bjorn-vandervoo-2014Hi, I'm Bjorn van der Voo, I'm a webmaster, digital champion, and marketing manager based in Portland, Oregon.

Formerly focused on magazine and trade publications, my work has evolved into web publishing strategies for a broad range of clients. My four main focuses are webmaster services, digital marketing, project management, and print publishing.

I help businesses with a range of services in the digital realm, from content creation to web system setups to marketing outreach. I can also help identify emerging revenue streams and foresee ways to keep processes flowing long after my work is done.

My plain-speaking manner enables me to work with a wide variety of clients and make complex projects look simple.


Joomla stays in the game

Overall I've been very happy with the versions of Joomla 3. Here's a brief highlight of items I like, and perhaps a few I don't:

  • The Update Manager is a vast improvement over previous update methods. I administer a site using a "competing" CMS, and it still relies upon file management for updating software. It's barbaric every time I lay my hands on it. "Where's my rock knife to run the FTP?"

  • Another big step is Version Management, for salvaging previous article iterations. For the sake of your users, activate this tool, and you might find yourself using it as well. 

  • This isn't my area of expertise, but the eco-system for both quality free and commercial extensions seems healthy.

The Unknowable Source of Innovation

Relentless flare ups of creativity and innovation in the web dev field continue to surprise me. Today, October 9th 2014, one of the hottest apps going is called Ethan. What does it do? Oh, it lets you message a guy named Ethan. Full name: Ethan Gliechtenstein.

What?! Why would this be the top app? Because it's such a simple idea, it's beautiful.

It's creator realized he wanted a simple way for his friends to contact him. He says he's been moving himself away from Facebook, and this was his solution. It's beauty is in how perfectly it solves a problem many of us face. We want to contact those closest to us, and we have so many ways, sometimes it's unclear which is the best. Imagine if you had a direct messaging line to your partner, or your best friend, or your children.

After the app took off, it appears to have morphed into a stranger-to-stranger random advice service. But the requests for customized versions have been pouring in, and right there is the wonderful intersection of creativity and innovation.


Panda 4.0 further squeezes low-quality content

The latest tweak from Google to its search algorithm has further squeezed low-quality content. But some at eBay may strongly disagree with that opinion. Apparently the new adjustment, dubbed Panda 4.0, has hammered up to 80% of eBay's search results.

Winners and losers from the adjustment have been ranked. Hammered as well is,, among many others. Winners include,, and somewhat surprisingly While some might question Buzzfeed's approach, they are apparently being awarded by the Google adjustment for providing new, original content.

The initial takeaway from this is: your original content can't just be your own, it has to strive to be original. So while in the past a site might have been able to garner search results for yet another article on properly cooking an egg, or explain what basketball is, now a more original zest for content will be supposedly awarded.

Domain records transition plan

The flow of the DNS and Domain records at my employer is just spaghetti. No rational person would set it up this way. But it haphazardly evolved over time without proper stewardship.

However, at this point, if I pull too hard on a strand to attempt a fix, I'll get a big sloppy meatball in my lap. ("Big Sloppy Meatball" is technical jargon for a broken email system).

So to make sense of it, I made some quick graphs. Not the best ever, and there are definitely are some inconsistencies in the logic. But I'm still happy with how it turned out. When I look at it, I feel like, "yeah, I can do this."

Can't ask for much more than that from some simple graphs.

A Good Explanation of the Post-Panda World for the Layman

This article does a pretty succinct job of explaining Content Farms circa 2011 and what Google's infamous "Panda Update" did to them.