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January 19, 2005

Web spoor

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Poor Libby Hoeller. People just can't let it go.

Hypothesis: Not only is iTunes shuffle not random, it's biased in favor of four talented young lads from Liverpool. Marcel conducts the experiment.

Imagine a respectable newspaper like Scotland's Daily Record falling for an urban legend. Interestingly, the punchline was funnier in the 1950s version.

"No law, or set of laws, has made the government more intrusive and ridiculous than seat belt legislation... If I want to be the jerk that flirts with death and rides around with my seat belt off, I should be able to do that." --Derek Kieper, Daily Nebraskan, Sept. 17, 2004

"Derek Kieper, a 21-year-old senior at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, died early Tuesday morning when the Ford Explorer he was a passenger in travelled off an icy section of Interstate 80 and rolled several times in a ditch... Derek, who was thrown from the vehicle, was not wearing a seat belt... [survivors] Havermann and Uphoff were." --Lincoln Journal Star, Jan. 4, 2005

That's the problem with flirting: you never know when it's gonna lead to marriage. [Via Obscure Store]

Noted: Dakota Fanning not, repeat not in rehab. So she's still on the junk, then?

Sure, I'd love to put your ugly logo all over my blog in order to drive traffic to your site where readers will find information far less useful than if I'd created a link of my own or if they'd done a Google search. Technorati tags must be nipped in the bud.

Posted by Daniel Radosh

Comments

Wow, I'm sorry that Technorati has failed you so badly, and that we aren't being of service to you.

How can we make it better? Are there things in specific that we're not doing well? Please don't hesitate to drop me an email at dsifry at technorati dot com, we're 100% committed to being of service to you.

Dave

Damn! I hate when someone goes and ruins a perfectly good obnoxious rant with a friendly and helpful reply.

And by "perfectly good" I mean "completely clueless." The fact is, I'm not even sure I understand what Technorati Tags are about. (Oh, and don't get me wrong, Dave -- I love Technorati in general). I mean, I'm not the most technologically savvy guy in the world, but I'm not tech-illiterate either. Yet while I'd read the stuff about tags on Technorati and several blog posts about them, I just wasn't able to figure out what a person was supposed to do with them, either as a blogger or a reader. Where does one put/find tags and why?

Then I saw T-tags in action here (a fine site, by the way, if you happen to like muscular women, which I do not particularly) and that's what prompted my response. They make the post ugly, and, when you click on them, you get no useful information, compared with, as I said, what you might have gotten had the blogger provided an original link or if you'd done a Google search.

But now I've looked at other sites that are supposedly using tags and I don't see those intrusive little logos. Or anything else for that matter.

So now I figure I'm just not getting it. As soon as someone writes about T-tags and their function in plain(er) English, I'll re-evaluate my feelings about them.

And I vow not to go off half-cocked like that until at least tomorrow.

Actually, come to think of it, I wish Technorati had a "top 500" list, not just "top 100." A little OT, but since you asked how you could make it better...

Well, the little Technorati speech bubble that appears next to my TTags is purely part of the Wordpress plug-in by Keith McDuffee. If I wanted I could alter the script so as to eliminate them, or I could replace them with a more subtle emblem.

The advantage that TTags have over Google - or most anything else - is timeliness. With TTags, bloggers are able to take charge of topic tracking, and insert or find the latest references to given topic headers. It's as if Technorati ( Blogdex could do this, too) has gone a little bit open source in allowing bloggers to prioritize memes. I also have confidence that Technorati has more applications in mind once it builds up a large TTag database - I can think of several, i.e. prioritize AP or Reuters newsfeeds using TTag volume moving averages.

Another example - imagine Technorati licensing Smartmoney's Map of the Market display to show topic growth and decline in real time, using Technorati Cosmos rankings as a stand in for individual order size - i.e. one mention of a topic on Instapundit might be worth a dozen or more on Radosh.net, or several hundred on my widely-read but pathetically ranked blog.

I came up with a less obtrusive TTag marker - check my site since I can't include an image reference here.

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