Scobleizer Weblog

Daily link Saturday, July 16, 2005

Steve Rubel is leaving Microsoft's Windows for Apple.

"I fear that by the time Longhorn comes out (next year?) you will be less relevant than before. More people will be gravitating to the new wave of Web applications built on AJAX. Many of these applications will suffice as a more than adequate replacement for the 2% of Microsoft's product features they use regularly."

Hey, Steve, did you call us before writing this?

That's cool, don't count Windows out yet. You did notice that Google's Earth runs only on it, right? Speaking of which over on Channel 9 there are a few people comparing that to NASA's WorldWind app. Oh, but you can't run that either on your Mac.

But, Apple is hot. Can't deny that.

In the meantime, check out Greg Hughes "I switched to the Thinkpad" posts. It's ligher than a PowerBook. Has better battery life. Is faster. Is Intel-based (so good Steve Jobs is switching his entire line over to it). And lets you write on its surface. Something your fancy dancy Mac can't yet do.

Update: Colin told me that this is available on the Mac, so I moved it to the bottom of the post: Hey, Steve, check THIS out. (It's called Reason, a music composition application, and Steve Lacey is RAVING about it).

Bloglines (3 links); Technorati (6 links).

11:39:05 PM    comment 

David Berlind answers back: What it means to be Scobleized.

And he Dan Farber answers Dave Winer back: Blog first and ask questions later?

Here's my responses.

1) "You claim to have missed the right numbers because you didn't scroll to the bottom of the page. The only Technorati page I went to was the one you linked to from your blog. I got to it by clicking on the link." David, go over to Technorati's link to Dave Sifry's blog. At the top of the page it says 735 sites links to it. That's in bold. I didn't see the other number until you pointed it out.

2) "You said "I provide the links so you can compare for yourself, something that David didn't do on his blog." This is not true. I took the exact same links you provided and hyperlinked to them from my blog." No, I meant that I was doing the linking here and that we hadn't seen much of your own original research (I'd love to see it, by the way). "I think the duplicate issue is a very important issue when it comes to putting any faith in the numbers you're seeing. Judging by the way there were duplicates on the first results page of Bloglines, but not on Technorati (and that it says at the bottom of the Technorati page how many duplicates were removed), you can't help but come to the conclusion that the math in both cases is impacted by the duplicate issue." Regarding duplicates: even in Technorati's results I still am seeing duplicates, so Technorati's numbers aren't pure either. To do a more "pure" comparison would take a LOT more work (I've been looking at the results a lot in more depth since my numbers were called into question and, if you saw, today I gave Technorati credit for having cleaner, albeit not pure, results).

3) "you're holding Technorati up to a benchmark that Technorati, by it's own admission, isn't seeking to attain." Huh? So, when you benchmark Microsoft software, do you only benchmark what we tell you to benchmark, or do you benchmark what you're interested in? I don't get that point. I use Bloglines and Technorati to see who links to a specific post. That's what I do. Now, if Technorati is claiming they don't want me to do that with their engine, that's cool. I don't believe that, though.

"Sifry deserved a call before the criticism was levied, not after." I don't agree. This is my blog and is my opinion. You saying every blogger should call vendors before they criticize? That just ain't gonna happen, sorry. You should work at Microsoft -- we get criticized hundreds of times a week and I doubt that we get a heads up very often on those blog posts.

"So, what were you when you wrote-up the review of Technorati? Were you wearing your journalist hat, or not?"

What I posted was a combination of my opinions and reporting on what I was seeing. I had some incorrect reporting. You pointed that out and I'm correcting what I'm doing as we go along. I'm sorry for my errors. They are out here in public in real time. I have comments on each post. My referer log is in public. So, my readers can 1) tell me off. 2) See who else is.

" Do you put a sign on each entry that says "Hey this time I'm a journalist" and "this time I'm not?""

Let's assume that everything I post here is my opinion unless I report otherwise. That makes it easy. My readers are free to ask about anything I post here, though, and I usually answer them quickly.

"The two in combination produced a profound injustice and maybe even some damage that you seem to be unapologetic for."

That's over the top. Sorry. If anything Technorati has gotten nothing but a 48-hour advertisement for its services here. This isn't eWeek when something incorrect doesn't get corrected for a week. Now, if I had refused to link to your points, or refused to do more research, or refused to correct my post, then I could agree with that. But, you're simply being bombastic now. Why? What's your agenda?

But, I am sorry for getting the initial report wrong. I messed up the numbers. I'm sorry for that. You can correct me without being so bombastic, unless you have an agenda deeper than just making sure that my reporting is correct and my readers are well-served.

"You never said, "Oh, as it turns out, Sifry has all that data I'm looking for and, as a business decision, he's chosen not to display it."

I'm still not sure of that. Look at the results I've been running for the past 48 hours. There are many many blogs that are in Bloglines, but not Technorati (and, to be fair, the reverse is also true). So, the quality of the index is still up in the air. So far, in my results, I like Bloglines better, even after you remove the duplicates.

"Should an attempt to measure authority be made and if so, what's the best way to do it?"

OK, now we're getting somewhere. There are actually two kinds of searches we're discussing here. I think this is where we're going astray.

The first search, the one I've been doing mostly in the past 48 hours here, is when you search to see who is linking directly to a specific post. In such a search it is inappropriate not to display every single link.

The second search, which is like the one I made to Dave Sifry's blog, is when you search to see who is linking to the overall blog. Like if you search to see who is linking to There I could see authority would be important. Why? Cause more than 3,000 people link to my blog, so so many results are pretty useless.

I was focusing on the first search, though. Maybe I should do some comparisons for the second.

"Bloglines may very well be better than Technorati. Or Feedster. Or whatever. The most important point is that none of what Robert Scoble has published so far can or should be treated as serious evidence of that."

I linked to both engines over and over again so that my readers can judge for themselves the quality of both engines' results.

11:16:33 PM    comment 

Dave Winer: are you saying your OEM won't give you a copy of the install disks? Grrr, I hate that too. I can't imagine not being able to pave my machine.

I'll get you a copy, if your OEM won't. On the machines I've bought lately the install bits are on the hard drive. Just gotta know where to look for them. Have you called tech support yet?

6:12:59 PM    comment 

Robert Hogue has some cool Avalon demos. Bloglines (24 links); Technorati (3 links).

Tony Schreiner: Bad Software (about Napster). Bloglines (0 links); Technorati (1 links).

Peter Ty talks about the Imagine Cup Hong Kong winners. I'm wearing my Imagine Cup shirt today. These students just inspire me. Bloglines (0 links); Technorati (1 links).

Michael Lehman reports from the Shareware Industry Conference. Bloglines (0 links); Technorati (0 links).

Buzzmetrics' Mouthpiece: Is BLOG going to be an industry term? Bloglines (11 links); Technorati (7 links).

5:59:09 PM    comment 

Leighton Tebay: Why I prefer the PC over the Mac.

Oh, Leighton, that kind of talk around here will get you hundreds of nasty comments! Heh.

Personally, I like PCs too, but I'm biased!

Bloglines (0 links); Technorati (0 links).

5:45:17 PM    comment 

Maybe I should call up Dave Sifry and ask about this one too. This morning this Technorati query reported 41 links. Right now it's reporting 5 links.

Bloglines, for the same query, before wine tasting reported 27 links. Right now Bloglines is reporting 31.

This is the kind of behavior that makes testing search engines very hard. I wonder why the radical change in result set?

Update: Five minutes later Technorati is reporting 42 links. Wacky.

By the way, I'm starting to watch for duplicate posts in the result set. David Berlind is right. Technorati has fewer dupes. But there are still dupes in Technorati's reporting set too. For instance, in the resultset in this post there are still a couple of duplicate posts in the main display (a couple of others were removed, and Technorati lets you see those). Technorati does seem to be cleaner, though.

I think it was the lack of consistency that got me soured on Technorati, though. Maybe I kept hitting their engine on a bad day, or a bad time.

Thanks Dave Winer for the support. I have smart readers here. They don't just count on me for the truth and do their own triangulation. That's exactly why having services like Bloglines and Technorati is so important. That way you can check out one story from a bunch of viewpoints. Sorta like how Memeorandum does it.

5:19:23 PM    comment 

One nice thing about working at Microsoft is there's 16 wineries within a 30 minute drive from the main campus. We (my parents are here in town) hit St. Michele and Columbia Crest today. Wonderful wine. Hope your Saturday is going as well.

Anyway, onto today's top blog news.

Brian Smith at Comparison Engines reports: Microsoft officially enters the comparison shopping space. Bloglines (3 links); Technorati (3 links);

Sunbelt Blog: So just what does "ignore" mean? (Discussion about Claria and other spyware ratings). Bloglines (0 links); Technorati (2 links).

Engadget: FAA not planning to make in-flight cellphone calls very easy. GOOD!!! Bloglines (5 links); Technorati (7 links).

Susannah Gardner in USC Annenberg Online Journalism Review -- Time to check: Are you using the right blogging tool? Bloglines (18 links); Technorati (20 links).

Gizmodo: Joel quits: The Next Generation. Bloglines (1 link); Technorati (5 links).

eWeek: New XP SP2 Flaw. Bloglines (10 links); Technorati (5 links).

Apophrenia: Which evil nation state are you? (similies for Microsoft, Yahoo, and Google). Bloglines (5 links); Technorati (1 links).

5:06:37 PM    comment 

So, back to Berlind's fact check -- then I'm taking off the rest of the day. Let's look.

Bloglines wins: 8 times compared to Technorati's 5 wins, so overall Bloglines wins the link contest.

Ties: 1

Taking on Berlind's points.

1) That I didn't count links to Sifry's post properly. He's right. I missed that when Technorati looks at links to a top-level domain it has two link numbers. Shame on me, but Technorati's other pages don't have two numbers, so I didn't even think of looking at the bottom of the page on that one. Bad information design there! Technorati should put both numbers in the same place, not one at the top and another at the bottom of the page.

2) That Technorati doesn't have duplicates while Bloglines does. I don't find that to be true on links to specific blog posts, but he's right when comparing links to a top-level blog like Sifry's. I provided links to both engines, though, so the reader could define the quality. Neither engine wins on every search result. Overall, though, I find Bloglines to give me better results. Your mileage may vary. You should do your own homework (I provide the links so you can compare for yourself, something that David didn't do on his blog).

3) "Had Scoble placed a phone call to Sifry (the two know each other pretty well), not only would he have avoided the mistake of publishing a false fact." Ahh, so now I'm a journalist and being held to those standards, huh? David, did you call Bloglines' CEO too and get his point of view? So, you're only 50% done, right? Not to mention I know that David Sifry reads my blog within minutes of my posting (we talk a lot). He's welcome to leave me a comment when I get things wrong or incomplete. By calling only one guy seems you have a footsie relationship there. David, are you Sifry's marketing guy? By not doing any phone calls I don't look like I'm on anyone's side. I'm just reporting what I see. If I call anyone, I'll report that too (I have spent a lot of time with Sifry and the Technorati group and reported on that previously).

4) "Technorati isn't looking to provide its users with the be-all end-all list of all the links on the Web to specific blogs." OK, but is that how his engine will be judged? I'd like to hear from more users on that one. In talking with other bloggers I am willing to say he's wrong. We do want a be-all and end-all list.

5) "While I don't know what Blogline's methodology is, Scoble's coverage could have been much more interesting had he uncovered some differences in methdology and started a debate over how best to measure authority." Why didn't Berlind call Bloglines to get their side of the story? If you're gonna hold my feet to the fire, you should be perfect.

6) "I'm much more interested in who is actively linking to us today rather than who did it six months ago." David, have you actually looked at the results I put below? Bloglines seems to do a better job over all. I'd like to see YOUR objective analysis.

7) "In a prior blog, Scoble defends his own methodology for writing, saying that he never claimed to be a journalist but that "I do occassionally do journalism here." Perhaps we could use a little icon so we know how to recognize when he's doing it." Heh. David, how do you define journalism? Is it calling up one source in a two-horse race? (not to mention we're all forgetting Pubsub and Feedster here). In journalism school we learned that real journalism always has three sources, not one.

8) "What about factual mistakes where Microsoft isn't concerned?" It's been, what, 48 hours, and we're having a pretty interesting conversation here. My readers are well served, me thinks. If they don't agree, they can leave comments here. Can they leave comments on David's post?

9) "Writing first and then waiting for the phone to ring second is the perfect way to do both your readers and your credibility a huge disservice, not to mention causing tangible harm to undeserving parties." Hmmm, you didn't seem to mind when I gave Technorati two years of great reviews. No one called me on THOSE. Even though they, too, were done without calling Dave Sifry up.

10) "That phone does make outbound calls, doesn't it?" Yes, it does.

11) "I tried double-checking that with Scoble (using the number on his blog, but he didn't pick up)." I got the message, thanks for calling!

1:09:03 PM    comment 

Let's compare yesterday's news now and see how many links each one has now

Yahoo releases an improved video search. Technorati (13 links); Bloglines Citations (8 links).

Wired Magazine: Tools Give Video Freaks the Power. Technorati (10 links); Bloglines Citations (16 links).

Seattle PI: In smarts, she's a perfect 10. I'm bummed I didn't meet this girl when she visited campus. Technorati (58 links); Bloglines (47 links).

Shel Holtz and Neville Hobson's 50'th podcast (it's one of the best podcasts out there and I enjoy it immensely). Technorati (1 link); Bloglines (1 links).

Search Engine Watch: Google Simplifies & Loosens Requirements for AdWords -- Technorati (17 links); Bloglines (13 links)

Robert X Cringely: More to Apple/Intel Deal Than Even Bob Thought At First -- Technorati (41 links); Bloglines Citations (27 links).

Tim Bray: Atom 1.0 is all cooked and ready to serve -- Technorati (52 links); Bloglines Citations (68 links).

Don Park answers back the Atom folks. Technorati (9 links); Bloglines Citations (16 links)

What have I learned? Bloglines almost always pulls up faster and, in my judgment, has better quality links. But, they are generally close and you'll be well served with either engine. What's real interesting, though, is that each engine has different blogs. So, you're best served by using both engines.

Which one do you like better?

12:37:54 PM    comment 

Eric Mack shows how he builds a network in an airplane using Tablet PCs and a crossover cable. That's cool! Tablet PCs are the only way to fly. They are so much more comfortable to work on in coach class than laptops it isn't even funny.

Cool use of OneNote shared sessions too!

Bloglines (2 links); Technorati (1 link).

12:17:33 PM    comment 

Loren Heiny: If you had $10 million, how would you promote the Tablet PC?

I would buy an airline five tablet PCs each and let them give them out to passengers so they could try them on flights. Load them up with the latest newspapers and magazines and games.

Lots of good ideas over at Loren's blog, though.

Bloglines (8 links); Technorati (1 link).

12:13:07 PM    comment 

Darren Rowse has found a way to make a living, by having Google AdSense ads on his blogs: Earning Milestones.

He's the second guy I know who is making more than $10,000 per month off of Google ads.

His blog has tons of info for new bloggers.

Technorati (9 links); Bloglines (10 links).

12:05:12 PM    comment 

Kathy Sierra: Does college matter?

In my family? My younger brother, Ben, makes more money selling tools to mechanics than I do. So, on that measure, no.

But I would go to college again in a minute. The people I met, the opportunities I was given, and the friends I made are things that are invaluable.

Oh, and you don't need to go to a high falutin college like Stanford or Yale, either. I met Steve Wozniak at a community college.

Bloglines (17 links). Technorati (12 links).

11:57:56 AM    comment 
11:49:31 AM    comment 

David Berlind, over at ZDNet, fact checks my a**.

"In my daily sweep of my favorite bloggers, I stumbled across Robert Scoble shooting from the hip in his criticism of Technorati when he said that the company was getting "outexecuted by its competition" and then set about proving his point by comparing apples to oranges (first sin: bad methodology), citing the wrong information from that incongruous comparison, (second sin: bad observation skills), and finally, not giving Technorati the courtesy of a call to double check his findings (third sin: no apparent fact checking)."

I guess he missed my comparisons yesterday that went a bit further. But, that's cool. This is how the truth gets discovered on blogs. Now, could I have hidden David Berlind's piece from you, my readers? Not really. He's already showing up on my referer logs and on Bloglines and Technorati searches.

In fact, let's try the comparison again. Let's check who is linking to David's piece. Technorati (3 links). Bloglines Citations (six links).

One other thing, if you revisit all of yesterday's links you'll see that Bloglines now outruns Technorati on most of them. I'll do a scientific revisit in a little while.

How fast is the blogosphere to triangulate in on the truth? Fast. This is a new kind of journalism. It isn't like the journalism of old, that's for sure.

11:44:21 AM    comment 

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© Copyright 2005
Robert Scoble
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Last updated:
8/7/2005; 11:19:19 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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