Archive for September, 2008

Twitter Search Trending topics explained – September 30th, 2008

September 30, 2008 Leave a comment



Dow – looking for the green? Wall Street – did we see the worse of it?

Bailout – why not? what went wrong? whom to blame? Congress , Bush – sigh! 


Iron Man – now on DVD and  Blu-Ray

IPhone – yes, we know you own one:)


Sarah Palin – now has FaceBook page :)


Thanks to the picture’s owner/taker.

backtype provides new ways for serving the blogsphere

September 26, 2008 9 comments

Google Alerts sent me an email today with information about another reference to my blog name, Webnomena. This time it came from a service called Backtype. I had to follow the link! Every now and then I come across a new tool that fills my mind with numerous options and ideas. Twitter and Twitter search were two of those, MeeID is another, and now backtype is causing the same effect. Smart,flexible, simple, and useful.

In short, this is a service that crawl and collect comments from blogs and then organize them for you, using the comment’s URL. If the URL is your blog then all your comments from around the web are now in one place. More than that, you can see other bloggers and their comments too. The key feature is that you can follow other people’s comments (Twitter style).  Brian Solis from PR 2.0 wrote a great post about the true value of backtype in”BackType Unearths Blog Comments to Identify Relevant Conversations”.

There are more features that this service offers. The backtype blog also tell us that Mike Montano and Christopher Golda the founders are hard at work adding more cool stuff.


Yet, in this post I want to focus on how backtype suppots the blogsphere.

The tasks that backtype can help us with:

  • Finding what the professional bloggers are reading and caring about – for instance here is where Om Malik hangs out.
  • Improving comments’ quality – maybe we will see less instances of “great post, now please come and visit my blog”
  • Finding implicit connections to complete one’s social graph picture. A comment is one way connection between the reader and the blogger. If the blogger responded or the blogger left comment on the reader’s blog then the connection is now bi-directional. They may not be linked as friends, fans or follower though. Social graph search engines like Delver and Nsyght can use this information for adding more connections (from like minded people) and enriching their search content pool.
  • Complementing the Web-Conversing-Now dashboard – joining Twitter Search Trending Topics telling us what is hot now.
  • Finding smart people – I notice some cases were a comment was better than the target post.
  • PR – Using micro site like backtype for building great web presence to help your business – Danny Brown provide insights on this new trend in his recent Are Micro Sites the Next Wave of Business Promotion? blog post.
  • Listening – having more ears on the web in addtion to Google Alerts, Twitter Search RSS feeds and more.

Brian Solis wrote:

The process of listening isn’t only relegated to the research and analysis of individual reputations. Listening is also instrumental in the creation of new communications and service initiatives as well unearthing the specific conversations that matter to your brand – for gathering data and also discovering opportunities to respond

I wonder if backtype have a plan to open their API for building new services around it!?

How do you plan to use this service for serving your objectives?

The six true leaders of the new web world

September 19, 2008 2 comments

I keep reading lately about Supper Influencer and others with a vast online presence in the context of leadership. I agree that these figures are helping us adapt to the new power that lies in social media. Yet, I think that we need to put things in perspective.  Just because they have 4,000 followers on Twitter and a great blog doesn’t mean that they have enabled millions to do things they couldn’t do before. In other words: they haven’t necessarily led us to a new world online. But here are the six true leaders of the new web world in my opinion, because they have helped to shape this new world. 

Sir Tim Berners-Lee

The World Wide Web inventor, the director of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and more. Sir Tim is my first choice for a true leader of the new web world not just because of his past contributions, but also for his vision of the way information will be linked going forward. In his Giant Global Graph blog post, he speaks about making the web smarter using standard semantic formats like FOAF, RDF, OWL and SPARQL.

“It’s not the documents, it is the things they are about which are important.”

We can already see the benefit of using these semantic annotations in web pages that support microforamts. One example is HCard in Google Maps:

“By marking up our results with the hCard microformat, your browser can easily recognize the address and contact information in the page, and help you transfer it to an address book or phone more easily.”

I don’t know how much (if at all) Sir Tim is using Twitter, but in my opinion he is a true technology leader. The standards that the W3C organization is setting keep changing our lives.

Dave Winer

The man that gave us RSS, podcasting, and taught us what blogging is all about.From his blog post The unedited voice of a person about blogging:”If it was one voice, unedited, not determined by group-think — then it was a blog, no matter what form it took. If it was the result of group-think, with lots of ass-covering and offense avoiding, then it’s not. Things like spelling and grammatic errors were okay, in fact they helped convince one that it was unedited.”I don’t know what Mr. Winer is up to these days but in my opinion his contribution to the weblog world helps to empower millions in sharing their lives, knowledge, and thoughts online.

Jeff Bezos and

What Amazon is doing in recent years for small businesses is what that Microsoft did in the 80’s and 90’s.

Amazon Web Services(AWS) enables web-scale computing by providing access to an established infrastructure that gives you flexibility to run your business at “web-scale” — uninhibited by growth and demand. In other word it saves a new online business from building the costly scalable infrastructure to support it. The fee structure is also a big advantage with its Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) your initial cost is minimal and it only grows with your business success. “

The results:

“A growing community of 330,000+ developers, start-ups, and established companies are building robust applications using AWS solutions.”

One of my favorite quotes came from the My Other Computer is a Data Center sticker story. If Microsoft is now building tools for cloud computing then people will follow. You can also see what Mr. Bezos has to say about AWS here.

I know that Amazon is a business but when I see a company that shares infrastructure originally built to serve its own business with others who otherwise couldn’t afford to build it, and thereby enable new businesses to emerge,  I see a leader.If the direction of web app development is into the clouds, Amazon was the pioneer and will be the leader taking us there.

Jimmy Wales and Wikipedia

Wikipedia founder. Can you imagine a day without visiting this web site for learning a new technology, buzz word, persona, or millions of other terms? My Wikipedia sequence starts with Google-ing a term, finding the right Wikipedia page on the Google search results list, then clicking. After a few minutes I’m in the know. Based on the fact that Wikipedia always is on top of Google SERP I can only guess that I’m not the only one dancing this little dance. I can’t thank you enough, Mr. Wales.

Larry Page, Sergey Brin and Google

It seems lately that Google is becoming the next Microsoft: big, ubiquitous, too powerful, some may even say a monopoly. I agree with some of these claims, and I like to see any of the Alts taking market share away from Google. Yet can you see any other company today that knows how to treat data the way Google does? Can you see any other software company that does such an amazing job in building product usability?  Sometimes I think that Google is inside my head predicting the next move.  Recently Google launched Chrome, a new web browser that shows again how this company leads. The web world of today is not the same as it was few years ago. Web applications nowadays offer no less functionality than desktop applications running on our personal computer. It was a time for a new browser and Google was the one building it. I’m sure now that Google, using Chrome, and having access to our desktop will lead us to an even more organized world of information.

The people on this list have a lot in common. They are superb engineers and business people. They are not new leaders actually–they led us before–but they are not about to stop. They built technology that enables so many of us to do things that could only have been done before by large organizations, if at all. They understand the digital world and adapt to changes faster than anyone else. Unless they happen to be the very ones that catalyze the change themselves.

Do you agree? Did I miss others (probably)? What other forms of leadership on the web do you see today?

BlogMon now reports when your blog gets to the top

September 17, 2008 Leave a comment

If you want to know about BlogMon please read my BlogMon – The only way is up! post. You can find daily updates on Twitter @BlogMon.  You can also see periodically aggregated results reported on The A-List tab, Archive tab, and Perfect Record tab.

I was very happy to see this week that @BlogMon passed the 50 followers mark. This is great consider the fact that it does not follow others.

I recently added new pattern looking for blogs that cross tiers. Based on Technorati rank I look for blogs that cross to the top: 10000, 1000, 100, and 10.

Here is an example of an update to the @Blogmon Twitter account reporting this change:

#CrossToTop10000, , Owner: Cara, Gain:47.70 %, Since:9/16/2008, Rank:9961, Tags:”misogyny”,”patriarchy”

This pattern was fairly easy to implement and the only challenge was dealing with Technorati data abnormalities. From time to time the rank is totally off, like in the following scan records for wpthemesplugin:

Date Rank
5/4/2008 580
5/4/2008 565
5/4/2008 558
5/12/2008 1335
5/20/2008 1343
7/9/2008 442

For now, I solved it by looking for the previous minimal rank for comparison and not just using to the last one.

I think that it should be very exciting to be listed on the top X blogs. This is definitely a milestone to report on.

So, I hope to see you at @BlogMon. You can submit your blog for monitoring going to BlogMon home page or by following @BlogMon on Twitter.

Second Guest post on AltSearchEngines: Social graph search engines – part II – Alternative graph structures

September 13, 2008 1 comment

A little late but I was too busy lately  guest writing to update my blog. The second part of Social graph search engines was published on AltSearchEngine last week.

In the first part I explained the social graph concept and the connection with online content and people search. In the second part I suggested alternative ways to build graphs for finding more connections and meaningful relationships.


1. A graph showing how are we linked. To the “trivial” connections (friends, fan and followers) add associative links that may reveal new connections between individuals. Examples: common bookmarks on delicious, a post’s comment, digg-ing your post. 


2. A graph showing the depth of the interactions/relationships between disconnected individuals. In my opinion, by showing multiple actions taken on social objects we can expose hidden meaningful relationships.



To read the full post go to Social Graph Search Engines – Part II.

You may see more blog post written by me on AltSearchEngine soon.

My first guest post on AltSearchEngines: Social graph search engines – part I – Applications

September 9, 2008 Leave a comment

I’m very excited and proud today to see my first blog post on AltSearchEngines as a guest writer. This is one of my most admired blogs and it is part of the amazing ReadWriteWeb blog network (RWW is #9 on Technorati top 100 blog list). 

In this blog post I explained about the social graph and it’s usefulness for searching content, people and relationships. I showed some real world examples using the social graph in different ways. I discussed shortly the potential for the semantic side of this graph; there are several attempts going forward to making it smarter.

In the second part (coming soon) I’ll go over alternative ways for building social graphs to gain even more knowledge.

So here it is: Social Graph Search Engines Part I Applications


I will be happy to see your reactions.

See you somewhere on my graph:)

How do you cross the line?

September 7, 2008 Leave a comment

How do you cross from the online to offline world?

I wrote a post where I mention Gnip as an innovative service, one that can help to increase web services’ scalability on one end and to ease building new mashups applications on the other. Consequently, I was invited by Eric Marcoullier Gnip’s founder and CEO to meet.

I was excited about this meeting but at the same time very confused. I was only blogging for few months then and I had no idea what to expect. I did not know what kind of hat should I wear when I’ll see Eric. On one end I could be a reporter, with a notebook quoting and taking meeting minutes. On the other end I could come to this meeting as a “consultant” (for free) discussing new ideas.  I had no clue.

We met and we talk for an hour but I was still missing the context. I did not took notes and I was probably too nervous because I remember very little from our discussion. I only remember that Eric was very nice and actually have strong roots in MA where I live now. I learned that Gnip is a very young startup but it already did a lot in the short time of its existence. It is changing the way that web services integrate, from the constant, wasteful, chatty data pulling to the scalable and efficient data push. I  learned that the next step for the service/platform  is delivering the actual data along with the event (they are using the publisher subscriber model) then normalizing it for the same entity across multiple web services – a very cool capability. My take: I think that Gnip can become the backbone of the online APIs world. The metaphor is a “smart router. This time not just for packets but for data and metadata. This “router” can be optimized to distribute data fast, reliably, and to eliminate dups. The service can monitor the health and activity across multiple web services (reporting and dashboard). And maybe even help other web services to recover by storing undo and redo logs. There is always the option to mine the data (across multiple data sources) but I’m not sure how much both sides off the track will be happy about it. The questions? whom to charge the fee from? The producer or the consumer? It is too early to answer these question though.

I probably should have consulted someone before meeting Eric so I could come better prepared to the encounter. I’m sure that Chris Brogan has few good tips on how to deal with this kind of situation.

Anyway, what would you do? I guess that it has to do with your personal/blog’s objectives. But, I’m still working to define mine.

If this meeting would have happened today I would probably come up with a note book or some other means for capturing the content of the meeting. I would probably should’ve think about several key questions to ask and I should have listen more and talk less (always a good advice ). Yet, I’m still dancing between the two options: consulting or reporting?

I feel somehow bad because, at least from my side, I could have done better with this opportunity. Meybe it is like the fist pancake:) I guess that one has to stumble some before acquiring new skills. I’m still grateful for the experience.

So how do you cross to the (off)line? 

cross the line

What would you expect from a meeting with a founder, CEO, PR rep, other blogger? 

I look  up to the professional bloggers for some insights. For the noobies I can only offer the advice to ask for an advice before you meet.

Picture from Ed Schipul photostream (I think) – thank you.


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