World Adventurers Celebrates 1,000 Posts


Dear Reader,

World Adventurers hit a major milestone today — 1,000 published posts! A thousand articles and updates later, this blog is still going strong.

I started World Adventurers in December 2004, as a way to update family and friends about life overseas. It has evolved in ways I never imagined when I wrote my first “Hello, World” post. Since then I’ve written about my books, writing, news and politics, humor, sports, finance, culture, thoughts and sayings, updates from around the world, and other topics. My travelogues have been by far this site’s most popular feature.

The early blog hosted by the now-defunct MSN Spaces Live had more than 350,000 hits and was featured regularly by Microsoft on its “What’s Your Story” page. At a time when blogging was far less ubiquitous, World Adventurers was — and remains — on the frontiers of digital media. whatsyourstory

Readership declined when Spaces Live folded and I took a breather from blogging in 2008-09. World Adventurers moved to WordPress in late 2010, and made a roaring comeback since then with another 300,000 hits. Earlier this year the site moved to its new and permanent home on my website, www.mgedwards.com, and was rebranded as World Adventurers Magazine. This site hosted by WordPress and featured on Freshly Pressed has remained so popular that I haven’t shut it down; it’s still going strong and complements the new e-zine. All told, World Adventurers has had about 700,000 unique hits and tens of thousands of visitors since its inception.

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Here are the 20 most popular and memorable posts published on World Adventurers:

Thanks for visiting World Adventurers. Here’s to 1,000 posts and many more!

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Will the library become obsolete?


Google (of which I own shares) announced today that it will make available online the book collections of five major universities and library systems.  The institutions are Harvard University, Stanford University, the University of Michigan, Oxford University, and the New York Public Library system.  All I can say is, “Wow!”  If they can pull it off that would be a major coup for the upstart technology company.  In recent months following Google’s IPO it has faced a number of challenges from its two largest competitors, Yahoo and Microsoft (MSN).  It has met these challenges well so far.  When MSN announced its new beta search engine, Google announced that it had doubled the number of indexed, searchable web pages on Google.com–twice as many as are available on MSN.  It was the first to release a new Desktop Search Tool ahead of Yahoo and MSN, both of which recently release versions of their own.  Google is taking on Yahoo and Hotmail/MSN head on by offering Gmail, a free E-mail service.  When Google announced it was giving away free 1GB E-mail accounts, both Yahoo and MSN upped storage capacity for all users.  Google is the only one of the three to allow free POP access to E-mail through clients such as Outlook.  Accoona.com is a new Google copycat search engine backed by President Clinton, among others.  It will be the exclusive provider of China Daily content online.  Today’s announcement is akin to Google responding with, “So what?”

Anyway, I digress.  Google’s recent announcement of Google Scholar and the new library initiative may foreshadow its rise to rareified air.  If it can successfully make these collections available online, Google will no doubt be the elite search tool for the next decade.  It will probably not render physical libraries obsolete, but it may do to library usage what E-mail did to snail mail–decrease the volume of usage.  I hope this initiative is successful.  It will substantially increase the value of the World Wide Web by having offline and out-of-print resources available online.  This could be the start of a new paradigm shift.  For years people have wonder when, if ever, books in print would be replaced by digital e-books.  This could provide an inkling of that potential future.

Today when I came home I again saw a murder of crows hovering around our building.  It was a scene out of an Alfred Hitchcock movie.  The sky was dim, well past sunset.  The trees are skeletal, and the landscape was quite murky.  The crows flew about so that they were nearly indistinguishable from bats.  Tonight would have been a perfect setting for Halloween.

I also put together an English-Korean song put to the tune of “The 12 Days of Christmas.”  Once I’m finished I’ll post it here.

Our new blog


Today I signed up to join MSN’s new beta.  It looks like a pretty cool tool so far.  Free is good.  It’s yet another way for Microsoft to compete by extending products (e.g. MSN/Windows) with cool new features.  Considering that the word “blog” was just nominated as the word of the year, it’s probably good that Microsoft is riding this wave.  I’ve been putting my journal online, but it’s a static one.  Over Christmas I’ll migrate over this blog so I can easily add entries.  Enjoy, dear reader!