The Economist profiles David Sifry:
Mr Sifry’s web-as-conversation metaphor is no longer eccentric. In fact, it is receiving the sincerest form of flattery (imitation) from the big librarians. In September, Google also unveiled a search engine for blogs (to decidedly mixed reviews), and Yahoo! is poised to launch its own. Mr Sifry says he is unintimidated by the arrival of these giant competitors. Architecture follows from metaphor, he proclaims grandly, and Google and Yahoo! just started out with the wrong metaphor. Tracking the web’s conversations has only so much to do with algorithms, which is Google’s prowess, and more with sociological insightwho responds to which blog, who recommends or snubs whom.
This, in fact, is what may give Mr Sifry a competitive advantage. He is that very rare thing, a geek who can use his right brain (social interaction), in addition to his left (computer code). On the left side, his geek credentials are impeccable. He has a degree in computer science and has been founding start-ups in Silicon Valley for a decade, dealing mostly with such nerdy obsessions as open-source software and radio-spectrum allocation.