Hugh Macleod works his magic

Finally got some time to update the blog after such an incredibly busy month.  Les Blogs in Paris was a lot of fun, and quite interesting.  I got to meet a whole bunch of people that I had known from Blogging, IRC, and other circles - some just from their photos in their Technorati profiles, I felt like I'd known them simply by looking at search results.

One of those great people is Hugh "GapingVoid" Macleod.  I got the opportunity to make a video of him doing his favorite party trick - taking people's business cards and doing original cartoons on them.  I'm ticked pink to have an original Macleod - I'm getting it framed.

Watch him draw my card.

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Giving the Performancing for Firefox extension a try

Giving the new blogging tool a quick test drive.  The new release includes Technorati tags as a part of the workflow, cool!

It is a bit difficult to do it, though - you've got to go to the Settings area, and add the tags to the option.  But hey, this is a nice way to easily blog right from the browser.  Ecto is still more feature rich, but I'm going to see if having the blogging tool right in the browser will make it easier to blog.

I'm also eagerly looking forward to the next rev of Flock, which I hope will be based on Firefox 1.5, which definitely seems to be faster and more stable than previous revisions.

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Making Technorati easier to use

We just rolled out a whole raft of improvements and tweaks that are built to make Technorati easier to use and easier to understand. A few things that we rolled out:

1) Charts. Get live, updated charts on what people are saying about stuff you care about, like this, which shows a chart of the mentions of "King Kong":

2) Improved extracts. We've worked hard to make the information in the extract that we present to you much more understandable, so that you'll be able to make a better choice before clicking through to get to the source post. Here's an extract from a vanity search:


3) Scoped Search based on related tags. You can now scope a search to better understand what a community of people are saying about a subject, all in a tabbed format right below the search box, as shown below:


4) Enhanced profile information. We've put up more information about your blogs, and if you're a tag user, you can even get a map of the most popular tags you use in your blog posts. Simply click on the Author's name in search results, and you'll get taken to his or her profile page. Here's mine, along with a snippet of the tag cloud:


5) Lots more. Including a new Blog Finder widget to help you find out who is blogging about the topics that you're interested in (don't forget to claim your blog and add your tags, including your name!), revisions to the Popular widget, and a new tag widget, all down the left-hand side of search results, and lots of other tweaks.

These changes came after weeks of user feedback studies, learning by watching users and what they wanted and did on the site, and lots of tuning and tweaking of the infrastructure. We're looking for your feedback and comments on the changes! Did we do a good job? Are things easier to use? Is your favorite vanity search more understandable? Does it have more data? What else do you want?

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Tracking the Syndicate Conference with the new Tag Mini!

Les Blogs was great, and it was fun to use the new Technorati Mini to show off the conversations happening on the World Live Web - this new experience of the web as a dynamic, living place.

We just rolled out an enhancement to the popular Mini - you can now get a Mini for Tag results! Here's a tag page for the Syndicate Conference, and here's a picture showing you where to click to bring up the Mini.

So here's how you use it:

1) Go to Technorati and click on the Tags tab.
2) Type the tag or tags that you want to track (I used the nifty Advanced Search in the Options area to include a bunch of tags)
2) Then look over at the right hand side of the result page, here's a screenshot:


3) Click on where it says "View in Mini" (I've highlighted it). You'll need to make sure to allow popups from Technorati if you use popup blocking software like IE or recent versions of Firefox.
4) Enjoy!

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Using the Technorati Mini to keep track of Les Blogs

I'm here listening to the great sessions at Les Blogs in real-time with the new Technorati Mini window, and it hit me that I bet a whole bunch of people have never heard of or used the Mini. It is, after all, a feature we introduced a few weeks ago. I find myself using the Minis more and more as a great way to keep track of the conversation about me and about the stuff I'm interested in in real-time. I'm loving it here at the conference, it is helping me to keep up with things.
So here's how you use it:

1) Go to Technorati and type some keywords or a URL that you want to track, e.g. I typed in lesblogs
2) Then look over at the right hand side of the result page, here's a screenshot:

3) Click on where it says "View in Mini" (I've highlighted it). You'll need to make sure to allow popups from technorati if you use popup blocking software like IE or recent versions of Firefox.
4) Enjoy!

As always, we're looking for feedback! If you're here at the conference, come down and give me a shout, I'm sitting down in the front on stage left right by the big podium!

Les Blogs kickoff

Made it to the Les Blogs conference, and after the introductions, Shel Israel and Robert Scoble are now on stage giving their presentation/conversation about their new book, "Naked Conversations" and related blog. I received a review copy of the book by the way, and I have to say that it is very well done. For most people who are new to blogs, they have done a great job at explaining Cluetrain fundamentals, and they have expounded on it and done a great job at showing the application of the fundamentals - what Doc calls "Applied Cluetrain". Looking forward to when the book comes out so that I can recommend it to folks to get at bookstores.

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Some pictures from the opening session, from right to left: Loic Lemeur, the organizer of the conference, introducing the conference, Ethan Zuckerman and Rebecca MacKinnon of Global Voices, and Shel Israel and Robert Scoble discussing their book.

Lots of kind people complimenting the Technorati team for all of our recent performance, scalability, and feature improvements lately, too. Makes me grateful for the wonderful team toiling away back in San Francisco. Thanks, guys!

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First set of Paris photographs are now up

I had a wonderful walk around the Arc de Triumph this evening, just the thing that helped keep the jetlag at bay. I've organized them into a set on flickr, and I'll be adding more throughout the trip.

Twilight is one of the most beautiful times to photograph, colors just jump out as contrast is reduced, and the combination of warm tungsten lighting with the cool light from the sky brings out such interesting compositions. This one just looked timeless to me. I liked the composition and colors of this one, and you have to look at this one carefully, the woman is going over to an expensive fur shop to show her beau something she likes.

Enjoy. More later.

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Made it to Paris!

And boy are my arms tired. My California clock says it is 7:32am, but local time says it is 4:30pm. I've got to find a way to stay on my feet long enough to make it to an early sleep to beat the jetlag. The drive in ended with a beautiful drive down the center of Paris, and I've even got a view of the Eiffel Tower from my room (yeah, it's right next to that big satellite dish) :-)

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I think I'll run out and take some twilight shots, glad I brought my mini tripod and some fast lenses...

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New podcast interview of me is on the web

I had a very pleasant time speaking with Nicole Simon of last week, and she has just put up the podcast of our interview. I've had a few recent interviews/podcasts lately, now that I actually have a little time, I'll have to go search them down and post links to them, more in coming posts. I'm sitting in a wifi lounge in Amsterdam Airport, paying 6 euros for 30 minutes of access which feels a bit steep. But at least my new universal world plug is working well. Thanks to KLM for the outlet! As a pretty experienced power vampire, I was pretty surprised to not find many outlets along the walls in the terminals, but they did have a few power stations set up in the internet terminal.

One jarring fact - they play The Daily Show on CNN International over the terminal monitors - I wonder how many non-americans think it is a serious news program? Heh.

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Some shots of Doc and Halley at Harvard Business School's Cyberposium

A couple weeks ago, I had the honor to be invited to Harvard Business School's Cyberposium conference. This is a yearly event put on by the HBS studentson the latest trends in technology, and it was quite an interesting conference. While I was there, I attended John Palfrey's excellent session on Intellectual Property law. But the real reason for this blog entry is to post some pix of Doc and Halley at Harvard...


And of course, my favorite. Click on each to get the full-size picture.