Great news - today we launched a feature I've really been looking forward to and that I hope you'll come to love as much as I do. It's called WTF (no, not that: It's "Where's the Fire.")
We've been doing a lot of thinking and planning lately about how we can help to make Technorati more useful to more people. Of course, we're constantly working on improving our core search areas, staying the most comprehensive live web search engine, being the fastest and most responsive engine, pulling out the most spam and splogs so they don't show up in results, and providing you with as much information as possible about the topics you care about.
One of the things that we've found is that as the blogosphere and the Live Web in general has become more and more active, it's increasingly difficult to immediately discern why any given topic is a top search on Technorati. This is especially true when it's a topic that pretty regularly shows up in our top searches (for instance, MySpace or iPhone or Paris Hilton). Folks who use Technorati a lot have consistently shared with us their desire to quickly and efficiently get to the really relevant stuff fast.
That's why our team developed Where's the Fire. When you see a top search with an orange flame next to it, it means at least one person from the community has written their view as to why that topic is hot - right now. The community is also invited to either write their own explanation or vote on the WTFs they view as most helpful. Based on a combination of number of votes and timeliness, the top WTFs by search topic appear on the top of the results page.
But it isn't just for the hottest searches or the stuff with the biggest buzz - in fact, one of the things that I like the most about WTF is that you can write an explanation about any search or topic, and if you get the most votes, your explanation goes in at the top of the results page for that search. You can write a WTF on any topic that someone would search for, and provide information and resources to them about that topic or subject. So, you might want to write a WTF about yourself or your friends names, or your company (or maybe even your competition!)
If you think that you've got a better explanation than the one that shows up on top of Technorati search results for a term, no worries, just go and write your own, and get your friends to vote for it. When you write something great, tell your friends to go and vote for it - for example, please go and vote for my explanation of WTF itself if you think it succinctly tells the story of the feature, and the voting system will take care of the rest.
In many ways, the most valuable real estate a site like ours has is our search pages. So, we're taking a pretty big risk with this. WTF is a big experiment; we're entrusting the most valuable real estate to you - our community - and we think it's going to be a powerful way to make Technorati more useful to you.
So check it out and give it a try. And, as always, please share your thoughts and ideas with me - we really want this to be a useful and engaging new service for all those who use Technorati.
I've been here in Davos at the World Economic Forum (I'm a newbie!) and I've gotta say, the level of access to the world's movers and shakers is pretty remarkable. I have roamed around with my video camera and had the pleasure to bump into and interview (with their permission, of course) some really interesting people.
Today's installment is with Steve Case, longtime entrepreneur, founder and Chairman of the newly launched Revolution Health, and of course former Chairman of AOL Time Warner. He gave me a short interview where we talked about his new company, and also how much he loves Technorati and uses it every day! Enjoy...
2007 marks the third year of the We Media Conference, which aims to bring together eclectic leaders of industry for conversation on important and relevant topics. Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore spoke at We Media 05 (hosted by The Associated Press in New York), and I attended last year's forum in London hosted by the BBC and Reuters.
We Media isa compelling experience, and if you ever get the chance I recommend you go. The diversity of the group always brings interesting insight to each conference’s topic; last year the focus was “trust,” and the discussion was interesting. This year the conference looks at how digital media can improve real communities, and how to drive investment and innovation to that cause.
We Media is orchestrated by Andrew Nachison and Dale Peskin, who have recently launched a new organization called iFOCOS (www.ifocos.org/about).
I’m very interested to see what new ideas emerge from this and future iFOCOS endeavors. You can participate in the discussion right now at the conference blog (http://ifocos.org/category/events/we-media-miami/), and this year they've added a We Media Film Fest for user-generated videos about community (http://video.ifocos.org).
Publishers who will blog / vlog / or otherwise refer to the conference, please be sure to use the tag “wemedia” so we can track all the activity relating to this terrific conference. Details and registration here: www.ifocos.org/wemediamiami. I really encourage you to attend if you’re able.
I'm getting pumped, I'm heading to Europe for two great conferences.
First, there's DLD (Digital, Life, Design) in Munich, which looks really interesting. I've never been to Munich before, so I'm looking forward to getting some time to see the city and meet some people. I'm also thinking about doing a photowalk when I'm there. Any Munich natives or DLD participants up for a walk around the city to geek out and take some photos?
After DLD, I'm off to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Getting invited to the WEF as a Technology Pioneer was a tremendous honor for Technorati, and I'm really looking forward to taking in the entire Davos experience.
I'm bringing my camera and laptop, so I'm going to do my darndest to blog about both of these conferences - maybe even get an interesting interview or two out of it as well...
If you're coming to either conference and want to hook up while there, drop me a line, or leave a comment below!
I'm happy to announce a new partnership with the largest PR network in the world, PR Newswire. Technorati will now provide real-time link tracking for all of their press releases. This will enable PR Newswire to provide its vast and global audience with not just the facts in a press release, but the real-time conversation around it—the big picture, so to speak. Lots of PR agencies already use Technorati as a valuable research tool and we think this partnership will be an even greater service not just to the PR world, but Technorati users in general - in other words, anyone who wants to see more context around the press release.
All individual press releases distributed by PR Newswire will now contain by default a “Technorati” button that links readers to a Technorati conversation page for that press release. From that page, folks can set up an automatic watch list or Technorati-mini to monitor new posts. It’s a great way to track the online buzz that is so often generated by press releases.
We are excited about partnering with them, linking PR Newswire with the global conversation on the Live Web, and being of service to both the organizations creating the press releases as well as all the folks out on the web who want to be able to connect and find out more about the reactions to and the context of the release.
Today is the second anniversary of tags. In honor of the occasion, Technorati will launch on Monday morning new and updated Tag Pages, reflecting the spread and ubiquity of tags across the World Live Web.
Here's a quick look at what you'll see this morning when the new pages launch (click on the image to see the page in all its glory):
When we rolled out tags 2 years ago, only a few other sites had implemented them as a part of their service. Now every major blog publishing platform includes them – but they’re quickly becoming a key publishing feature across the many other forms of citizen media. That’s right: tags aren’t just for bloggers anymore. You can tag photos (try Flickr), videos (YouTube, Revver, Blip.TV), games, podcasts, songs, or even a person! Technorati likewise is increasingly going beyond blogs to present to you the best of the Live Web, no matter what the media type might be. Because of our changes, tags are a better way than ever for citizen publishers of all kinds to categorize their work, making it all the more visible to people who want to find their stuff.
And, with the launch of our new Tag Pages, we've improved the way that you can check out the Live Web, too. A Technorati Tag Page shows you everything in the known universe (blogs, videos, photos, podcasts, music, people) tagged with your topic or interests, all in one place. I like to think of it as a dynamic magazine on millions of topics, updated live, in real-time.For example, check out these tags pages (and don’t forget to surf the different tabs):
The beauty of tags is that they’re metadata: data about data. What does that mean? Tags actually describe their subject, as opposed to, say, keywords, which just occur within them. We think tags are becoming popular because on the Live Web, categories and topics are just as useful than keywords for describing and finding content, especially when that content doesn’t necessarily contain lots of relevant text (photos, videos, songs and so on). So, the next time you see tags around a good blog post (or video or game), click on it! And next time you’re at www.technorati.com, try building a Tag Page on the topic of your choosing. It’s a great way to find what’s hot – right now – across the Live Web.
Update: It is live! As always, your comments and feedback are welcome...