Posts Tagged ‘Twitter’

Glue, the Firefox addon that wisely links people, things and relationships from all around web

February 14, 2009 2 comments

Short Introduction

Glue is a Firefox addon that uses semantic analysis to connect people around books, movies, music, and other common things across popular sites. Glue can understand and map both structured and unstructured data and then become the bridge (or better the glue) that connects people looking at the same object from multiple web sites. There are few good blog posts that have covered Glue already. This is the reason that I’m keeping this intro short. I prefer to focus on the value of using Glue.


 What to do on glue?

Start Glue-ing by visiting a page on one of the many web sites that Glue supports like Wikipedia, Amazon,, O’Reilly books, Yahoo! Finance, Citysearch,, IMDB, and many more. When you’re looking at the book, music, movie, star, artist, stock, wine, or restaurant you will see the Glue toolbar slide down from the top of the web page. Glue’s toolbar shows you friends and other Glue users that visited the same object. Glue shows you friends who liked the object and you can read their “2 cents” – a short comment about the object (140 chars long). At this point you are presented with lots of ways to benefit (actually, more than I realized the first few times I use it). Here are some of the things to do next:

  • Read a summary describing the object
  • Check which other Glue members visited the same object (anywhere on the web)
  • Read others’ comments (two cents).
  • Take action
    • Object specific actions – find it on your preferred web site, read a review, compare its price, find similar objects, and more
    • Sharing option – use Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, FriendFeed, and Delicious to tell the world about it
  • Learn more about the people that liked it by looking at their profile
  • Follow people and become friends if they follow you back
  • Say that you like it – by pressing the heart shaped button
  • Add your two cents
  • Grow your knowledge and network by moving from things to people to things to people and stop only to connect, comment or to take an action.

What else to do on glue?

  • Grow your network on other social networks like Twitter or FriendFeed – most Glue members have their Twitter and FriendFeed accounts linked to Glue. Glue allows you to find out more about their interests before following them on these social networks.
  • If you are into the stock market you can use a new service called StockTwits. This is a Twitter mashup that lets you follow discussions about stock trades, find active members to follow on Twitter and build your own portfolio to use as a filter for finding related conversations. When you select a stock to read related twitts you’ll see the Glue toolbar sliding down with all its glory. Now you can see other Glue members that were interested in the same stock and connect on both networks.

Explicit values

  • Your network is built automatically as you browse your favorite web site without leaving it
  • It is a single, web-wide network that works on popular book, movie, and music sites
  • It replaces both search and bookmarking – Glue brings you the information when and where it makes sense
  • It’s easy to move from object to people to object. This helps you find great books and music – this is what that I found myself doing on Glue.
  • The option to take action no matter what web site you are browsing helps to complete your search tasks faster.
  • Glue is very intuitive and simple to use. It takes not time to get on-board.
  • Crowd wisdom – you can see what is most popular with friends and other interesting people

Implicit values

  • The building of the network is driven by objects you like. You connect to likeminded people around common objects automatically, regardless of the website visited. Since there are lots of objects out there and many curious people looking for them it makes Glue a network building machine.
  • Contextual lifestream filter – it shows users relevant information from friends about things they visit. Other lifestreams have a lot of noise and require work. Glue brings you a filtered lifestream of valuable information i.e friends activities wrapped around object and people in the context of an object. 
  • Connect around the rare stuff – connecting around objects that are loved by many is a rapid way to build your network but some times it is meaningless, like joining the Facebook beer lovers group :). Using Glue you have a good chance for finding new people that are interested in objects that are not so common like this amazing British TV series from the 90th that I like so much – Cracker (I did find a few Glue members that liked it).



AdaptiveBlue was Founded in February 2006 by Alex Iskold and has 11 employees working from their New York Office. The company has two products: Glue and SmartLinks (patent pending). In its short existence it earned industry recognition and top press and blogs.

Glue use two methods to understand meanings from data on the web. The top down approach using its semantic engine to understand some of the most popular web sites out there that don’t use any of the known metadata format (like RDF). AdaptiveBlue also collaborated on a new format to describe objects attributes on the web called ABMeta. Sites like Oreilly books, UGO and others have already adopted it. This is referred to as the bottom up approach, which is a more robust way to make web pages easier for machines to understand.

 Additional thoughts

After using Glue for sometime now I have a few features that I hope to see in the future. The first one is coming soon and it is the option to discuss with friends about different objects.

  • I also would like to get an alert when someone was looking at one of the objects that I have visited in the past (set selectively on certain objects)
  • I think that Glue needs a landing page. The toolbar is cool and subtle yet there is a place for presenting some aggregated data like:
    • Most active people on Glue (sorted by object type)
    • Most looked at objects – most liked objects
    • Most connected people on glue – featured users
    • Recently joined and recently visited objects
    • Promotions – Glue knows what people are looking for and like. This informarion gives an opportunity to get some nice deals for its members.

Glue is a simple to use application with great benefit supported by very complex technology in the back-end. It manages to bring a lot of value to the front-end without scarifying usability and ease of use. Is Glue the first consumer application that’s showing us the semantic web finally fulfilling its promise?

Eight good reasons for using headup (Firefox add-on)

January 25, 2009 6 comments

Headup – the semantic web Firefox addon

I recently started using Headup. I’ve been looking for this kind of addon for some time now. When bits of information are missing from peoples’ profile pages, product specs, media, and other online content it is crucial to combine multiple data sources to piece together a complete picture. Headup does this!

Using its smart semantic mapping of entities and relationships Headup gathers and links information from multiple online sources. To complete the picture it then personalizes the results using your presence on multiple web services like Gmail, Twitter, Facebook, Digg, etc.
Headup is not only innovative in its semantic approach to linking data, it also integrates nicely with your Firefox browser and offers you a few ways to access the data it discovers. One example is Google searches: After installing Headup you can expect to see your search term annotated “Headup:[search term]” with a thin orange underline at the top of Google’s results. When your mouse hovers over the term a click-able circular plus sign loader will allow you to open Headup’s overlay  interface.


The starting point – googling eagle eye.


The complete picture – headup-ing eagle eye

I recommend you visit Headup‘s website to learn how to use it but as a whole it’s pretty intuitive and I prefer dedicating this post to the reasons you should get it:

My eight reasons for using the Headup Semantic Web Firefox add-on :

  1. Because hyperlinks simply aren’t enough – Relying merely on arbitrarily selected outbound links that send you to find info related to the page you are browsing is limiting. There are more relationships among the different entities on the page that could be leveraged to retrieve associated information. Headup already mapped out these semantic links and makes them available for you in a neat and accessible interface. The experience doesn’t end with search results.
  2. Because you can save valuable search time - Both the user interface, and the way information is presented, require less clicks to complete an in-depth search through multiple search sources.
  3. Because the information comes to you – Search can be an exhausting task. In many cases it involves either a recursive drilling down into multiple levels, or traversing the search vertical up and down for additional information. Google itself is aware of this potentially laborious process and is making an effort to bring associated information to the first SERP: Recently when I googled the term “movie” I got three results that were movies playing in theaters in my area. Headup provides multiple data types as a default: Using Headup on the “Pink Floyd” will get you a summary relating to the term, the bands albums, see photos depicting it, listen to the bands songs while reading their lyrics, find news blogs and web activities related to it, and much more.
  4. Because it brings down the chances you’ll miss key information – “Headuping” people is a terrific way to learn more about them. I “Headup-ed” my friend Bill Cammack on Facebook and immediately discovered that he’s a video editor with an Emmy award to his name. In this case the extra information regarding the Emmy award was brought in from Bill’s LinkedIn profile.
  5. Because you can learn and find information you didn’t expect –  If the example from my previous item wasn’t proof enough here’s anoter example: I ran Headup on “Kill Bill” (what can I say? – I’m a Tarantino fan) and discovered this blog post published today (1-2-2009): “More Kill Bill on the way” – Tell me this isn’t cool!!
  6. Because it’s personalized – When configuring Headup after download, or later via the “Settings” option, you can choose to connect Headup to the online services you are subscribed to. Headup connects to a wide variety of web services like: Gmail, Delicious, Twitter, Facebook, FriendDeed, Digg, etc. The information Headup retrieves from these services allows it to personalize the info it discovers for you: If you Headup a firm you’ll get friends of yours that work there. If you Headup a band you’ll see who in your network likes them. This is another example of how Headup is not just a search tool but a browsing experience.
  7. Because you don’t lose your starting point – Headup is designed as an overlay window that keeps your starting web page, and anything else you have open on your desktop, visible beneath the interfaces’ SilverLight frame. Inside Headup you can drill down endlessly, but when you’re done you are back where you started.
  8. Because your information is safe – from Headup’s Privacy Policy – “In plain English”:
“We here at Headup treasure our privacy and that’s exactly why we made every effort to create a browser add-on that would live up to user privacy standards we would be comfortable with. We’d be embarrassed to let you download an add-on we wouldn’t download ourselves.”
**You don’t need to sign-up for using Headup and your information is stored on your machine only**

 **Bonus: one additional reason – because on some pages it ROCKS! Try it on and you’ll see why it ROCKS…literally! By the way, the Headup user interface lets you watch videos and listen to music like a regular media player.

My questions for the Headup team

I plan on occasionally checking Headup’s blog for updates. At this point Headup supports Firefox on Windows and on Macs but I know that they plan to support more browsers in the future. I think that at this point the key thing to focus on is that the Headup concept works.

I do have few questions for the Headup team:

  1. Do you plan on adding vertical derived classifications? I can see some use cases for health (and maybe even for software development). Just as headup was able to map out “Actors”, “Films by the same director”, “Web Activities”, “Related News”, “Trailers”, etc. for a “Film” type entity. I can see it applied in a similar fashion for a “Health” type entity – retrienving things like: “Case”, “Treatment”, “Clinics”, “Pharmaceuticals”, “News Groups” etc…
  2. Do you see enterprise usage for Headup? I still need to give it more thought but having Headup in my email could be cool. Another possible implementation is supporting corporate CMS tools.

Epilogue – Is Headup’s “Top Down” approach the face of the future Semantic Web?

The Semantic web promises to make information understandable by machines. If you follow Alex Iskold‘s excellent series on Semantic Web on ReadWriteWeb you are aware of the multiple approaches to make this happen. The top-down method implemented by Headup helps brings the future to us a little sooner. I think Headup is giving us a taste of what future browsers will look like in an age when they, and other tools, will be able to understand more than just hyperlinks. When using Headup it feels like I’m doing more than “browsing” or “searching” I feel like I’m experiencing a new web!

One last thing: using Headup for some objects didn’t yield complete results. Don’t judge them too harshly for it, instead please focus on the concept. My experience with Headup so far is that in most cases the relevancy of the information provided was more than reasonable. I think that for a small company just out of Alpha what has been accomplished in the short time the company has exited is impressive and promises that improvements will be fast coming.

I’m using Headup and gave you the eight reason I have for doing so. If you are using it too I’d be happy to hear why…

Groundswell technology test – entrepreneurs take notes

December 28, 2008 4 comments

I’m currently reading a book called Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies (1 edition- April 21, 2008). This book was written by two Forrester analyst, Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff . In this book the authors are  advising companies about the power of social technologies and how to see it as an opportunity instead of a new threat. The book objective is to educate marketer working for different size corporations about social networks, crowd sourcing, social bookmaking, forums and other people empowering technologies. As I’m reading it I’m realizing that this book is also a very useful resource for entrepreneurs contemplating about building applications engaged in social objects. It is also a good resource for VCs that are about to invest in these kind of endeavors.

Groundswell In the second chapter of this book the authors suggest a brilliant test to justify the existence of a new social technology. They name it: The Groundswell technology test

This test consists of five questions and in the book the authors ran Twitter through the test. Twitter passed with flying  colors as you can imagine.

Anyway here are the questions:

  • Does it enable to connect with each other in new ways?
  • Is it effortless to signed-up for?
  • Does it shift power from institution to people?
  • Does the community generate enough content to sustain itself?
  • Is it an open platform that invites partnership?

Could this be the recipe for viral product?!

We know that a product requires more non-feature requirements like being scalable, having good performance, better than average usability, being secure, supporting global adoption, well designed (looks good) and more to be successful, yet the justification for its existence could be found in the answers to the questions above.

So run your new creation through these questions, find the gap(s) and make it better along these five dimensions.

This chapter on Google Book Search

This book on Amazon

One Tweet three Qwitters

November 8, 2008 4 comments


QWITTERI signed up recently to QWITTER , this service tells about people that stopped following me on Twitter. I had doubt about the value of this tool but since it was easy to use I gave it a try. Getting on-board only require your Twitter user name and email for sending you the notifications.The first couple of days I got one or two messages that looks like that:

Hi, kerendg.
<Twitter user name> – stopped following you on Twitter after you posted this tweet:
<my tweet>

Check out <Twitter user name> profile here:<Twitter user name>


I could not find any logical connection between my innocent tweet and this person abandoning my Twittership.

Anyway, few more days passed and on the election day I was monitoring closely the tags on TwitScoop. At some point I notice the word Miracle on the screen. I clicked to check what conversations on Twitter mentioned this word and in what context.

Well, the conversation where basically saying that John McCain will need  a miracle to win this election.

So I sent a Tweet about this tag….

The following day I got three Qwitter messages that looks like this.

Hi, kerendg.
<Twitter user name> stopped following you on Twitter after you posted this tweet:
my tweet about TwitScoop capturing the MIRACLE tag <the TwitScoop tag>

Check out <Twitter user name> profile here:<Twitter user name>

OK, now I can see some connection. I can assume that these followers were not too happy with the election results. I can assume that they assume from my Tweet that I’m favoring one party over another. By the way I did not vote in this election (I have to wait few more years to become an American citizen first) and I can’t say that I formed a rock solid opinion yet.

A wise friend once told me that if something happened once it is a fluke, if it happened twice it is a coincidence but if it happens three times then it is a system (or a pattern in my geeky world).

What can we learn from this example:

  1. If there are more than one followers that un-follow you after a tweet then there is a chance for causality association between the tweet and the reaction.
  2. If this works on the negative way there is a high chance that it will work in the positive direction too. Why only look for connections between poor tweets and people that stop following you. For a single twitter user it is easy to find what he said or did that won him a bunch of new followers. Yet, if QWITTER could tell me what others are doing that suddenly adds to their Twitter followers count I might learn a thing or two. 
  3. Finally: It may not be my assumed political opinions that cost me three followers, it could be my insensitivity, sending this tweet in such troubled time for supporters of the other party was probably a poor social media action. I think that I’ve actually learned something from this service.

Your thoughts.

Participating in election day 2008 – the social media style

November 3, 2008 3 comments

As I wrote in my previous post about the role of social media delivering dramatic news events, this time around we have a real opportunity to experience the election day on an entire different level. We can converse on many social media platforms, we can listen to others talking about this election. We can get alerts, links, comments that will prompt us to react in real-time to news about this exciting day.

This is how I’m going to “watch” the election day:



I will probably open the TV occasionally or read some news on a traditional news web-site. I may even read an article or two from the newspaper. Yet, I mostly plan to experience this event as socially as possible on the new media. I’m looking forward for your conversations.

The hard part – I need to wait few more years before I can vote. I’m only a permanent resident.

Happy election day and I wish America to come up with new president that will lead us through the challenges ahead.

Social media role in delivering news events

October 31, 2008 3 comments

When I was in college I stumbled upon an article about dramatic media news events (printed copy). I can’t remember the name of the article and I could not find it online. The article talked about three dramatic news events: accomplishments, competitions, and coronations. For instance, stepping on the moon was quite dramatic accomplishments. Campaigning for presidency role is a very long competition with several challenging milestones (e.g. debates) and one dramatic end. The inauguration ceremony is an example for dramatic coronations.

 bush_coronationThis article was written many years ago way before the term social media was coined. I do remember enjoying reading it because the article captured well the role of TV and traditional mass media in broadcasting these breath taking news.

There are more dramatic events in our life some positive falling under the categories of the three mentioned above and others not so much: terror attack, extreme weather and earthquake to name a few. Social media today plays a significant role in dramatic events. People can participate and augment the news report via sharing, reacting, analysis, celebrating and more. It is a potential outlet for thoughts and feeling otherwise kept inside. It is much easier to share when you see that many more participants do so and so openly. The major dramatic events are not a daily thing (thanks god), yet there are numerous small scale life events that happens all the time.

A birth of a baby or getting married. Some people shared about buying a new iPhone as an accomplishment event (after standing for hours in line I can see that too:). Your product was selected for a voting competition is another. Being listed for the Oprah of the social media is some sort of coronation events or wining a prize. Running a short query on Twitter Search revels lots of  small to large accomplishments. On the negative side by registering to the Missing Persons room on FriendFeed we are now exposed to horrible and terrifying news. If you feel that the news does not following you enough go ahead and follow both traditional and social news about the elections here. It was hard to ignore the World Series tweets even after the Red Sox did not make it there:) . Even personal historical life events like the #badfirstdate are widely shared on Twitter – I had some good laugh reading through. And if there is a need to check the sentiment on Twitter when something new happened try this query. Beware, don’t try it on Monday morning:) I learned about Paul Newman death on Twitscoop. I was an admirer and I wanted to see what others are saying about it.

The social media news world provides the stage for endless additional sources sharing both type of dramatic and not so news events. Beyond sharing, this new media creates an echo chamber where people are commenting, reacting, voting and raising awareness. One would think that an inflation of news event will depreciate the value of a single drama but in my opinion it is the other way around. The social media channels (tools and applications) only amplified the experience of most events.   Sharing something that happened (or happening) in your life (good or bad) on Twitter, your blog or your news feed on Facebook could actually reach a large part of the blog/twitter-sphere. On the other end, participating and discussing world, country, town, friends and family events has the potential for changing the original news.

There are lots of open questions about the new media and its role in general. Here are few questions about its specific role in distributing and handling news events:

  • How to make sure that enough context is provided along with the report maintaining the integrity of the news item?
  • Can we deal with all these news events?
  • How accomplishments, competitions, and coronations looks like in a world of sharing?
  • In what ways social media opens up new methods for experiencing dramatic event?

When the news look like a bunch of tags organized in a circle (tag cloud), when what that matters is only the size of the font and the rate of change in size, it is very easy to loose the context. You may not see it now but some of us already getting use to consume the news this way. One day we can see a hashtag like this #theskyisfalling and only later find out that this is a name of a new movie:)

In social media where the word broadcasting was replace with self-casting, or better known as sharing, dramatic events from all types become a daily phenomenon. We are use to expect the traditional media delivering the news with dignity, integrity and respect (we are very mad when it doesn’t). Keeping these traditional values in the new media is crucial for its success (yes, especially for the business). I like to see that social media is taking the news from where mass media left it, using the great power of participation for changing the norm, from passive news absorption to active experience. Social media has the power transforming news to experience and maybe even relationships.

**I’m not an expert in social media and this is probably my first and last article about this very confusing and widly defined subject. Since this blog is about web phenomena (hence the name webnomena) I could not ignore the way I consume and partciapte in the news via blogs, twitter, social network and many other tools.

The "chicken or the egg" problem in social web applications – is it real?

October 27, 2008 Leave a comment

I keep hearing this phrase describing the problem in the way for social networks and services success.

What is the “chicken or the egg” problem in the context of social web applications?

  • The chicken: people will only be able to see the true value of the web site when there is a large user base
  • The egg: till people see the true social value of the web site they will not use it


*Since the order between the chicken or the egg is still in question we can replace and call the first condition egg and the second chicken.

chicken or the egg

Examples: Digg (web-site) is not worth a Digg (verb) if there are not enough participants. Delicious will not be able to bring great knowledge to the surface without having enough people submitting their bookmarks (same case for any other social search engine). Technorati can’t rank blogs without the vast majority of the blogsphere claming their blogs over there.

The problem that I have with using the chicken or the egg logic explaining why a web site is not growing is, if that was completely true there was never a chance to any social media web site. If I can’t understand the true value of the web site right away why should I recommend it to my friends. This contradict entirely the virality phenomenon.

I understand that there is a cold start phase. I realize that not everyone can get on Techcrunch radar (it is not that hard though). In the first pre-alpha phase when your mom, cousin and the good old friend are the entire user base not much is happing. Yet, there are few things that goes for you these days.

There are lots of free self PR opportunities. Your blog, Twitter, Jaiku, FriendFeed, StumbledUpon, tones of social networks, and many “the very next things bloggers” (like me) and more.

What that is common between the examples that I mentioned above (Digg, Delicious, Technorati) is that they were first of their kind. They came in with a new original approaches and “somehow” people dug their value quickly, with enough excitements going telling their peers about it.

I once heard that the difference between smart man and wise man, is that wise man does not get into the troubles that a smart man knows how to deal with. One option is not to get into this so called catch 22. Leave the social features to be the icing on the cake and not the initial driving force joining in. First, focus on the message. What is the value? What can be done here that could not be done elsewhere? For instance in the case of delicious –  saving bookmark on the web so one can access them wherever they are: @work, @home and @yourFriend’sHouse was good enough. Having lots of bookmarks shared, saved by others, and tagged so you can find great content – priceless:)

Make your initial value as clear as possible. Make it not socially dependent.Then find a way to bring data and people from the outside. People could exist in the system without registering. Content could be available without manually submitting it. Later data and profile could be claimed. Having people and content around will make the web-site not looking like an empty store. Leverage search engines API like Yahoo BOSS to augment the web-site dull content with live data.

There are other cases like listing web sites that the Chicken or the Egg problem applies. You need to brings both demand and supply almost at the very same time. It took craigslist some time to catch fire but this is not a social network web-site (yet).

Finally, as it takes time to farm a chick out of an egg it will take time to grow the community. In the meantime it is best to find a way not relying on heavy social use as the single way for growing the community. Focus on the value proposition for the individual instead.

Being Chris Brogan

October 10, 2008 3 comments

Inspired by Being John Malkovich movie 

Context: The objective of this fictional short story is not to share my wannabe ambitions (guilty) but to emphasize closeness and influence. In my opinion as we adopt social media tools for personal and work objectives we can get closer as if we share a single mind powered by many brains. Communication between people is a miracle. An effective communication between individuals is a phenomenon. Today, communication on the web happens more frequently than ever before.

Some bloggers influence so many of us that it is possible to recognize their tone of voice and content from other corners of the web. There is nothing wrong about it since these voices are on the good side of the fence, leading the way. It could be yet another form of closeness – identifying with.


chris brogan Being Chris Brogan – the story

Blogmon, the application that I built for monitoring Technorati ranks progress over time, was acting all week long. The numbers where all over the place. The tracing shows lots of errors coming from Technorati web service. I was getting a little agitated and finally when I started seeing weird rank numbers I decided to pay the web site a visit. I decided to look at the Top 100 blogs page first. As I was scrolling down just above the 8th blog from the top (Official Google Blog) and below the 7th place (Ars Technica) there was an additional narrow but obvious blank line. The distance between the two blogs seems off. Then I felt my hand suddenly moving the mouse as if I have no control over it, and as the cursor was hovering over this blank space I noticed that a yellow small font text become visible. The mouse cursor was now away so the text become invisible again. This time I moved the mouse intentionally and kept the cursor on the yellow text. To my astonishment the text in yellow and italic font said: 7.5. “Chris Brogan life-stream portal”. With a shaking right finger I clicked the link. Suddenly the bluetooth light at the bottom right end corner of my laptop flashed with purple light. The Wireless Network Connection icon at the task bar started blinking and Technorati page turned pitch black. I was sure I was attacked by an extremely powerful and distractive virus. After few seconds sitting frozen on my chair with what that looked like a turned off computer I touched (hesitantly) the laptop mouse touchpad.

The computer slowly turned on but the feel was as if I’m controlling another computer through remote access. It is more accurate to say that I was not really in control at that time, someone else was moving the mouse and clicking on all sort of desktop objects and I was only the observer. That got me even more paranoid thinking about worms and other goodies from the world wide web – why did I clicked the obviously suspicious link?? Just as I was about to go to the Start button (I run XP on my laptop) to shutdown the computer I noticed  that it was running Mac OS. More than that I noticed that I was starring at Chris Brogan blog while someone was answering multiple comments using the @mrX and @msY notation. I did not know what to do so I just sat there and watched the hectic activity, after few minutes I could only reach one conclusion. I’m watching thee one at work. That’s when I decide to un-mute my laptop speakers. A soft voice speaking almost without taking a breath started coming through the speakers. “25 ways to help the world using social media”, “50 ways to find your destiny using your blog”, “how to show your appreciation to the community”. Now, I was really freaked out!! I’m not just watching him I’m inside his brain!!!.

But before I had the time to digest all of this, a new window popped up and I could recognized Twhirl the Twitter Desktop client. The mouse clicked first the @ button looking for recent replies (there were 6 new ones) then the envelop button (there where 300 direct messages – poor guy). I could now hear the answers before they were typed although the typing followed in a speed that I did not even know possible. I or Chris or both started answering to some of the Twitter replies from @cspenn, @jeffpulver, and @jowyang. I haven’t touched my mouse now for more than 12 minutes but it felt like my brain was carried for a ride as if it was co-pilot on a combat jet plan.

Twhirl through Twitter sent us following several links recommended by friends, fans and followers. We left a couple of comments here and there (backtype helps to refresh my memory).  We shouted out other’s Tweets to share the sharable. Then after 20 minutes I got a “network failure” message. The OS changed back to Windows and the browser was loading one of those splog that copies other people work using a bot, planted with lots of AdSense ads all around –  a real beauty. It was then 2am and my brain was shut. I closed the computer and went to bed.

Tomorrow I will try and see if I can join the cognitive flow and shout out some of my favorite blog posts on Twitter… I heard that when Chris does it, it could do miracle to the web-site traffic:)

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?

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.


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