June 30, 2005

AOL and Technorati team up for Live 8 coverage

Woo hoo, AOL Music, the exclusive online partner of Live 8 and Technorati have teamed up to give dynamic information on what bloggers are saying about Live 8, and this info is syndicated on their Live 8 homepage (check out the bottom of the page, called "Live 8 BlogZone") More later...

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June 27, 2005

Become one of 50 bloggers going backstage to the Live 8 Concerts

The gracious folks from one.org have procured 10 backstage press passes to each of 5 of the following Live 8 concerts - , , , , and . The folks at one.org and Live 8 believe that bloggers can help to shape the media and bring a new voice and perspective - and help to set the agenda - before the G8 conference in Scotland. (BTW, check out their new blog.

In addition, Richard Branson of Virgin Airlines has donated his airplane to fly the Live 8 crew from New York to Edinburgh and back, and up to five bloggers will be given the opportunity to fly to Edinburgh and back with the Live 8 group. The idea is to blog the trip, including the beginning of the G8 summit. The flight departs from JFK in New York at 7 p.m. on July 3; the same airplane will bring the bloggers and whoever else back to New York on July 7. Lodging in or near Edinburgh will also be provided.

So, here's what's up: This is a call to bloggers to give all of you the opportunity to get one of these backstage passes, and possibly on the flight to Edinburgh. Think of all the cool stuff you can do - set up a podcast and interview the bands, make a great photoblog, videoblog it, heck maybe you can end up playing air guitar in front of millions, who knows?

Seriously, the goal of this is also to get millions of bloggers posting about Live 8 - the fact is that there are 30,000 children dying in Africa every day - no one is reporting on it, and we aren't doing anything about it. So one of the goals is to help set the agenda of the mainstream media, and this represents a moment of pregnant possibility - for bloggers to create proactive change, not just reactive change based on other news events. It is our opportunity to help to shape the news conversation for the good of us all. And for our leaders to hear the voices of millions when they sit down at the G8 meeting.

So, here's what you need to do:

  1. Go to one.org and watch the video and sign the declaration. Get up to speed on what Live8 is all about.
  2. Go to live8.technorati.com and put one of the badges on your blog. It is pretty easy to do, you just need to add the code on the badge page to your weblog template.
  3. Go and read the posts about Live8 on Joe Trippi's blog and on Powerline - this is a nonpartisan effort.
  4. Pick the show that's nearest to you - and send an email to me, Joe, and to John with the following information:
    1. Your name and age
    2. Your blog name and URL
    3. Which show you want to go to (please only pick one show), and
    4. Your snail mail address (so we know where to send the show packets)
  5. Go and blog about Live 8, and tag your posts with the Live 8 tag (instructions on how to do this are here). You've got to put the badge up on your blog and have posted at least once about Live 8 with the tag to get selected.
  6. Keep an eye on your mailbox. Given the incredible time crunch, we'll let you know what's up no later than Thursday June 30th.
  7. Tell all your friends. The goal here is to get 100,000 blog posts out before the G8 summit, and to get as many people out there blogging about Live 8, third world debt relief, the plight of the hungry and poor everywhere and what we can do about it.

There may be additional credentials that we can get from the Live 8 people, and Joe, John, and I are going to work our butts off to get credentials for the other shows as well, including Toronto and the shows in Great Britain. More to come. In the meantime, please go out and listen, read, and blog - together perhaps we can help to shift the conversation, and influence country policies to help to make poverty history.

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June 22, 2005

Live 8 Blog Central launches!

I'm proud to announce the launch of Blog Central for the Live 8 concerts, at live8.technorati.com. We were asked by the Live 8 folks along with Joe Trippi and John Hinderaker of Powerline to help achieve the vision of Live 8: "We don't want your money, we want your voice".

Come and add your voice - there has been no better opportunity for bloggers to be heard. The Live8 folks have a bunch of really interesting and exciting things planned around the concerts and also around promoting the conversations about African debt relief, ending world hunger, and getting the leaders of the G8 countries to put this high on their agendas for the upcoming G8 summit in Scotland on July 8th. We've got widgets that you can add to your blog to signal your support, and to be counted, all you have to do is tag your posts with the "" tag. It's simple, and fun! To add it to your posts, add this code:

<a href="http://technorati.com/tag/live8" rel="tag">live8</a>

And to add the widgets, there's a page with a selection to add to your template.

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Posted by dsifry at 6:16 PM | TrackBack | View blog reactions

AO / Technorati Open Media 100

I'm happy to announce that the AO/Technorati Open Media 100 list has been published! This list includes bloggers and influencers who's groundbreaking work is changing the technology industry, journalism, and marketing. This list is a start, and I know there will be much discussion and I personally invite your comments.

The process for compiling the list was relatively straightforward. Tony Perkins and his editorial team were responsible for the subjective work. Technorati's role was to provide the objective methods via our Technorati Top 100 Blogs list. We also included all of you by asking for nominations.

We hope this list provides a framework, starts some discussion, and, ultimately, brings some new readers and attention to the blogosphere. This was a first and we'll continue to refine and improve the process over the next year for 2006 Open Media List. We hope you'll continue to be part of that process as well.

On Search Engine results comparisons: Where's the remaining 99.8% of the results?

Recently, Tristan Louis wrote two very interesting posts on comparisons between Google, Yahoo, and Technorati's results on searching blogs and counting references to the Technorati Top 100 bloggers as well as the long tail of 11.5 Million bloggers out there. If you haven't read the posts, please go over and have a look at both of them - there's lots of very interesting data and analysis in there, and I think there are some very interesting conclusions that Tristan draws from the data.

However, I believe that Tristan's analysis begs a question that hasn't been asked yet: How accurate are the numbers that search engines report about the size of their result sets?

We give a lot of faith to the numbers that search engines report, when trying to guess how popular something is. Google reports today that there are "about 624,000" results for "long tail". Yahoo reports "about 779,000" results. People quote these numbers as accurate statistics, and Tristan is using these numbers to do some comparative analysis of the coverage of Google, Yahoo, and Technorati's indexes. However, I'm having difficulty ascertaining the accuracy of these numbers. I've listed some examples below, and a simple how-to so that you can check yourself for your favorite searches.

My questions with Tristan's conclusions are not with his analytics, but with the underlying data that he starts with.

For example, when you search for all the results for "Tristan Louis" on Google, it reports "about 575,000". However you can only navigate through 703 results of the entire set. Perhaps this limit exists to more easily keep their indexes small and in RAM (which means they can stuff more indexes onto a single machine). Perhaps from a user (and business) perspective, their testing shows that almost no one except for researchers will go past the first 5 pages of results.

But if you can only view 703 results of about 575,000, where are the other 573,297 results? That's only 0.2% of the search results that the estimate claims. Where's the missing 99.8% of the search results?

Yahoo search says that there are 890,000 results for Tristan Louis.

However, I can only see 1000 results. That's also only 0.2% of the results that the estimate claims, the same viewable results to estimated results ratio as Google. Where are the other 889,000 results?

I don't know whether Tristan's analyses are correct, or if they are simply reflecting the low viewable vs. estimated results ratios of Google and Yahoo's search results. I would love to hear more from Yahoo and Google explaining the methodology behind their estimated results, and how can users access the full result sets for completeness, and frankly, for objective verification.

To be fair, these same questions must be asked of Technorati's results.

Searching Technorati for "Tristan Louis" currently shows 566 posts. Now, that's a lot less than Google or Yahoo estimated results, but not far from their viewable results. Technorati's results are by default sorted by time, and thus when you traverse the result set to the 560-566th result, you see the 566th result, which is the first result in the timeline (250 days ago, as of the time of this post) that Technorati indexed that matched the search term. Thus 100% of the reported results count (at least with this example) are viewable, thus providing a viewable to reported results ratio of 1.

Here are the steps in the experiment, that you can try for yourself, and thus repeat/verify the results we found above, and see what viewable to reported ratios you come up with using each search engine:

For Google:

  1. Go to Google's advanced search page.
  2. Use the pulldown on the right hand side to ask google to return 100 results per page instead of the usual 10 results per page. Note that this doesn't affect the end results, but it will mean you'll have to do 1/10th the clicking to find the last result.
  3. Type in your search term and click on "Google Search"
  4. Look at the result page. Look for the top right hand side of the page, where Google reports "Results 1-100 of about XXX for YOURSEARCHTERM". Note the estimated set of results.
  5. Go to the bottom of the page. You'll see the Gooooooooogle graphic, with a set of result pages (usually 1-10)
  6. Click on the last result page (usually it will be the 10th page)
  7. Check the actual number of results that Google gives you. Note that you can't go any further.
  8. Rinse, lather, repeat for your favorite searches.

For Yahoo, here's the steps:

  1. Go to Yahoo's advanced search page
  2. Go to the bottom of the page and use the pulldown on the right hand side to ask Yahoo to return 100 results per page instead of the usual 10 results per page.
  3. Go back up to the top of the page, and put in your favorite search terms. Click on the "Yahoo! Search" button on the top right.
  4. Look at the result page. Look for the top right hand side of the page, where Yahoo reports "Results 1-100 of about XXX for YOURSEARCHTERM". Note the estimated set of results.
  5. Go to the bottom of the page. You'll see the Results Page: area, with a set of result pages (usually 1-10)
  6. Click on the last result page (usually it will be the 10th page)
  7. Note the actual number of results that Yahoo gives you. I usually find that Yahoo gives 1000 results, usually more than Google. Note that you can't go any further.
  8. Rinse, lather, repeat for your favorite searches.

For Technorati, here's the steps:

  1. Go to Technorati's home page
  2. Put in your favorite search terms. Click on the "Search" button.
  3. Look at the result page. Look right under the search box on the top of the page, where Technorati reports "XXX posts about YOURSEARCHTERM". Note the result set size. Subtract 10 from this number - you're going to need this in order to get to the last page of results. For the sake of this tutorial let's call this number YYY (YYY = XXX - 10)
  4. Go to the URL bar in your browser. It should say something like: http://www.technorati.com/search/YOURSEARCHTERM"
  5. Add the following to the end of the URL: ?start=YYY where YYY is the number of posts that Technorati returned two steps back. Our example URL from the last step should now look like: "http://www.technorati.com/search/YOURSEARCHTERM?start=YYY"
  6. Note the actual number of results that Technorati gives you. Feel free to click through the results pages prior as well to verify that all the results are there.
  7. Rinse, lather, repeat for your favorite searches.

I hope that this initiates some discussion about these issues. I'm frankly interested in making sure that researchers like Tristan are accurately comparing apples to apples, and I'm all for additional transparency and verifiability in the results that all search engines provide. Am I missing something here? Can someone from Google or Yahoo help me to understand why their reported results are sometimes 1000 times larger than their viewable results? I look forward to being educated.

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June 20, 2005

New Technorati UI redesign is now live on www.technorati.com

We hit a major milestone today when we moved our new Technorati redesign out of public beta and made it live on www.technorati.com. There's even a new Technroati corporate blog to boot, and you can read all about the features of the new redesign.

This has been primarily a User interface refresh and facelift, but there's also a bunch of backend lifting we've been doing, especially the new code to separate sidebar links from post links when checking out who is linking to your blog, like this. It isn't perfect yet (we still miss some blogrolls and count them as posts) but I hope that it makes things much easier for your power bloggers out there who have been trying to sift through the duplicates and blogroll links in your results. We're also still working on ironing out some link count issues, and we're constantly working on improving performance and scalability. I can't wait to hear all of your feedback, and get down in the trenches to keep making things better.

Onward and upward! Congratulations to the whole Technorati team for making this happen. You guys totally rocked. I'm humbled to be able to share an office with all of you.

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Finally upgraded the blog...

Pardon the dust, I finally got a few hours of free time, and in the tradition of the cobbler and his children's shoes, I updated the blog to MT 3.17 along with some other features, like the Technorati searchlet and Adam Kalsey's Technorati plugin and Ado's Technorati plugin for per-post cosmos numbers.

I was hoping that this wouldn't break anything, but already I see problems with Safari users. Any help is always appreciated, unfortunately I don't have the time like I used to to tweak things to get it just right. Hopefully some of the folks at the office will do a "Technorati eye for the geeky guy" for me and give me a few dope slaps. Feel free to do it anyway Wednesday night at House of Shields...

June 18, 2005

Technorati Party: Wednesday June 22, 2005 in San Francisco

Technorati is throwing a party next week at the end of the Supernova conference, and you and your friends are invited! We'll celebrate the continued extrodinary growth of the blogopshere (doubling every five months!) and new developments at Technorati. We are now an international organization with the introduction of Technorati Japan and more localized sites on the way. We have a brand new web site designed to better serve our users and introduce more people to the world of weblogs and the posts you create daily. We've also been hard at work improving our back-end architecture--- after all, everything we build is only as good as the foundation on which it's based.

We'd like to invite you and your friends to House of Shields in downtown San Francisco next Wednesday, June 22, at 6:30 p.m. Whether you are joining us after work or after Supernova we would love to see you and introduce you to some of the things Technorati has been working on and listen to your feedback and comments. And there might also be a few surprises. :-)

House of Shields is located at 39 New Montgomery Street, half a block from BART and directly across the street from Supernova and the Palace Hotel. We hope you can join us for an evening of celebration in this historic San Francisco bar. Please RSVP by sending an e-mail to rsvp@technorati.com so we get a good headcount and plan accordingly.

See you there!

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June 13, 2005

Win a free trip to BlogHer, courtesy of Technorati

Technorati is sending you to BlogHer! Technorati is sponsoring a contest that will bring one lucky female blogger to Silicon Valley for a weekend with fellow female bloggers.

The BlogHer conference and Technorati share a common goal of helping bloggers identify, reach, and grow their audience. We value the individual authors that stand behind each blog presenting his or her unique perspective in the world. We would like to help you continue the conversation with current and future readers through face-to-face learning and discussions.

How has blogging changed your life? Did it lead to a new job, new friends, a new life? How would a trip to Silicon Valley to meet other female bloggers help you accomplish your goals? We want to hear your story!

How to Enter

Tell your personal story on your blog and be sure to tag your post as "" so we can find you. The winning entry must be within a claimed member blog. All eligible entries must be posted by Sunday, June 19. The winning entry will be selected by Technorati staff and announced on Wednesday, June 22.

Prize Details

The selected author will receive a flight to the Bay Area, two nights at the Westin Santa Clara hotel complete with in-room Internet access, and registration for the BlogHer conference.

Technorati will pay for your flight from a major air hub in the continental United States (Boston, New York, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Chicago, St. Louis, Denver, Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, San Diego, Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle).

Meet Technorati Staff at BlogHer

We hope to see you at the conference! Technorati employees Kevin Marks and Niall Kennedy will be attending BlogHer and look forward to meeting the attendees.

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June 9, 2005

New Technorati Public Beta - Go bang on it!

I'm pleased to announce the launch of the public beta of this major redesign of the Technorati service. We've been listening to your feedback, and we hope we've reflected that in this release. We've made a big step with this release. Having said that, we also know we have more improvements to make and we're working hard to implement them. Here are some of the highlights of this beta release:

  • We've improved the user experience, making Technorati accessible to more people and, specifically, people who are new to blogging. We've tried to make it very simple to understand what Technorati is all about, and make it easy to understand how we're different from other search engines.
  • We've learned from the incredible success of tags, and brought some of the those same features into search, as well as expanding tag functionality. Now, if your search matches a tag, we bring in photos and links from flickr, furl, delicious, and now buzznet as well.
  • We now have more powerful advanced search features. You can now click the "Options" link beside any search box for power searching options.
  • We've added more personalization. Sign in, and you'll see your current set of watchlists, claimed blogs, and profile info, right on the homepage, giving you quick access to the stuff you want as quickly as possible.
  • New Watchlist capabilities have been added. For example, you no longer need a RSS reader to watch your favorite searches. Now you can view all of your favorite searches on one page. Of course, you can still get your watchlists via RSS, and it is even easier to create new watchlists. You can also get RSS feeds for tagged posts, just check the bottom of each page of tag results!

As I mentioned, this beta is now public and available on our Web site at http://beta.technorati.com. I encourage you to check it out and, if you'd like, blog about it.

Please remember, this is a beta. While we're proud of the improvements we've made, we know we're not totally there. Our response time is not where we want it to be, so you may still experience some slow search responses. Likewise, sorting by authority still still has some hiccups. We know this and we're working very hard to fix this. We're working on issues like spam and weeding duplicates from results.

The good news for all of us is that blogging has taken off, and we all benefit from new eyes reading what we write. The pace is staggering: we are tracking somewhere between 800,000 and 900,000 new posts made each day, over 40,000 new weblogs created every day. A year ago, we were growing by a gigabyte a day. Now, we're growing by a half a terabyte a day. So half the battle is just keeping up with all this explosive growth, and I apologise in advance for when we stumble.

Please keep sending us your feedback! It is invaluable, and has helped us immeasurably to improve the service. There's still a long way to go, and we have lots more in store for the next few months - and your comments to feedback@technorati.com are the first emails we all check every morning. Please keep us on our toes, and keep telling us how we can continue to improve and be of service to you.

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