Blogs and News

Technorati Current Events bridges news and blogs. When I saw it, I thought to myself: “Vow! This is something we should have thought of and done in BlogStreet, especially given that we are in th midst of the Internet’s first war and interest in news sites and alternative opinions is at an all-time high.” Hats off to David Sifry for moving quickly and putting it together. He explains:

It is a list of the top links to “professional” news sites by bloggers in the last two hours, along with comments and analysis. I created it because, like most people, I’ve been following the progress of the war, watching and reading the mass media, and I wanted to know what people out there were saying about the news. What are the most important stories? What is real, and what is propaganda? What is not being reported, or is being underreported? These were the questions on my mind when I created Technorati’s Current Events.

I’m constantly amazed by the collective wisdom of a huge number of individuals, each publishing their thoughts, and voting their attention by linking to things. I wanted to tap into this collective brainpower, organize it, and present it back to us all.

Here’s how it works: Since Technorati is already keeping track of 150,000 blogs every hour (wow, we hit 150k today!), I tuned the engine to spot trends in recent events by only looking at blog posts in the previous two hours. This helps to increase churn on the page, as only articles and links that are immediately relevant will stay on top of the Current Events page. By the way, I’m not sure that two hours is the best balance of immediacy versus trivia, so I expect that I’ll play around with it a bit as I have time, perhaps over the weekend, to tweak the settings to get things just right. The good news is that as more people take up blogging, the results should get better and better even as they get fresher and fresher. The page data is refreshed every 15 minutes, so one eigth of the links are always new, and one eigth are removed. The number in parentheses net to each result is the number of new links to that article in the previous two hours. Clicking on the (Cosmos) link shows you all of the bloggers who have linked to that article since it was published. And underneath each article is a set of short descriptions or context, written by bloggers in the past two hours.

Doc Searls has a quote by David on the differences as compared to Blogdex and Daypop: “There are three: 1) The number of blogs we watch what in the search world we call “completeness”. 2) Freshness indexing as often as possible, which in our case is in thirty minutes or sixty at the most, for any weblog. Plus we update every fifteen minutes. We also only track links made in the last two hours. So we have a lot more churn. 3) Context. We have as many different contexts as there are weblogs. We also put them together on the same page. In current events we have three links, and they’re all as authoritative as possible, over the last two hours. If Glenn Reynolds posted about the same link a day ago, it doesn’t show.”

The one thing for us to learn from this launch and what Scott Johnson has been doing with Feedster: Innovation in the world is very much alive and kicking. One person with ideas can make a difference. And yes, ideas and speed matter. Its a great time to be doing things in the world of technology.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.