A Change in Seasons

If there's one thing I've learned during my time as CEO here at Technorati is that making tough choices is a daily reality. But some choices are tougher than others, particularly when they involve one's own self.

You see, I've made the tough decision to turn the reigns of the company over to other managers at the company. For those of you who follow Technorati regularly, you know that we've been conducting a CEO search since Spring and that it was just a matter of time before I made a transition. But searches such as these take time, especially in a market as frothy as this one, and I decided that rather than waiting for the process to play out, I would go ahead and transition to the board exclusively, taking on the role of Chairman of the Board.

As of today, Teresa Malo, CFO, Dorion Carroll our Vice President of Engineering and Derek Gordon, our Vice President of Marketing, will operate as a committee of the Office of the President, jointly focused on the day-to-day management of Technorati and achieving some important, very strategic milestones. This committee will report directly to our Board of Directors. And, of course, Peter Hirshberg will continue as our "rainmaker-in-chief", leading the continuing development of our Conversational Marketing initiative, corporate development and public relations.

Be clear: the board is still conducting a search for the next great leader of this great company. And I'll still be engaged strategically from the point of view of a director on the board. But I strongly believe this is the right team at the right moment to focus the company's efforts and get us to our objectives.

I've been doing startups for almost all of my adult life. And I LOVE startups. I love the teams. I love the sense of mission, and the fast innovation. I love building something from an idea - a whiff of air over vocal cords - into a real, concrete business with real customers and a deep and real sense of corporate mission. I feel incredibly lucky to have gotten the opportunity to do that with so many diverse teams and businesses - SecuRemote, Linuxcare, Sputnik, and Technorati. One of the joys is also being a part of becoming a "revenue-stage" company - a company with lots of real customers, where the demands on teams shift away from fundamental blue-sky innovation and focus much more into building great things for customers, reducing expenses, and making the business into much more of a revenue machine. It always strikes me with a bit of sadness as well.

Technorati is now a revenue stage business - we've been hiring up sales folks, as well as building much more detailed roadmaps and product pipelines. Customer-driven needs, pipeline management, operational management, and expense control are now a much bigger part of our life as a company than it was when we were running on a couple of servers in my basement.

Which brings me to my next big piece of news: today we also say goodbye to eight of our team members. Because we'll be focusing our efforts more precisely moving forward, it became clear we needed to adjust our expense structure to be more appropriately aligned with our priorities moving forward. So, we had to make the difficult decision to part ways with eight of our staff members. Undertaking this action was gut wrenching - all our team members are greatly valued - but was necessary to ensure the ongoing success and growth of Technorati.

To all who move on to great new things, let me just say: thank you. I value each of your unique contributions and I'll miss working with you.

I'm continually impressed by the strength and depth of our leadership team, and their ability to buttress my operational weaknesses with their verve, passion, and determination. I'm a lucky guy. While I'm turning over the reigns of the company I founded and love so much, I'm not going away. Promise. You can continue to keep track of me via my blog at Sifry's Alerts. Check in often: there's lots more to come!

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Join the Technorati Users Facebook Group. You know you want to...

OK, so I'm getting into Facebook. Well done, Mark and friends! So if you use Facebook and you use Technorati, come join in on the fun!

You know deep down you secretly sneak peeks at your link counts. You check your rankings, you just can't pull away. Don't feel ashamed of your addiction! Embrace it. Join the group, share the love.

Ask questions, get answers, swap tips, recommend great blogs, enjoy.

And don't forget to invite all your friends.

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Great Systems Administrators: Come work for Technorati!

Lots of good stuff going on at Technorati, and we're hiring! We're looking for some great Systems Administrators to help manage our burgeoning data centers, help our ops folks automate thousands of server tasks, and work with our engineering staff to make Technorati even more stable, and help us to further increase our performance. You'll be focusing your efforts on automating the administration of our ever-growing network and adapting to new and continuously changing business and development requirements. Ideal candidate will have significant operational experience with Linux, as well as high available web services. Although experience is important, the ability to quickly learn new things and a have positive attitude are both essential.


* Monitor stability and performance
* Administer infrastructure services
* Participate in 24x7 On-call rotation schedule
* Help develop tools to maintain and monitor our systems
* Write comprehensive documentation
* Train/mentor junior System Administrators
* Deploy new systems and services


* 5+ years experience with Unix
* 3+ years experience with Linux
* 2+ years running large production systems (more than a 100 servers)
* Working knowledge of networking and load balancing
* Experience administering Mysql Databases
* Expertise with Apache setup and configuration with mod_perl, PHP, performance tuning and log file management
* Config and Software Management (cfengine)
* Programming/shell scripting ability

For immediate consideration, please send a text (ASCII) or HTML version of your resume to careers@technorati.com. Principals only.

Important: The subject field of your email must include "Systems Administrator."

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Coming into NYC - anyone up for a Thursday evening dinner/drink/photowalk?

Due to some fast moving business deals, I'm flying into NYC tonight, and I've currently got some free time Thursday evening. Anyone up for a dinner or a photowalk in the evening in Midtown? If so, leave a comment below, ad we'll coordinate tomorrow (Thursday) morning.

I promise answers to all of your deep questions about Technorati, or whatever else you want to chat about. Would love to hear how things have changed in NYC now that things are roaring again...

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Technorati is hiring! Director Of Operations

Man, things are busy these days, and I feel awful for not blogging much lately. I'm going to do my best to make up for that for the next few days. First off, there's a bunch of exciting things going on at Technorati, and we're looking to hire some great people. Over the next few days I'm going to post about the various jobs that we currently have open, and heartily encourage you to submit your resume/CV if you want to work at a fun, exciting company in the heart of San Francisco, doing some really great stuff, and leading the way in helping people to understand the blogosphere, and be a part of making some really cool stuff.

First off, we're looking for a fantastic Director of Operations. We've got hundreds of machines to manage in the Technorati data center, and those numbers continue to grow on a nearly daily basis!

Here's the job requirements:


* Responsible for 24/7 operation of http://technorati.com
* Manage the Technorati service network, consisting of approximately 1,000 servers
* Maintain high availability and consistent performance
* Manage a team of 10 + fantastically awesome network, systems and database administrators
* Manage monitoring and on-call systems
* Manage system and software deployments
* Manage the capital equipment budgeting and purchasing processes
* Responsible for backup and disaster recovery planning
* Help plan and coordinate long term systems strategy
* Create strong support relationships with Engineering and Finance


* At least 10 years experience working in the Management of Information Systems
* At least 5 years experience managing Internet Data Centers
* Experience managing a minimum of 10 people
* Experience operating large-scale, consumer-facing internet services
* At least 5 years experience on LAMP platform and Lucene
* Deep and detailed understanding of large networks
* Deep and detailed understanding Unix-based systems
* Experience managing a network of at least 500 servers
* Experience with search and/or database intensive applications
* Experience handling a one million+ capital budget
* Project Management skills a plus
* Experience with growing startup operations
* Bachelors Degree required, advanced degrees a plus
* Ability to deal with rapid change

For immediate consideration, please send a text (ASCII) or HTML version of your resume to careers@technorati.com. Principals only.

Important: The subject field of your email must include "Director of Operations"

Feel free to pass this along to your friends as well, we're loking for an absolutely excellent candidate, and we're willing to do what it takes to get the right guy or gal. C'mon and get out of that dead-end job you're in now, and help us to build a kick-ass next-gen Ops and monitoring system. You'll get the challenge and opportunity of a lifetime.

More to come... If you want to get past the suspense, you can go to our Careers page to see all the current openings.

One other thing: We only hire GREAT people at Technorati, so if you don't match up to that kind of quality, then do us and yourself a favor and don't apply.

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Farewells and Welcomes

In the life of companies, there are moments of welcoming and there are times when one must bid a fond farewell. For Technorati, at this moment, we must say a warm goodbye to our colleagues Adam Hertz and Tantek Celik. I remember when both started here at Technorati three years ago, literally on the same day, and find it ironic, therefore, that both will leave us on the same day, even if for different reasons.

Adam, in his role as Vice President of Engineering, and Tantek, as our Chief Technologist, played important roles in shaping the company we are today. Three years ago, there were just a few of us, dreaming and scheming about how to scale our promising little enterprise. Today, we are about 45 people, have a presence in Japan, serve about 12 million unique visitors each month, are watching our page views grow by double-digits each quarter, and continue to innovate based on the needs and interests of our users.

So, as both leave Technorati to pursue other interests, I simply want to say: thank you. I also want to say that it makes me very happy they both will remain as part of our extended family. On the fourth anniversary of Technorati, it seemed the right time to create a Technorati Fellows program and I've asked Adam to be our very first Technorati fellow. In this role, Adam will continue to offer strategic advice and support to me and to others here at Technorati moving forward. Tantek will join the Technorati Board of Advisors so we'll continue to benefit from his guidance and wisdom as he moves on to ever-greater heights.

This moment also affords me the opportunity to extend a welcome - to our friend and colleague Dorion Carroll, who will take on the role of Vice President of Engineering, reporting to me. This appointment represents a consolidation of roles, combining engineering, technology leadership and product development. Dorion has been on the Technorati team for more than two years and brings with him 20 years experience in a variety of engineering and product leadership roles. During his time at Technorati, Dorion has led the introduction of most of the new features available on our Web site today and has worked very closely with our search team to bring their constant innovations to our users.

We're continuing to hire as well - we're looking for a kick-ass Director of Operations, as well as a number of Search, Systems Administrators, DBAs, and Sales posts. You can see them all here.

I hope you'll join me in wishing Adam and Tantek all the best as they move on to their next great adventures in life and on the live web, and in welcoming Dorion to his challenging and well-deserved new role at Technorati. I'm confident that we'll be seeing great things from each of them!

UPDATE: OK, I deserve to get hit with the stupid stick - I left our wonderful Liz Dunn out of the post when I put it up, who is taking a great job over at Laugh or Die. My apologies, Liz! My only explanation is that I had written this post over the weekend, before this great job had fallen in your lap, and I spaced out when I was posting. Best wishes, darling, you're great, we'll miss you.

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Alice Waters at dinner

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The vivacious chef, restauranteur, and leader of the slow food movement, Alice Waters of Chez Panisse catered dinner for a group of us brought together by the World Economic Forum and Harvard Business School at the Viader Vineyards on Monday in Napa. She brought with her a bevy of wonderful local produce, all crafted in a beautiful and thoroughly delicious manner. She spent about 15 minutes telling us all about the food, where it came from, and gave us a brief introduction to the slow food movement. A delicious aperitif to the delightful dinner!

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Come check out the refreshed www.technorati.com!

I've got some wonderful news, six month's hard work of our entire team has just gone out the door. http://www.technorati.com/


We just launched a major refresh to www.technorati.com. Some of the changes are subtle, some are big, and they all build on a bunch of improvements we've been making to the site since January. We've been spending a lot of time listening to you, and incorporating an enormous amount of feedback into this refresh - dozens of changes to both our look and feel and to our backend systems to make Technorati more useful to you.

As I've blogged about before, the world has changed. Whereas folks using Technorati a couple of years ago were predominantly coming to us to search the blogosphere to surface the conversations that were most interesting to them, today they are increasingly coming to our site to get the 360 degree context of the Live Web - blogs of course, but also user-generated video, photos, podcasts, music, games and more. They want all the good stuff out there, all in real-time, and we're using the power of 80 million bloggers to help organize it and make it fun to browse; using the wisdom of crowds as a mirror on ourselves. Have a look at the new homepage (Click on the screenshot above to see how it looked when we went live).

This is being facilitated by the phenomenon of tags and tagging, which helps to unify and organize the rapidly expanding world of user-generated media. As more and more publishing tools support the use of tags, the better we are able to assemble collections of social media based on the interests of our users.

The world has changed. This isn't just about blogs anymore. And to be of service to you, we have changed too.

First, we've eliminated search silos on Technorati. In the past, you had to know the difference between keyword search, tag search and blog directory search in order to make use of the full power of our site. No more. Starting today, we now provide you a simplified experience. Simply indicate what's of interest to you and we'll assemble the freshest, hottest, most current social media from across the Live Web - Blogs, posts, photos, videos, podcasts, events, and more.

We've also worked really hard at making our user interface simpler, and more intuitive. We've been spending months doing user testing, and listening to you, our users, collecting and prioritizing what you wanted, what you liked, and what you hated about Technorati. We haven't gotten it 100% right yet, and we're going to keep working hard to improve, but I think we've made a big step forward with this launch.

Some of our power users, for example, didn't want all of the bells and whistles - all the context and multiple media types that you get when you do a search on the new Technorati. You wanted speed. You wanted a clear, clean interface. You wanted to get what you were looking for, get in, and get out fast. We listened to you too. We've streamlined a blogsearch-only homepage at search.technorati.com (an easy shortcut is s.technorati.com - we even eliminated two characters to type to get there!). Have a look. I think you're going to like what you see.


With this launch, we also provide you with more context around more stuff like videos, music, and blogs. Over time, these pages will become richer and more comprehensive as we add more information about the thing itself, like where it was published, who links to it, what other things are similarly tagged, and more.

We're also at work introducing features that help you to see what's happening on the web right now. For instance, you'll see a new ticker on the top of the homepage that indicate what terms and phrases are on the move. We also made improvements to WTF and Favorites that help you understand what's hot - right now - and why.

Finally, there's lots more to do. This is only scratching the surface, and we're going to be rolling out lots more updates and innovations throughout the rest of the year. We're going to continue to work on performance, making things faster and more stable. Every now and then searches still fail for our users or take too long to respond, and that's a top priority for our backend team to fix. We're going to keep listening to you, our users - It is an honor that you give us your time and attention - over 11.7 Million people last month visited Technorati. We've tripled in visitors and traffic in under 5 months. Thanks for telling your friends about us. Thanks for putting your faith in us.

One last thought... I want to thank the small but dedicated team at work here at Technorati. We're just 45 people today (which represents huge growth for us, but is still a pretty small group). We currently track over 250 million videos, blogs, photos, podcasts, events, and other social media objects in addition to more than 80 million blogs, and do our best every day to serve each and every one of you who visit us every day. Even given the enormity of this task, our team continues to invent, improve and innovate in ways that constantly amazes me and reminds me that I'm one of the luckiest guys on the planet. So to our Technorati team: thank you! You folks are the best team I've ever had the privilege to work with. You've been kicking butt to get this out the door. Thanks.

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Overgrown Redwood Log and Wildflowers

Overgrown Redwood Log and Wildflowers - 7634.jpgHad a wonderful weekend enjoying the lush Northern California spring up in the redwoods. One of the joys is just slowing down and breathing the clear, crisp, fresh air, full of Oxygen - you can just feel the difference, even if San Francisco is one of the top cities in terms of air quality, it still is just fresher up in the mountains.

And spring is absolutely bursting up there - this picture was taken in Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, which was as lush as I've ever seen it. It was wonderful to go walking with a tripod and a basic 50mm lens, and to just slow down, breathe, and find just the right shot. This one had it all for me - the moss-covered log, the clover, and the tiny blue wildflowers just bursting through the ground - you could almost hear them growing, pushing through the earth, enjoying their life. If you like the shot, go and download the original size - I just love the details in this shot.

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Sanford "Sandy" Robertson Joins the Technorati Board

The good news just keeps on coming here at Technorati. I'm so excited to let you know that the legendary technology investment pioneer Sanford "Sandy" Robertson has joined our Board of Directors, effective immediately.

I met Sandy in January at the World Economic Forum, where, much to my delight, we formed a fast friendship. The better we got to know one another, the more I became convinced Sandy would be an incredible addition to the Board leadership at Technorati.

Sandy is a principal of Francisco Partners, which is one of the world's largest technology buyout funds. Prior to founding Francisco Partners, Sandy was the founder and chairman of Robertson, Stephens & Co., which most of you will remember was the leading technology investment bank formed in 1978, and sold to BankBoston in 1998. Since then, Sandy has been an active technology investor and advisor to a number of amazing technology companies, and currently serves on the boards of the Democratic Leadership Council, Dolby Laboratories, Inc., Pain Therapeutics, Inc., salesforce.com, Inc., and the Schwab Fund for Charitable Giving

Perhaps most interesting to me, he has had significant financing involvement, including IPOs and secondary financings in more than 500 growth technology companies throughout his career, including 3Com Corporation, America Online, Inc., Applied Materials, Inc., Ascend Communications Inc., Dell Computer Corporation, E*Trade Securities, Inc., Siebel Systems, Inc. and Sun Microsystems, Inc.

I'm really looking forward to learning from Sandy - he immediately struck me with his personal charisma, integrity, deep experience, and insightful business mind. As we continue our growth, Sandy's sage advice and wealth of experience will prove invaluable to our growth and future success. Welcome aboard!

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