January 24, 2005

Reminder: Geek/Blogger dinner in NYC tonight

A reminder for all of you NYC bloggers and geeks out there: Andrew Rasiej is graciously opening his home for for folks who RSVP from 6:30-8:00PM on Monday night the 24th. His place is at 13 Leroy Street in the West Village. Please RSVP here in the comments, Andrew says that he only has limited space (about 40). So drop a line below noting how many people will be coming so he can prepare...

January 23, 2005

Ecto 2.2 with Tag support!

has released Ecto 2.2, and it has built-in support for ! Cool. All of you Mac OSX bloggers, you definitely should go and give Ecto a try. Very nice.

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January 22, 2005

David Weinberger's great speech at dinner last night

If you're looking forward to a fun half hour of a great rant by one of the web's leading thinkers, have a listen to David Weinberger at the Harvard Faculty Club after dinner of the Blogging Journalism and Credibility conference. Can't wait until Jay Rosen's concluding remarks are available on the web as well.

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Way cool: kwiki-technorati

This is very very cool. If you run a kwiki wiki, you can now get an easy plugin to show Technorati cosmos links (who's linking to this page?) on every wiki page. Here's the link to the plugin and to the announcement.

Posted by dsifry at 11:02 AM | TrackBack | View blog reactions

New Technorati search Firefox plug-in from ratherbiased.com

Neat! Shows that the barriers to becoming a programmer are getting lower and lower. Here's a firefox plugin from the folks at ratherbiased.com. Great job guys! This gets me thinking I need to write more stuff about all the cool stuff all the Technorati developers are doing, and give all of you some publicity. Will do.

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Posted by dsifry at 7:30 AM | TrackBack | View blog reactions

Mobcasting, an interesting idea

Here's a pretty interesting idea, and there's lots of tools now sitting around to make this happen. Andy Carvin spoke about how he started mobcasting (mobile + podcasting + smart mobs = mobcasting) Basically, using free tools like Blogger, Audioblogger, and feedburner, you can make a phone call, leave a voicemail message, and then not only have that MP3 posted to your blog but also added as a podcast to your RSS feed. Neat stuff, but STILL too hard. But I'm tremendously encouraged that these tools can help to cross the digital divide as these tools are even more fully integrated into mobile phones and mobile networks.

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January 21, 2005

The blogs that Apple is suing

To answer a question that was brought up by Jeff Jarvis during his session, the three blogs that are being sued by Apple are ThinkSecret, AppleInsider and PowerPage according to Wired News.


Here at Berkman

OK, I'm at the Berkman center and we're nearing the end of the first session. It seems that a number of people are tagging their posts with the tag/category, so I'll follow the trend, and do that. There's also a feed aggregator set up by Dave Winer as well...

More to come, we're just wrapping up the morning sessions. Very interesting stuff.

To tag your own posts, here's what you do:

What's all this? This page shows all kinds of goodies from the web about webcred. To contribute, just make a post to your blog about webcred and include the link below. More Info »
<a href="http://technorati.com/tag/webcred" rel="tag">webcred</a>

January 20, 2005

Boston Geek / Blogger dinner Saturday night!

Just a reminder - Dave Winer is organizing a dinner at the Bombay Club Saturday night in Cambridge MA. It starts at 6:30PM Saturday night. See you there!

January 18, 2005

Call for a Web 2.0 Spam Squashing Summit

There's been a lot of activity around tagging links of late. Today, Google announced that they are supporting an industry-wide initiative to not count links that are tagged with the rel="nofollow" attribute in their PageRank calculation. MSN, and Yahoo are aboard as well. Technorati is also supporting this effort, and those tagged links won't contribute to a blog's Technorati Authority, the total number of people linking to an blog. This is an important first step in removing the incentive for comment spammers from creating and propagating comment and trackback spam.

This is an open call to all of the folks in the weblog industry: Let's have a Web 2.0 Spam Squashing Summit. Let's continue to work together as an industry and as individual implementers, search engines, and toolmakers to work on squashing out comment, link, tag, photo, and other types of spam by giving users the tools they need to be empowered to squash the spammers dead.

Let's do it soon. If you're interested in participating, link/trackback to this post, tag your post with (or leave a comment, heh) and we'll get the mailing list and infrastructure set up. Kudos to all, let's keep this going.


Geek/Blogger dinners in Boston and NYC next week!

I'm going to be on the east coast later this week through next, Cambridge, MA first to participate in the Blogging, Journalism, and Credibility event, and then in NYC for a bunch of business meetings and a Technorati advisory board meeting. So, I'm thinking, geek/blogger dinner? Dave Winer is suggesting a dinner at the Bombay Club in Cambridge at 6:30PM on Saturday night the 22nd, which sounds perfect.

As for NYC, Andrew Rasiej is opening his home for for folks who RSVP from 6:30-8:00PM on Monday night the 24th. His place is at 13 Leroy Street in the West Village. Please RSVP here in the comments, Andrew says that he only has limited space (about 40). So drop a line below noting how many people will be coming so he can prepare...

Looking forward to seeing folks in Boston and NYC!

January 17, 2005

Technorati Launches Tags

Tags are a simple, yet powerful, social software innovation. Today millions of people are freely and openly assigning metadata to content and conversations. Unlike rigid taxonomy schemes that people dislike, the ease of tagging for personal organization with social incentives leads to a rich and discoverable folksonomy. Intelligence is provided by real people from the bottom-up to aid social discovery. And with the right tag search and navigation, folksonomy outperforms more structured approches to classification, as Clay Shirky points out:

This is something the ‘well-designed metadata’ crowd has never understood — just because it’s better to have well-designed metadata along one axis does not mean that it is better along all axes, and the axis of cost, in particular, will trump any other advantage as it grows larger. And the cost of tagging large systems rigorously is crippling, so fantasies of using controlled metadata in environments like Flickr are really fantasies of users suddenly deciding to become disciples of information architecture.

Technorati now supports Tag Search across leading Social software sites. Users can now search across user-generated tags and categories like tsunami across major weblog platforms like Blogger or Typepad, CMSes like Drupal, photosharing in Flickr, social bookmarking in del.icio.us and Socialtext wikis. By bridging islands of text, images and social networks through the words they use, the world live web just got a little smaller.

To try it, go to Technorati.com and add "tag:" to any keyword search, such as tsunami, cooperation or Office Buildings. What you will discover is people using the same words to describe and organize their blog posts, wiki pages, photos and links. My personal favorite of the moment is the poetry tag. I know a number of people who would use that tag as a great way to publish and also find other poets and their work, and the photos are very soothing and thought-provoking.

In other search engines, the only people using words to purposely be found are advertisers and search engine optimizers. With tags, people are adding value to the web in the same way they create links, accreting structure for their own, their friends and the web itself. This may change as tagging grows alongside the popularity of blogging and social software. In the early 1990s metakeywords became saturated. But metakeywords were only meant for search engines, had no transparency and no community. It was back when the web was a collection of pages, instead of a living place. Besides technical methods to curb tag spam like clustering, the implicit social network represented in Technorati's link-based authority and other techniques based on the intelligence provided by people offers alternatives.

Steve Rubel of the PR firm CooperKatz & Co. on his blog strongly suggests tracking tags:

The moral of the story is, if you're a marketer don't just monitor blogs. Pictures are worth a thousand words. Tap into the power of the Flickrgeist! You know your savvy customers will.

Ross Mayfield started an experiment of tagging pictures of parking lots with indicatr as a smartmob leading indicator of public company performance. Journalists could use tag search to source citizens media of all types.

Notifying Technorati that your blog has been updated has been greatly simplified, making easy for anyone that pings Technorati to have their tags indexed. Simply add a rel="tag" statement within the HTML link to the Technorati can do the rest. We have more information on how to use tags, including using standard keyword and category information in most major weblog services and tools, as well.

A number of people have already created easy ways to tag your posts, too. For example, there's a good bookmarklet that allows you to easily create Technorati Tags when you're creating/editing your posts.

This is still beta software. It has bugs. There are kinks to be worked out, and missing features, too. For example, we still miss some tags here and there, especially for certain weblogs, due to some post detection issues. We're working on that. In addition, we will be providing RSS feeds so you can subscribe to your favorite tags. We're also working on ways that anyone can participate and be included in the system, keep your eyes on this space in the near future.

Some neat updates: Plazes has started tagging their posts, so you can now see location information about a tag, see berlin, for example. Here's 2 different people who are using the Technorati Tags page as an instant group blog: One for China, and one for bloggers in Ireland. Others are using the tags to create something they call "meblogging": a way to bring together all of the things they write on multiple blogs and services, like Sean Bonner and Jeff Jarvis. Lawblogger J. Matthew Buchanan suggests using tags to organize research on prior art around software patents. Blog toolmakers are making it easy to add tags too: Along with the aforementioned bookmarkets, you can get plugins for Movable Type and Wordpress (also here and here), and Adriaan Tijsseling is already promising Ecto support.

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January 7, 2005

We have winners!

I am proud to announce that we have six winners of the Technorati Developer Contest. I continue to be amazed at how creative our developer community is. So, this post is really about them, so without further ado, here they are!

Grand Prize goes to Josh Tauberer, a Penn graduate student. He built govtrack.us, which uses the Technorati API to track bills through Congress.

Our distinguished runners up:

Stefan Magdalinksi brings us Whitelabel.org's wikiproxy which uses Technorati to build an enhanced BBC news site that shows blogs that are commenting on BBC.com articles.

Aaron Swartz built personaldemocracy.com's Hot Pols and Top 25 Blogs, which tracks the rise and fall of politicians buzz in the blogosphere.

Niall Kennedy brings us an AppleScript plugin that you add to NetNewsWire which will subscribe to the Technorati Cosmos RSS feed for the item a reader is currently reading.

Timothy Appnel kindly open sourced his XML::XOXO Perl Library which supports XOXO process of XHTML outlines, blogrolls, and Attention.XML.

Michael Dale integrated the Technorati API with the Touchgraph open source graphing system.

To all of those who participated, thank you, we are honored and appreciate everything you've done.

Check out our contest results page for more detail.

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January 6, 2005

Roland Tanglao asks some good questions about watchlists

Roland Tanglao, a blogger I respect, asks some smart questions about Technorati's new advanced search features and keyword watchlists. I already commented on his blog, but I think the questions are good, and I want to comment further about it here:

Roland wrote:

I must be suffering from baby induced sleep deprivation :-) but didn't Feedster and PubSub have this from the very beginning? In other words, isn't this a feature Technorati should have had long ago? Regardless, my ongoing unscientific comparison of a Technorati versus PubSub versus Feedster search for "roland tanglao" reveals nothing has changed: PubSub has the best (fastest and most accurate and free unlike Technorati which only has three free watchlists) results followed by Feedster (again free) with Technorati being in the rear. I really don't understand why people continue to use and hype Technorati. The foks at Technorati are very cool and very friendly but I still find PubSub and Feedster much better.

DISCLAIMERS: During PubSub's brief existence, I have exchanged emails with them and have become friends with Bob Wyman, the CTO and Salim, the CEO. I also have met Scott Johnson of Feedster and think he's a cool and smart guy.

Here's my response, which is slightly edited from the comment I left on Roland's weblog:

Thanks for the comments. Of course, feel free to use whatever search you like. However, here's some comments:

First, When you do a search using Technorati, you'll get every post since the beginning of time (well, actually about 2 years ago onwards), not just the results from the moment you created the watchlist. I like PubSub, but they don't give any indication of what happened before you create your search. Also, I think you'll find that Technorati's results have the fastest updates.

Second, not all people who have RSS feeds have full-text feeds. Technorati actually indexes the full content of a post, not just the partial text that is often in the RSS feed.

Third, have you tried comparing results from advanced searches (using booleans and the like) when using Technorati watchlists compared to others? An advanced search is something like a search that allows you to group or use phrases, for example, like:

tsunami AND (phuket OR thailand OR "sri lanka") or
("six apart" OR sixapart) AND (livejournal OR "live journal") and so on.

In our testing, we've found that our advanced searches are more accurate and timely.

We also provide links to the cosmos of each post in the watchlist, as well as the relative authority of each blog, so you can get a quick indication of how authoritative or influential the blogger is. I personally find this quite useful.

Technorati is also indexing over 5.5 million blogs (and growing by over 20,000 per day!), both blogs with RSS feeds, and those without RSS, which is orders of magnitude more than some other services that only track RSS feeds.

We also have cosmos watchlists, which let you quickly and easily track who is linking to your blog or any URL you care about - your company, your blog, an interesting article, whatever.

And the limit to 3 watchlists is actually old cruft on our site - you actually can subscribe to as many watchlists as you like. Expect that text to go away shortly.

And of course, your criticism that Technorati should have had this long ago is quite accurate - we've been growing like crazy, and building out all the features we've wanted to build out has taken time. We also had some scaling and response time issues in the past, and we really wanted to make sure that we nailed the most critical issues with the service first. Note that we still have bugs (e.g. we are still seeing some link count glitches), and we're still going to continue to fix them at the same time we're rolling out new and useful features for our users. And there's lots more to come.

So please, continue to use the fine services from Feedster and PubSub! And please continue to try out and use Technorati watchlists as well. May a thousand flowers bloom.

I'm always happy to discuss this further as well, please feel free to drop me a line at dsifry at technorati dot com, or my direct line is 415 846-0232...

January 4, 2005

Get your keyword watchlists here!

I'm proud to announce that Technorati has just launched our new Keyword Watchlist service, which now allows you to track and subscribe to live searches on keywords and phrases. For example, say you're interested in keeping track of the recent rumor that Six Apart is buying LiveJournal. You would start by going to Technorati and typing in a set of search terms like:

("six apart" OR sixapart) AND (livejournal OR "live journal")

This will give you an instantly updated stream of posts from blogs around the world that are talking about both SixApart and LiveJournal, in a post, using a variety of spellings.

Note the results page, however - Underneath the title of the search, you'll notice a link that says, “Make this a Watchlist”. Click on that link, go through the login process (or create an account if it is the first time at Technorati), and you'll get a link to that saved search to put into your favorite RSS reader.

Of course, you can feel free to use the watchlist I just created, too. Oh, and of course, you can also track the people who are talking about Om's article, as well, and create a cosmos watchlist to stay on top people linking to that article, too.

And btw, this is quite an interesting rumor - Looking forward to a confirmation or denial, and many congratulations to the folks involved if this is indeed true.