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March 20, 2008

Frommer's Omniture

Today, we went live with the new Omniture search engine on Frommers.com after weeks of tweaking and testing. Configuring the hosted search solution was interesting and gave me a lot of insight into how Google runs. With Omniture, we were able to adjust the search to work in the best way with each of our very different site sections. We could force certain results to show up at the top, control synonyms, display promotional features for specified search terms, index more than one site, etc. These were all things we couldn't do with the old built-in functionality of ColdFusion/Verity which was based on database queries. With this new search, Frommers.com is also up-to-date with the rest of the large sites on the Internet.

March 17, 2008


The Frommer's site continues to grow at a rapid pace and it reached a point where a dedicated search engine needed to be added, replacing the built-in ColdFusion/Verity functionality. The obvious solution was to go with the new Google CSE Business Edition, which was perfect based on the information that had on their website. But we realized we couldn't go with it because their pricing model didn't favor a site of Frommer's size. I did intensive research over a 2 week period, signing up for just about every major and minor hosted search solution. In each of those accounts, I built a version of their search with the Frommer's design to make sure we could have as much freedom as possible with the customization. The list was narrowed down to 7 companies. After contacting all of them, some were eliminated because they either ended up costing more than Google or didn't have the resources to handle our size/traffic. 2 of the companies gave us reasonable pricing models, and Omniture was the most helpful and persistent. The demo given to us by their representative, Jim McTiernan was very impressive. The admin interface was far better than what Google had. Omniture also had a reputable client list that included Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, Microsoft, Oracle, HP, CNN, Forbes, AOL, Sports Illustrated & NBA. So we signed the contract last month and started building the new site search immediately.

More to come soon...

March 8, 2008

China 2000 (Vol. 1 & 2) DVD Cover

The description for the China 2000 (Vol. 1 & 2) DVD Cover has been updated to include links to the original photos used to create the front and back covers. The two photos were part of a Suzhou series that was uploaded to the Frommer's Shanghai online photo gallery. All images were taken by a point-and-shoot panoramic film camera and retouched in Adobe Photoshop.

March 6, 2008

Eneos & Fujita @ RCT

RCT just became an authorized dealer for 2 more product lines... Eneos oil and Fujita air intakes. Both the homepage and line card pages were updated accordingly. The line card page allows users to visit manufacturers' websites for product details since RCT is a brick and mortar business. It also doubles as a link page for search engine optimization. Click here to visit RCT's line card.