Web 2.0 – Dave Sifry, Technorati, Inc.

Web 2.0 – High Order Bit
Dave Sifry, Technorati, Inc.
Founder and CEO
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10/6/04 State of the Blogosphere

Our web service tracks what’s happening on the web right now in the world of weblogs. There are 4.1 million blogs that we’re tracking. The median time from post to index is 7 minutes. Weblogs are like the exhaust of personal attention streams. Who is linked to who is an indication of authority. When links are created to a site, that person becomes and influencer.

What are people saying about my company and my products? What are my competitors saying? What are people saying about the political cycle?

We think about the web in a different way. The current motivation is that the web is the biggest library. A place with lots of indexed information. Yahoo! did the card catalog. Google did the citation index. But what’s going on in the library?

Weblogs are a fundamental change in how you think of the web. The web is changing. It is now part of the social fabric of our society. Look at a weblog and see what they’re doing over time. Look at what everyone’s talking about over time.

How do you make sense of weblogs? There’s the Google rank idea. How many people are linking to you. That’s an indicator of your authoratativeness, but not an indicator of truthfulness. When links are created, before other people are linking to them, that person is an influencer and may be a topic expert.

There’s a way to do this automatically.

The blogosphere is growing. The slowest we’ve seen it double is every 5 months. There is a new weblog every 7.4 seconds. English is no longer 50% of weblog space, but still the largest plurality. Weblogs’ posts/day follow when major events are going on. There’s a 45% abandonment rate after 6 months. There are about 4 posts per second. In the current political environment, more people are posting on politics. We’ve seen a jump in activity after the Dean scream, the Nick Berg beheading, US political conventions, and Cryptonite lock story.

With the Cryptonite lock story, we saw postings 5 days before the mainstream press took it up. There were videos of how to unlock the lock and lots of link love. Cryptonite was completely clueless until the mainstream press picked it up.

Weblogs are getting more influence. And it’s increasing. People still trust the mainstream media, but blogs are coming up. We’re also seeing the rise of corporate blogs, although these are still only a small sliver. The proliferation of RSS in still low, at only 31.2% of all blogs. And only 28.2% of all rss feeds are full text. The more people who link to you, the more likely it is that you have a rss feed. A RSS feed gives people more ways to pay attention to you.

What’s next?
Attention.xml to make it easier for rss readers. Technorati API to make it easy for web developers. Synthetic feeds and watchlists. We have a hackathon tonight at 665 3rd street, suite 207.