This weekend, Technorati reached another milestone, our millionth indexed tag. It amazes me that since we launched our service to track tags on blog posts on January 17th of this year, there has been an explosion in the use and understanding of tags. Here's a recent AP article on tags, if you're new to the phenomenon.
Beyond a million distinct tags, there's also a lot of bloggers tagging posts. At the moment of the 1 millionth blog, we had tracked 14.2 Million tagged blog posts. 14.2 Million tagged posts in just over 4 months, that's a lot of posts.
So what's a tag? Simple. It is a simple user-generated category for something. Technorati wasn't the first to catch onto the idea of tagging - sites like Del.icio.us, Flickr, and Furl were already doing it when we jumped in. Simply put, tags make it easier to self-organize the web. I like to use tags as a kind of dynamic web magazine, with posts, pictures, and bookmarks that all relate to a particular topic or event - for example, Ireland, or poetry, or a conference like Etech or PDF. People are using them to note product information and reviews, like for ipods and thinkpads, and they are tagging in a variety of languages - there's even a power law distribution for popular tags.
How do Technorati tags work? Well, there's a couple of ways that we index tags in blog posts. One way is to use a Subject or Category in a popular blogging tool like Movable Type, WordPress, or Typepad, or in a popular CMS like Drupal. That will add the tags to your RSS feed, which Technorati will process. Alternatively, you can include special links inside of your posts (as I do in my posts), which give the additional benefit of making it easy for your readers to pivot on the tag you specify and get more information. Tools like Ecto make this kind of tagging a total breeze, simply checking off a few boxes in the composition window, and people have created simple bookmarklets to easily cut-and-paste tags into your posts, too. there's even automated tag creation tools. The linking mechanism isn't the only way to do tagging, and Tantek is spearheading our efforts to work with anyone who wants to tag and add metadata to their posts, we are completely agnostic about this, I only want to see more people out there tagging.
If you haven't played with tags yet, have a look at the most popular tags on the main tags page or start tagging using your favorite tool or bookmarklet. I think you'll find that it is fun, easy to do, and adds value to your readers. And hey, it helps get indexed better by search engines as well, not a bad thing overall.
If there's anything that we at Technorati can do to help make your experience with tags better, please don't hesitate to leave a comment, or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'm pretty sure we've eliminated some of the early beta bugs, and that things should be working pretty reliably, but we're a small group of folks, and we don't catch everything. We're working hard to be of service, please send comments and feedback - we're always looking to improve.
This weekend Technorati tracked its 10 Millionth Blog. It is a chinese blog, on mblogger.cn, and it appears to be a blog talking about glassblowing, with some really cool pictures. Unfortunately I don't read Chinese so I can't tell what the commentary is about, but so far, the blogger has put in short biographical information in English about each glassblower profiled.
Talk about the Long Tail, huh?
What an amazing trip this has been. I'm humbled by the amazing growth of the blogosphere, and the remarkable nature of conversations over the last few years. I would have never guessed when I started Technorati in November 2002 that by putting simple personal publishing tools in the hands of anyone who wanted one would have so many ripple effects around the world. This makes me very grateful to so many people who have so tirelessly evangelized and built great tools - and to the bloggers who used the tools to express their thoughts: Dave Winer, Ben and Mena Trott, Ev Williams, Doc Searls, David Weinberger, Jay Rosen, Jeff Jarvis, Greg Reineker, Robert Scoble, Liz Lawley, Shelley Powers, Chris Locke, Steve Gillmor, Dan Gillmor, Chris Pirillo, Adam Curry, Mary Hodder, Marc Canter, Phillip Pearson, Seb Paquet, Tim Bray, Sam Ruby, Russ Beattie, Cory Doctorow, Esther Dyson, Ben Hammersley, Jason Calcanis, Nick Denton, Loic LeMeur, Buzz Bruggeman, Bob Frankston, Brent Simmons, Ross Mayfield, Kevin Werbach, Rebecca Blood, Mitch Ratcliffe, Denise Howell, Chris Nolan, Howard Rheingold, the list goes on and on. Thanks. I'm sure I'm missing people from this list - it is just what is rolling off the top of my head at 2am, and sorry for not linking to everyone, it's way too late - and I've got to get to sleep for my presentation.
Thanks for all of the amazing stuff you've built, and said, and done.
The reason why I created Technorati in the first place - I wanted to know who was talking about me and the things I cared about - hasn't changed. And I'm really grateful to be working with a group of people who really take our motto to heart: Be Of Service. It provides me with a drop of joy and a lot of wonder that we've been able to contribute our small part to the greater good, and to help people make sense out of all of this remarkable creativity in the blogosphere. I sincerely hope that we can continue to be of service.
I'll be talking about a bunch of this stuff Monday at Personal Democracy Forum in Manhattan at around 10AM. If you're in town, drop on by!
Open source has revolutionized software, and now it’s doing the same for media. We are realizing the first, truly democratic, new world of Open Media, where every online user can create, share, and participate in media of all forms. And it’s just the beginning.
We used to think of “collaboration” in terms of bringing together the people we know, those pre-qualified to fit the task, to sit around a table and hash out, refine and execute ideas. The Internet has become the platform that enables learning and sharing amongst millions of people, escalating collaboration—and ultimately progress—to exponential levels.
AlwaysOn and Technorati call this phenomenon the Open Media Revolution. With the AO/Technorati Open Media 100 list, we are honoring those individuals who are driving the proliferation of Open Media and leveraging the power of community, not an individual or a corporation. The purpose of the list is to provide a framework of this emerging industry. It will include the key players who are proving the impact of Open Media and building the infrastructures to facilitate it.
We’d like to hear from you. Who are your nominations for key players driving the Open Media Revolution? Comment on this post and list your nominations, up to 5 per category. You can also tag your own blog posts with Technorati tag: AOTechnorati100. We’ll be closing our call for nominations on May 16, 2005 and we’ll be watching.
The final AlwaysOn/Technorati Open Media 100 will be published in the June issue of the AlwaysOn Blogozine, and of course I'll blog it here.
Here are the categories for nominations:
The Pioneers: industry luminaries who created the vision of open media and continue to shape it.
The Tool Smiths: web service entrepreneurs and companies building the open media tools (blogs, social software, wikis, RSS, analytic tools, etc.).
The Trendsetters: the influencers driving and evangelizing the adoption and applications of Open Media.
The Practitioners: the top bloggers in politics, business, technology, and media.
The Enablers: the venture capitalists and investors backing the Open Media Revolution.
The Open Media industry is rapidly emerging and changing. We've barely scratched the surface of what’s out there. This is our collective attempt at creating the framework and defining the key players driving Open Media at this point in time. The list will evolve and change just as quickly as the industry. We expect the 2006 Open Media 100 to look very different!
UPDATE: Sorry about the insensitivity, and good comments from all of you, I am asking the folks at AO to change the category name from "The Founding Fathers" to "The Founding Fathers and Mothers". Sorry about that!
SECOND UPDATE: Thanks to Ross Mayfield, I think that "The Pioneers" is a better category name. I'm changing it again. Thanks again for the criticism and feedback.
A lot of people have asked for the underlying data used in the March 2005 State of the Blogosphere, blogged about in 3 parts. We're making all of the underlying data available as a powerpoint presentation with the data embedded in each of the charts, so those of you who want to use the data in research presentations and the like can do so. Please keep the Technorati attribution in any use of the data or the charts.
There is one important correction: Note that in the MSM vs. Blogs slide, we had incorectly left out CNET's news.com from the list of MSM sites - this is because they use the news.com.com URL for most of their stories. You'll see that CNET (listed as http://news.com.com ) now rightfully takes its place as #11 on the chart.
I'd love to know if the data is useful to you, and please do drop me a line if you use it as part of further research. We're also working on a new update to the data set, along with additional interesting blogosphere statistics. BTW, new blog creation rates are increasing again, and in April we saw 40,000 - 50,000 new weblogs created each day, and Technorati is now tracking over 9.5 Million weblogs, and growing fast.
Also, do have a look at the back of the presentation, there's a chart I snuck in there that describes RSS adoption amongst influential publishers, makes a nice case for syndication.