darkspots (talk) 07:16, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

Christian Universalist Churches and Congregrations[edit]

If a person wants to become a Christian Universalist, or join a denomination of Christianity that is Christian Universalist, but lives in a place where there are no Christian Universalist churches or congregations nearby, what should he or she do? Bowei Huang (talk) 05:17, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

Going to church does not make you a Christian. You can be one without attending a church of that denomination. You could, however, contact a church online for advice. Avnas Ishtaroth drop me a line 05:49, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
(B)Oy Vay: a religious joke!
You will, of course, go to hell and impersonate the proverbial shrimp on the diabolical barbie Down Under. --Cookatoo.ergo.ZooM (talk) 07:27, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
Did you try praying for God to give you an answer? (This is the Godelian Atheist answer BTW) SteveBaker (talk) 05:59, 2 September 2008 (UTC)
Anyone using the phrase Gödelian atheist should probably take a look at our article on Gödel's ontological proof. --Trovatore (talk) 02:40, 3 September 2008 (UTC)

Macbeth songs[edit]

What are some songs that relate to Macbeth? -- (talk) 06:25, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

Macbeth#Musical_adaptations lists both classical and rock adaptations. DAVID ŠENEK 09:35, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
There are, however, Macbeth-related songs that are not adaptations, such as the track Macbeth on John Cale's album Paris 1919. Algebraist 10:06, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

Thanks but I need modern day songs that can relate to Macbeth somehow, not necessarily written about it. -- (talk) 10:32, 3 September 2008 (UTC)

Silly questions[edit]

I seem to remember a while back reading a list of hilarious questions placed on the reference desk that had no business being there (like can you get me into college). Anyone know what I'm talking about? It might have been part of BJAODN. (talk) 11:59, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

There are two lists maintained here and here. JessicaThunderbolt 12:31, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
Also,see Wikipedia:Unusual requests and Wikipedia:Bad Jokes and Other Deleted Helpdesk Emails - they used to be part of BJAODN. Graham87 16:02, 2 September 2008 (UTC)


Hi everybody, Somebody has got into my yahoo e-mail,and i can"t sign in. I have tried to contact yahoo security,have had no reply to numerous e-mails. What can I do?? Cna anybody give me a yahoo security contact e-mail?

Very worried  —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:14, 1 September 2008 (UTC) 
Are you sure someone has got into your account and you've not just entered the password wrong? Also I think they have a new system now where you have to enter your whole email address into the ID field, so instead of just "random223" you have to enter "". Try asking at the yahoo! security center to see what they can do. Sorry I can't be of more help, you might get better answers at the Computing Reference Desk. JessicaThunderbolt 12:43, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

Hi Yes! I have done that you mention,and just need yahoo security to reset my password somehow.Then inform me of the new password at my alternate e-mail at hotmail. Some how a person got in and changed the password,I have had e-mail scams sent to me,and did think that maybe one had a virus to do this. It has been a week,and every time I contact yahoo security,I have no reply. What can I do next! CAN anybody advise?? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:56, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

hi, i'm not a computer expert, but if you're worrying about viruses, don't open any of the scam emails. If you already opened the scam emails and think you may have a virus, you could download a virus scanning software that will find and delete any viruses on your computer As for new password, i don't know because i'm not a yahoo user. ZXS9465 (talk) 15:07, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
I just tried getting my Yahoo password wrong, and got a page that said (among other things) "Did you forget or misspell your ID or password? You can recover your ID and/or password by confirming your private information.". It looks as if clicking "recover your ID and/or password" will let you reset your password, provided you can remember the private information you gave Yahoo when you set up the email address. (In case you don't see the link when you try to login, the page I got was this.) This is probably easier than trying to get the Yahoo Security Center to respond - it's surprising how unresponsive people can be if you're not doing things the way they expect!
Oh, yes, one thing more: apologies if you've already thought of this, but I'd suggest using a different password from the one you used to have. AJHW (talk) 10:42, 2 September 2008 (UTC)

Hi everybody, thanks for you input. I have also tried ALL that you mention,and one problem is that when I set up the account YEARS AGO! i probably did not put in the correct date of birth,you know how it is,NOT wanting to put any relevant information into an e-mail account. SO! i can"t go that way. I still keep on trying to contact yahoo security,in the hope that they CAN re set the password,otherwise I will just have to let the account go with all that is in the account. BE WARNED PEOPLE! Never keep too much important information in any E-mail account. IF hackers can get into PENTAGON computers,a simple e-mail account is not much to get into either. ANY ADVICE! Would be appreciated how I can resolve my problem —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:20, 3 September 2008 (UTC)

If you can't remember your date of birth supplied, then there is nothing to be done. Start a new account, do it right this time, use gmail instead of Yahoo, and give a date you can remember. If you don't want to give out that information, then always use the same info. If you are really born in 1980, then put 12/31/80 or your accounts. I know you are reluctant to give up your old account, but having been there, Yahoo is not going to cooperate with you. Atom (talk) 13:31, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
I obviously have no way of knowing, but you might have provided a date relevant to your life besides your birthday (anniversaries, family birthdays, graduation day, or any day you are happy or proud of). If you are sure it was a random date, the best way is to just make a new account. ZXS9465 (talk) 18:07, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
Or several. Never link EVERYTHING to one email account because as you said if hackers get into it you're screwed; spread yourself out over say three email accounts, each with a different provider. JessicaThunderbolt 18:16, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
And when you make a new account, be sure to change your password every month or two (that's about how long it takes for a hacker to get it). every time you make a new password, be sure to write it down and keep it somewhere you will remember (NOT ON YOUR COMPUTER). avoid easy passwords, like your middle name, pets name etc. Two nonsense words work (example: glovecandle), and is easier to remember than random typing. And, remember write it down, put it somewhere you're sure you'll never lose it (under the bed works well) and change it every month or so!! And don't use "glovecandle" either because some hacker might find this page! ZXS9465 (talk) 18:28, 3 September 2008 (UTC)

Hi Everybody, I am as you say reluctant to give this years old e-mail address,especially as it has so much of my published book in folders. BUT! if i have to I suppose I have to. Thanks for al;l the advice,and I will take all of it for future ref. One last note,IF I WROTE TO YAHOO< COULD THEY DELETE ALL OF MY ACCOUNT? Thanks, P —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:33, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

They probably could, but given the amount of help they gave you in the past, i wouldn't count on it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by ZXS9465 (talkcontribs) 19:03, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

Black Metal[edit]

Why is Black Metal classified with metal such as death Metal or thrash? Many BM songs are far more Classical or Operetic in thier sound. Some dont even have drums such as Burzum. Do most Black metal fans listen to normal thrash or death metal too, or are they more inclined to listen to Classical or opera? Any related info would be appreciated. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:30, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

Most BM fans believe that the melodic BM is 'untrv' and therefore the majority is more inclined to Buzrum/Gorgoroth/Mayhem - the blackened death metal end of the spectrum. Then you've got me, who prefers the Dimmu Borgir sort of melodic black metal, but I can listen to the harder stuff if I wanted. Avnas Ishtaroth drop me a line 05:10, 2 September 2008 (UTC)


I have recorded 30 or so songs, and chosen 10 or so and burned them onto CDs, I have had booklets printed with the album cover and lyrics, includeing copywrite violation warning ect, I have now 5000 CDs to distribute, how would I go about getting these into CD shops around the world or at least in Europe? Thanks —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:33, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

Your best bet is to approach local retailers (perhaps independent stores are better) and offer them to host your CD for sale. The chain-retailers will probably push you through their approved distribution route, but perhaps local independents will give you a go. Also consider approaching places such as coffe-shops etc. to have your CD in-store where they will play it and sell it at the counter for a cut of the profits. Also try looking into approaching iTunes to have your music hosted on their site. As I understand it you pay an annual fee for this, earn very little by way of profit but potential increase in exposure could well make this worth your while. For now I would suggest your best bet is to stay reasonably local and try to build from there, if you spread your resources and stock too thin you could struggle more than if you concentrate your limited resources into a key segment. Unfortunately you are one of 10s of 1000s of artists trying to get 'discovered' and 'heard', so don't expect to just put them in the shops and them to sell because they are on a rack - you need to push for your sound to be heard, so intelligent/inventive marketing is a necessity. (talk) 13:28, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
If you just want to get known - make sure you have you website address on the CD's and give them away as freebies outside concert venues for other musicians with similar musical style. If people like what they hear - they'll go to your website to find out more and there you can stick a PayPal button and sell them CD's with your other 20 songs. SteveBaker (talk) 22:39, 3 September 2008 (UTC)

Line up[edit]

How do band s such as Dimmu Borgir and others manage to change thier line up and maintain the same sound? Many band have had numerous members, who contribute to the song writing process, yet they maintain thier individual sound over numerous albums and years? I play in a band and we recently got one new member, and although our old keyboard player now plays guitar, we have rehashed and old song from our previous band, same band, one new member, the song is completely different from how it used to be, even though most of us are playing the same chords, with the same beat, melody and tune. This is a good thing but I remain curious about other bands and how they retain thier sound? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:48, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

One reason (possibly among many others) is that the band has a leader—who writes most of the songs and/or exerts the most creative control in the songwriting process—who remains with the band through the lineup changes. — Twas Now ( talkcontribse-mail ) 15:43, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
If you're talking about recorded music, especially commercial, consider that there are sound engineers and marketing directors, et al., involved in producing the tracks and selectively shaping the results. Another factor: as do artists in other media (notably painting), skilled and otherwise talented musicians may spend a period of their training copying "the masters" of their genre and may become quite good at reproducing the elements and stylings of a favored model. -- Deborahjay (talk) 20:33, 1 September 2008 (UTC)


In my spare time I enjoy answering questionnaires, such as Would you make a good neighbour, consisting of 30 multiple choice questions, and then have them analized at the end. such things used to be found in People magazine South Africa, where can I find such things online? And, why are these things usually orientated toward women? Thanks —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:54, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

Fixed "questionaire" typo which caused redlink. --NorwegianBlue talk 17:45, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

OkCupid has lots and lots of these questionnaires. Prince of Canada t | c 16:38, 3 September 2008 (UTC)

Because for men, the answer is "no you are not a good neighbour, now stop perving on my fifteen year old daughter". -mattbuck (Talk) 19:52, 1 September 2008 (UTC) has some quiz like entities--omnipotence407 (talk) 13:35, 7 September 2008 (UTC)


Hi could you tell me if it is breaking the law to text on a mobile phone whilst driving in the UK? thanks —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:01, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

I don't know if it's illegal, but I can say that it is certainly stupid. — Twas Now ( talkcontribse-mail ) 19:19, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
According to the Mobile phones and driving safety article "most countries and states that ban hand-held cell phones while driving also ban texting while driving". No source or specifics though. JessicaThunderbolt 19:26, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
Confirmed here and here; "The use of mobile phones for [texting] are prohibited if you hold the phone". Apparently it's ok if you don't hold the phone, though not advisable, and the "police may use their powers to stop you under existing laws." JessicaThunderbolt 19:33, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
So it's legal to text if you set the phone on the seat next to you and try to use it while driving? That doesn't make a lot of sense. Corvus cornixtalk 21:54, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
Looks like. Though I think there are laws regarding being distracted while driving that would cover this. I remember a story about someone being fined for eating a Kit Kat while driving. JessicaThunderbolt 22:05, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
[E/C] You might have the phone in a car-kit cradle, so that you're effectively pressing buttons on the dashboard. I used to have such a setup, though I didn't in fact use it for texting. Texting from a cradle-mounted phone may not be specifically illegal in the UK (though I wouldn't be surprised if it were), but it could certainly be prosecuted for as driving without due care and attention, or careless driving. (talk) 22:18, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
This suggests you can go to jail for killing someone if you text when driving, this confirms you can't text if you have to hold the phone to do so, even if you don't cause an accident. This confirms what a stupid, irresponsible idea is it to attempt to do so and what the consequences may be. Karenjc 23:55, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
At the bottom line in the UK you are likely to be charged with driving without due care and attention if you drive while doing something which distracts you from the act of driving safely. The media representation of the action which causes the lack of care and attention usually leads to misleading representation. Someone won't be charged with eating a Kitkat while driving but with careless driving or driving without due care and attention. The media will report the Kitkat eating but not the three lampposts demolished, to get best headlins effect. Richard Avery (talk) 07:20, 2 September 2008 (UTC)

Any use of a mobile phone whilst driving is an offence (across most if not all of Europe). Punishable by fine and points. (talk) 15:49, 3 September 2008 (UTC)DT


Why is it, that in futuristic fiction, when a character recounts history of earth and humans they often refer to the human race having fought three world wars? This is seen time and time again. What is it that causes so many authors to believe that at some point in the future we will again be plunged into war? The causes of world war 2 can be seen in the aftermath of WWI with the treaty of versai, (spelling)and other mitigating factors. It could be said that before WWII it could be predicted that it would occur by analizing the feeling of unfair treatment within the German poplus. What then could be the causes of a future world war, and what can b analized today to predict when, where, and why. And how can it be avoided, if it can attall. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:52, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

There is an article on World War III which offers some thoughts. JessicaThunderbolt 21:00, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
There's even an article about its use in fiction, etc. World War III in popular culture. -- (talk) 23:34, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
How does WWI dictate or predict the Pacific theater of WWII? It's not nearly so cut-and-dried as you think. In the aftermath of two world wars in a 25-year span, and with the spectre of nuclear weapons (without a clearly defined notion of mutually assured destruction to curtail their use), and with the post-WWII peace rapidly devolving into the Cold War, it wasn't unreasonable to suppose that a third such conflict would follow. — Lomn 21:01, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
The idea of WWIII was especially prevalent during the Cold War. The idea, as the article suggests, is that eventually all of the tensions inherent to the Cold War would bubble up into another full-blown war, and that due to improvements in military armaments since WWII (e.g. ICBMs, SLBMs, hydrogen bombs) such war would necessarily be horrible. The causes for that version of WWIII are easy to analyze: they're explicitly part of the Cold War.
But! But! We didn't have that war. No, despite the fact that nearly everybody thought the Cold War would become WWIII at some point, it didn't really work out that way. (Unless you do consider the Cold War to be WWIII. I don't. It was a protracted series of near-wartime, punctuated by proxy wars, but it wasn't an all-out war.) Which is a due warning about pretending that was can analyze the causes of a war and foresee it or prevent it. WWI was essentially unforeseeable—it could easily have not happened, is another way of putting it (a slightly more flexible government in Germany and it need not have occurred at all). Whether our world will slide into a future "World War" remains to be seen. I think it's fairly clear, though, that looking to WWI and WWII for analogs about the present and future is treacherous territory—we live in a different world than those two eras. Not necessarily safer, but different. -- (talk) 23:34, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
I have a comic which details a possible fourth world war taking place twenty years after the Cold War erupted into WWIII. Unyclopedia takes it even further and has at least 25 World Wars. More on-topic response will come when I'm not at school. Avnas Ishtaroth drop me a line 05:12, 2 September 2008 (UTC)
According to Albert Einstein, "I do not know with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones." (as found on Wikiquote). Your interpretation of that may provide some clues. Confusing Manifestation(Say hi!) 05:33, 2 September 2008 (UTC)

Talking about WWIII is a handy narrative device; it conveniently establishes that we are in the future, and in a future that is still recognisably the same world that we live in today (ie, not some far-flung fantasy world where the 20th century and its wars have been forgotten). FiggyBee (talk) 22:28, 2 September 2008 (UTC)

Yes, but do they have to focus on wars to project us into the future? They could just as well refer to "President Britney Spears III" (grand-daughter of a minor 21st century singer), or King Henry X (that's the son of Prince Harry, who came to the throne at the age of 73 after his brother William V died of measles having left no legitimate issue because his consort, the former actress Cameron Diaz, proved unable to produce children). -- JackofOz (talk) 04:05, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
Arguably more people are aware of WWII than of Britney or Hazza. Plus "WWIII" can also provide a plausable explanation for the changes that have happened in your future world (mutant rats in New York, Berlin divided between the Chinese and the Arabs, newfound era of peace and space exploration under one-world government). The changes wrought by a Spears dynasty, on the other hand, may be too nightmarish to contemplate. FiggyBee (talk) 06:23, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
However, in Back to the Future, Doc Brown of 1955 mocked the future presidency of then-actor Ronald Reagan. — Michael J 01:51, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
Another way of thinking about it is that WWII was pretty much the pivot of the 20th century—it set up everything that was to follow in stark relief (more so than WWI, which pretty much just set up WWII). So if you want to posit a total change in the future, positing a WWIII allows you to create a new pivot around which to arrange history. -- (talk) 21:30, 3 September 2008 (UTC)

How to use optimisation For Free[edit]

Hello, I'm an web user who's trying to get a blogg around, called (removed to prevent spam), and am looking to optimize it or something so people can become more aware of what I had to say. It's not a business, just a message I was trying to gain exposure; so my question is: are there any reputable and free optimization systems that I could try? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:12, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

I assume what you mean by "optimization" (which has many meanings in the computer world) is Search engine optimization. Our article covers the basics of it. Other than those, your best bet is to find sites with a high pagerank that might be willing to link to you (and you'd link back to them, but that wouldn't get them much of anything), and consider trying to do something on your page that would get it a little attention on the social bookmarking sites. But if your site is really about cryptozoology (I couldn't get your URL to work) then I'm somewhat suspicious that you'll really have to stand a head above the other million such sites on the 'net. There are a billion blogs out there—most of them are totally unknown. -- (talk) 23:23, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
The problem is that the algorithms used by search engines are specifically designed and optimised to deliver the best quality content to their readers. That means that the one and only tried and true technique to get your site noticed is to produce really good, reliable, useful content. It you are merely blathering on about your own opinions - you'll sink into a morass of other similar things. But if you put premium content out there - things people actually need to know - hard facts that aren't showing up in a million other places - then your page-rank will rise. Sadly, there is no shortcut - only ways to cheat. Pagerank (the Google algorithm) basically gives your site a respectability score for each search criterion that depends on the number of other respectable sites that link to it. This is quite cunning because it prevents you from getting a high score by being linked to by a lot of crappy sites. It's tough to get a respected site to link to you unless you too are respected. One cunning trick (which a suspicious mind might wonder if you just tried) would be to sneak links into Wikipedia (which is INCREDIBLY respected in pagerank) - however, that won't work because Google allows web sites to tell their web-crawlers "Please don't consider any links we make as being especially respectable just because we say so" - which makes having links from Wikipedia completely useless for improving your pagerank.
Proof of this is if you type my name into Google's search box ("Steve Baker") my web site is usually in the top five hits of the 600,000 or so places that name is used (Hmmm - today I'm only number two...darn!). I don't use ANY tricks or cheats to push my page rank - I've never asked other people to link to my site - I just have a lot of original "stuff" there that people seem to like to link to. So I get a better page rank than the other Steve Baker's in the world - except for (today) the entry in the Motorcycling hall of fame for some famous biker with the same name as me.
So just concentrate on making an interesting, useful, high quality website. On the web we have a saying: "Content is King" - it's true.
SteveBaker (talk) 04:08, 2 September 2008 (UTC)
It also depends on where you're searching from. At the moment, Steve's home page is number 21 on, 32 on, and 5 on (search performed in Oslo, Norway). --NorwegianBlue talk 08:27, 2 September 2008 (UTC)
I confess to having been fairly remiss in maintaining any measurable amount of Spanish/Norwegian content - so I'm not surprised that the .no and .es versions of Google push my site well down (I'm surprise it's as high as it is actually). But I can't imagine why gives you different results in Norway than I'm getting in Texas? The usual sites that beat mine are Steve Baker the motorbike racer, the boat designer and the harmonica player. We trade places up and down on about a daily basis - so perhaps you're just seeing a random fluctuation in the relative popularity of harmonica music and luxury boats. SteveBaker (talk) 03:38, 3 September 2008 (UTC) often redirects you based on where you are (the IP you are searching from, I suppose). That can be quite annoying sometimes - hey, if I wanted Norwegian content, I'd go to the .no page, right? As a workaround I sometimes use [1] Jørgen (talk) 19:40, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
I use - it's really minimally lean. SteveBaker (talk) 22:35, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
I don't know what I like best - the page or the idea. Nice. Jørgen (talk) 21:59, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
I wonder how long Google or other search engines will continue to respect the request to ignore external links from Wikipedia because good links are money. I guess they don't want to get into a war with content providers but even so I think a better solution will have to be found sometime to the problem of coping with crass advertising being continually stuck on the pages. As to the original question, the content is king. I've never paid for any search optimization or joined link farms for my sites but I do monitor their statistics to see what people search for and what they look at. And the only things I optimize are making them straightforward and quick to load, easy to print, and accessible, and I try to cope with all browsers without much in the way of tricks including phone access. Dmcq (talk) 11:21, 7 November 2008 (UTC)