Off to London

I am writing this on a train to London on a palm computer with barely enough battery to last for this post. Today I am off to the London Geek Dinner at the Texas Embassy on Trafalgar Square.

This is a bit of a follow on from last week’s trip to Ireland where I met with a bunch of really nice and interesting Irish bloggers. I am starting to make a point of going to these events; they are a great way to meet people and to get my own name more recognisable. Networking, basically.

This evening I’m looking forward to meeting a whole new group of people. There’ll be some reasonably high brow people there. Robert Scoble (who I met in Ireland), Dan Gillmor and Hugh McLeod stand out in the guest list.

In other news, full text searching in Blogwise is but a gnat’s breath away. I am already successfully parsing RSS feeds and discovering new ones through Pings and Autodiscovery. Search by keyword has been completely rewritten and is now far faster- no longer will Blogwise search be on Grabperf‘s ‘slowest site’ list!

All this should coincide with a redesign, which will finally include text ads on every page. This is something I’ve put off for as long as possible but is finally necessary to keep Blogwise running. I want these to be as unobtrusive as possible and the redesign will be structured to display the ads effectively but not offensively.

Russell Beattie has been running ads in an interesting way. He only shows ads for those visitors who’ve followed a direct link (ie through search or from others’ blogs). This makes all kinds of sense: his regulars either bookmark his homepage, read his RSS feed or type his address directly. They visit his site with the specific intent of reading his content, and are therefore far less likely to click ads than the casual surfers who came from Google and are far less likely to stick around. His results so far seem promising, and I wonder whether a similar technique could work on Blogwise.

In the next few days I should have more on Ireland, on Blogwise and on stuff in general. Stay tuned!