Scobleizer Weblog

Daily link Tuesday, February 10, 2004

I'm in the front row of Dave Sifry's talk. He just asked us all to post a link to Technorati (he's seeing how long it takes blogs to show up -- three minutes is the current result). I only have two links left today. But, he's worth linking to. You don't know him? He's the guy who founded Technorati. Some stats he just revealed:

Technorati is seeing 11,000-12,000 new blogs per day.

He says 35% don't get updated more than two times. In other words, those are blogs that are deserted.

He has an interesting graph of the blog power law here.

"Everybody gets the power law wrong. All that the power law says is that when you have fair access to media that you are going to have a curve that looks like this.

"Kudos to you guys who are on the top 100 but BFD. What's really interesting (points to low part of curve) is that this guy got five links. Not everyone needs to be on the "A list" to be effective.

This chart shows total number of inbound blogs for people who have that linking. Lots and lots of people have 150 links.

Cool product page here. It's a hack Dave wrote up last night. Shows hot products at Amazon that are being discussed on weblogs. A marketer's heaven.

Will Technorati be the next Google? I feel the same way looking at this stuff that I did when I first saw Google.

11:31:01 AM    comment 

Six posts can disappear fast. Here's the fourth (I'm trying to stick to six posts every day). But this one is important to point out. I, too, listened to Joe Trippi's speech yesterday at the O'Reilly conference (Joe Trippi was Howard Dean's campaign manager). He definitely blamed the big media for mistreating the Dean campaign. If you get a chance to listen to Trippi's speech, it was quite good, and gave an interesting look inside American politics. I'm not sure if it'll be posted online.

Anyway, TechDirt compared the coverage from bloggers to that of Reuters. They underlined the "spin" that Reuters gave the story.

I agree with TechDirt. The spin doesn't match the speech. Journalists need to report what was said at speeches and put it all in context. This was like listening to a two-hour speech and then ignoring almost all of it so you can write the story you want to write in the first place. Why go to the conference then?

But, now that Reuters raised the transparency issue and focused on that, I agree that the Dean campaign didn't do well here. I've talked about that before. If you're going to be really joining the blog world you have got to be transparent and let people see inside your organizational thinking.

Keep in mind, are we at Microsoft doing a good job of giving you transparency into how we think things are going? No. It's a lesson I try to improve upon everyday. Don't just present the good news. Don't just spin, but bring you inside the corporate walls.

1:19:06 AM    comment 

I was just reading my blog and realized I was talking in a style that already assumed people knew quite a bit about what I was talking about.

My brother-in-law told me last weekend "I tried reading your blog, but I didn't understand it." My mom said the same thing recently. My dad doesn't read me either.

Is this something that should concern me? Or the industry?

12:44:05 AM    comment 

Scott Watermasyk has good insight into what is Trackback. He's the guy who wrote the .TEXT engine that runs (the site where most Microsoft employees blog now).

12:39:14 AM    comment 

Simon Fell read my interview about search trends and says "I still don't get it" about WinFS and metadata. He brings up a good point. If users are going to be forced to fill out metadata forms, like those currently in Office apps, they just won't do it. Fell is absolutely right.

But, he assumed that metadata would need to be entered that way for every photo. Let's go a little deeper.

OK, I have 7400 photos. I have quite a few of my son. So, let's say there's a new kind of application. It recognizes the faces automatically and puts a square around them. Prompting you to enter just a name. When you do the square changes color from red to green, or just disappears completely.

Oh, you didn't consider using face recognition software, did you? The industry (including Microsoft) has quite advanced face detection and recognition software. I saw a demo last year of this. A video camera is pointed at you. It tracks your face. Puts a square around it. If you enter your name in the square, it knows who you are. Very spooky.

But, why couldn't that software be used to add metadata to all the pictures that have my son's face in them?

A roadblock to getting that done today is that no one in the industry can get along for enough time to make it possible to put metadata into files the way it needs to be done. Example: look at the social software guys. Friendster doesn't play well with Orkut which doesn't play well with MyWallop, which doesn't play well with Tribe, which doesn't play well with ICQ, which doesn't play well with Outlook. What's the solution? Fix the platform underneath so that developers can put these features in without working with other companies and/or other developers they don't usually work with.

Anyway, if the file system itself had a concept of metadata, there are whole rafts of ways that metadata could get added to files without having users enter data into forms. Another one I talked about in the interview. What about if you had a QuarkXpress document. And you imported a picture. What if the QuarkXPress document had the words "Patrick's 10th Birthday." Wouldn't the file system be able to assume that "Patrick's 10th Birthday" could be associated with the file named DSCN6133.jpg that I had just imported? Isn't that metadata? Couldn't that be used to improve search? Shouldn't the photo come up now on searches for "Patrick's Birthday Photo?"

These are just two scenarios that are enabled by a new file storage system. I'm sure you could think of lots more. Oh, heck, in fact, here's one more.

Why would you need to enter a name at all? I'm using Google's Orkut. It has pictures of 118 of my friends (well, OK, about five are friends, and the rest are people I know and, maybe even, like, but I define a friend as someone who has done something like help you move.

Why couldn't Google make a Longhorn version of Orkut. A SmartClient. That would let you drag a face and associate it with another face on another photo. Now, wouldn't that let Orkut write metadata into WinFS? You could even make it like a game. After doing that a few times there could be face detection software that'd go through all your photos and find any other photos on your hard drive with same faces.

One problem with the software industry right now is we're all stuck in a rut. We all assume that software has to be forms. Text. Keyboard driven. And that it has to look like Windows XP or Office. Can't we break out of that rut?

12:10:01 AM    comment 

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© Copyright 2005
Robert Scoble
My cell phone: 425-205-1921
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Last updated:
5/11/2005; 12:45:43 AM.

Robert Scoble works at Microsoft (title: technical evangelist). Everything here, though, is his personal opinion and is not read or approved before it is posted. No warranties or other guarantees will be offered as to the quality of the opinions or anything else offered here.

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