“Promote JS”

This post was originally published as “Why I don’t Promote JS“, a misinformed ranting diatribe on the merits of Mozilla’s SEO. After a few corrections from Mozilla and PromoteJS in the comments below, I revised it. But then it didn’t make any sense any more.

So here’s some information about badgers instead:

Badgers have rather short, fat bodies, with short legs built for digging. Their ears are small, and they have elongated weasel-like heads, their tails vary in length depending on species, the stink badger has a very short tail, while the ferret badger’s tail can be 18 to 20 inches (46 to 51 cm) long, depending on age.

They have black faces with distinctive white markings, their bodies are gray with a light-colored stripe from their head to their tail, they have dark legs with light colored stomachs. They grow to around 35 inches (89 cm) in length including tail.

The European badger is one of the largest; the American badger, the hog badger and the honey badger are similar in size and weight, though generally a little smaller and lighter. The stink badgers are smaller still, and the ferret badgers are the smallest of all. They weigh around 20–24 pounds (9.1–11 kg) on average, with some Eurasian badgers weighing in at around 40 pounds (18 kg).

  • http://twitter.com/amason Andrew Mason

    You make some valid points, and I agree Mozilla’s effort to improve the state of JavaScript reference material is commendable but ripping them a new one for SEO mistakes seems a tad harsh. I consider your last SEO point to be the most important, good content gets linked to and that’s the best juice you can get.

    Additionally, have you seen sitepoint’s reference site: http://reference.sitepoint.com/javascript
    I dislike their horrible ads but they do tick off a lot of your boxes.

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  • Anonymous

    Haven’t seen it. Will check it out.

  • Anonymous

    “PromoteJS is not a Mozilla project.” Ah. Didn’t know that. That changes things somewhat.

    “I’ve seen a lot of … efforts .. that wasted away.” True. Maybe it has to be attached to a browser vendor then, but it’s a shame not to have a single collaborative project. It’s good to see you have Paul from Google onboard though.

    I think Mozilla will always be a browser company to me. Just like Shell will always be an oil company, regardless of their green investments.

  • Anonymous

    I bet for the average user, W3Schools is perfectly good. We just want a hint on the spelling, params, and browser support.

    I loved the massive critique project to bring them up to speed. I’m surprised a behind-the-scenes political effort to wikify them didn’t work – they’d make more money after all.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, you have me there. It’s much easier to complain than to contribute, isn’t it.

    Throw me a search box and a browser support table, and I’ll do my best.

  • Anonymous

    Oh, blimey. Just killed someone’s pet project. Bit hypocritical of me when I’ve got the stars of browser death as my background. My sympathies to the author.

  • Guest

    completely off topic, but the background on this page is incredibly distracting, enough so for me to give up trying to read the article. just a small fyi.

  • http://shaver.off.net/diary/ Mike Shaver

    There’s a pretty meaningful difference between Shell-and-green-investments and Mozilla-as-browser-company. Mozilla is a non-profit foundation chartered to improve the web and protect it as a universal, participatory resource. Our success it measured against that mission, not against shareholder return or market share. It’s not a story that we’ve done a perfect job of telling, but I think it’s a pretty meaningful difference from being a “browser company”.

  • Anonymous

    Hey Ken, Coming from the guy that actually launched the campaign – I have to say your article seems a bit contrarian to fact. Christian and Paul seemed to have knocked out the biggies (1. not run by mozilla, 2. MDN is a collaborative wiki, 3. this is just the first of many efforts) But I wanted to tackle the big elephant in the room. Your article does come “too heavy handed” especially in light of http://arewefirstyet.com/ which was (until recent google API changes) tracking the progress over time. As you can clearly see despite your SEO 101 (thanks buddy!) lessons that the effort is working. And furthermore no one “gave up” w3fools isn’t the “new replacement” rather the extra-power boost.

    Most people don’t use the docs because they cant find them, when we started the proper docs were at best page 8 — NON EXISTENT. Now most are page 1.

    Also this isn’t just MDN docs, its ANY quality docs and those get put in rotation, currently there are links generated for Eloquent JavaScript, Rebecca Murpheys online JavaScript, Crockfords videos and more.

    “Every time we fail at SEO, another SEO consultant gets hired. And that means God has to kill a kitten. Sad, but true.” Ironic ending line especially given that this is less about “SEO” so much as it is about developers taking a stand and saying THIS IS THE RIGHT DOCUMENTATION versus saying nothing at all.

    Also you might want to do a bit of investigation before jumping on the hate wagon – the Internet never forgets :)

  • Anonymous

    Hey Chris.

    As others point out, since you’re not actually able to edit the MDC site, you’ve done all you can SEO-wise. In light of that, none of my bullet points actually touch your effort. As an external promoter, it’s a good job. It’s a great job: I get to better docs more quickly. The WordPress plugin I particularly like, since it links real keywords to the real docs.

    I didn’t really want to go and change the blog post, because I like the defences and clarifications in the comments. But I’m going to make some changes just in case people don’t read down this far.

    I’m no fan of the hate wagon either. If people are actually going to read this blog, I’ll probably have to pitch it differently.

  • Anonymous

    All good, join Dan in travelling up the coast to Portland and we can all go out over a couple beers.

  • Anonymous

    Only if you promise not to point and throw rocks. :)

  • Annony

    very distracting background~!

  • Anonymous

    Yes.