February 22, 2004

Steven Johnson's coming to town!

Celebrated author Steven Johnson is coming to the San Francisco Bay area this week! He's doing a couple of appearances -- Stacy's in town tomorrow (Monday) at 12:30, and Keppler's in Menlo Park on Tuesday at 7:30. For those of you who have been living under a rock, Johnson wrote Mind Wide Open, Interface Culture, and Emergence, along with loads of Magazine and Newspaper articles, inclusing one on Technorati's Breaking News service for Discover Magazine. Steven has a total knack for explaining and describing complicated science and theory in simple terms, while never losing the beauty and art of the idea or technology in the metaphor. I'll be doing everything I can to make it over to Stecey's for lunch...

Posted by dsifry at 10:57 PM | View blog reactions

February 16, 2004

Live at Demo

I'm here at the Demo 2004 conference, getting ready for the "Blog Nation" panel this morning. I just noticed that the folks at Six Apart have set up a Demo weblog, which looks pretty cool. To help show off the power of understanding the conversations going on around a topic of interest, I put up a page at demo2004.technorati.com showing aggregated information around what people are saying about the Demo conference itself. As people comment on Demo or write about topics related to the conference, the page is updated in near-realtime; the median time from posting to live index is 7 minutes. It is going to be very interesting to watch the commentary come in throughout the day.

I've been giving a lot of thought to Tim Oren's succinct comments that links are a new kind of social gesture, too. I think that's the most succint way of describing the phenomenon that we're tracking at Technorati - behind every link, behind every post, behind every weblog is a person (sometimes more than one), and that person is making decisions on what to post and who to link to, and the linking process itself is not just a proxy for attention (as the Google guys understood) but it is a new form of social gesture - definitely something conversational, more public than email, more accountable than BBSes or Usenet News, more transparent than writing a letter to the editor. I'm still noodling over this, what the underlying metaphor is that we're discussing, more to come as I think this through further...

Posted by dsifry at 7:09 AM | View blog reactions

February 10, 2004

Quick analytics hack: Most popular products being discussed today

ETCon is great. There's lots of smart people here and a great conversation can be had by just bumping off the walls and running into people. I got into lots of conversations with people who were using the improvements we announced yesterday, and got some great feedback. One intriguing conversation was with John Battelle, who used to run The Industry Standard, is now at Berkeley and is writing a great weblog on the topic of search.

We got onto my fascination with Amazon.com's link cosmos - watching it refresh is like looking at what people around the world are buying and talking about. John challeneged me to make that more easy to understand. So, I put my thinking cap on last night and decided to build an example Technorati Hack - Most popular products people are talking about today. This uses the Technorati API combined with the Amazon API to get aggregate information on the products people are linking to on Amazon, in real-time, and then showing a combined view of the product picture along with the context from the most authoritative blogger who has posted about the product in the last 24 hours.

It is updated hourly. Props to John for the inspiration!

Posted by dsifry at 11:14 AM | View blog reactions

February 9, 2004

New and Improved! Technorati Keyword Search...

Technorati just released to the world the completely rewritten keyword search system we've been working on, and we're soliciting feedback!
The major improvements of this release are:


  • Ability to keep up with the ever-increasing number of new weblogs and weblog updates each day (over 11,000 new weblogs created every day, over 100,000 updates every day). Median time from post to live index is 7 minutes. Over 1.6 Million sources tracked. I know of no other engine that even comes close.

  • Post-level search, which means we can add synthetic RSS/Atom/whatever feeds whenever we're ready

  • Keyword highlighting of search terms

  • Permalinks to each post (well, they *should* work)

  • Full integration with the current Link Cosmos search - it uses a pretty smart algorithm to figure out if you're searching on a URL or not - and if it sees a URL, it will do a Link Cosmos search by default, otherwise it performs a keyword search. You can also force a search type using a link on the results page, in case we guess wrong.
  • Some advanced search capabilities, including using double quotes to search phrases, + as the AND operator, and - as the NOT operator:

    e.g. "Janet Jackson" +timberlake -grammy



Oh, and we've made some significant speedups on getting the cosmos of big sites, like the New York Times, CNN, Google, Yahoo, and bOingbOing. Give 'em a whirl. Amazon is my favorite, it is like getting a quick glimpse into people's buying habits at any given time of the day.

We're looking for your feedback! Some areas where we already know we need improvement: Response time is important, and our goal is to get to under one second search times. For now, most keyword searches run in under 10 seconds. There are occasional duplicate posts in the database, we're working on cleaning those out as well. We're also getting the search XML APIs ready to go, they aren't quite ready to launch today.

Please let us know what else we can do to improve!

The new search is up on the Technorati site, so go and give it a try, and by all means, let us know what you think.

Posted by dsifry at 7:18 AM | View blog reactions

February 4, 2004

Technorati is hiring!

Technorati is looking for great engineers and product folks, including an Infrastructure Engineer/Lead, UI Engineer, Operations Infrastructure Engineer, Product Engineer, Director of Product Marketing / Production, and Director of Sales / Syndication. If you have the attitude to lay your ego at the door and work your ass off and the chops to make incredible things happen with a great team in San Francisco, we're looking for you. Don't email me directly - send all inquiries to jobs@technorati.com.

Posted by dsifry at 10:18 PM | View blog reactions

Technorati is hiring!

Technorati is looking for great engineers and product folks, including an Infrastructure Engineer/Lead, UI Engineer, Operations Infrastructure Engineer, Product Engineer, Director of Product Marketing / Production, and Director of Sales / Syndication. If you have the attitude to lay your ego at the door and work your ass off and the chops to make incredible things happen with a great team in San Francisco, we're looking for you. Don't email me directly - send all inquiries to jobs@technorati.com.

Posted by dsifry at 10:17 PM | View blog reactions

February 2, 2004

Giving Ecto a try

Just downloaded Ado's update to Kung-Log, called Ecto. Seems to have a nice and easy set up, and the posting interface appears pretty clean. Automatic spell-checking is there as well, which is a nice feature too. If only it wasn't only available for this lousy Mac hardware. I've said it before and I'll say it again: If IBM and Apple teamed up and released OSX on a Thinkpad T40, I'd buy one in a heartbeat.

Anyway, that's not Ecto's fault. Kudos to Adriaan on a job well done.

Posted by dsifry at 6:28 PM | View blog reactions