Posts Tagged ‘louis gray’

If I Have Unlimited Choice, How Do I Decide?

February 25, 2008

Just over a week ago I highlighted a chance to get on AssetBar as provided by Louis Gray, as well as introduce LinkRiver, picked up from the same source.

I don’t know how many people took up those invitations, but I sure did and I have to admit my reaction is kinda mixed. I liked the features of AssetBar, but not the UI (user interface). I liked LinkRiver’s functions, but found it a little hard to find friends. All in all, great products, but I wasn’t sure they would ever take the place of Google Reader. Not that it really mattered, I wasn’t looking for a replacement, just different ways of using the same RSS function on the web.

As a pretty typical Internet user, my attention span isn’t great, and I thought “Ok nice programme, doesn’t do a lot for me, I’ll try to keep it in mind.” What changed it was that creators from both applications dropped me a message at my blog to say “look out for this” or “just to clarify this”.

In other words: they were listening. I commented on this somewhere, which lead to Louis beating me to the punch (on time, but not message), that companies that listen to their users will win in the end

And that alone was enough for me to consciously set aside time to continually explore their applications, and I’m sure one day they’ll give Google Reader a run for their money.

If you’ve had similar stories, or other such applications/programmes to share, feel free to comment and share them!

By the way, I am well aware that these posts are just flying over the heads of many of my friends, but I’m going to be introducing 2 things that have totally changed my internet usage habits: RSS and del.icio.us. So if you’ve been one of them who’s been telling me “your blog is so technical now” or “why do I want to be even more connected?”. Stay tuned and read on.

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Technorati Authority = Success?

February 22, 2008

I’ve been sitting on this post for awhile, but was motivated into action by Mitch Joel over at Six Pixels Of Separation on his post regarding Technorati Authority.

Background: Technorati authority is simply a measure of how many other people are linking to you from their blogs. ie If 10 people link Unique-Frequency, my Technorati ranking is higher than if 2 people linked me. (This isn’t a new metric of “importance”, Google’s PageRank uses a similar system)

Thinking about this over the last week or so, I have to respectfully disagree with Mitch on the issue because I don’t think it’s a good indicator of whether a blog is “successful” or not.

The reason? Technorati doesn’t discriminate between links. I could have been scraped by a spam blog, just added by someone’s blogroll or mentioned in Joseph Jaffe’s UNM2PNM new marketing and they all will get picked up equally and add to my authority.

That said, of course it’s nice to have a higher authority, but does that really, tangibly mean anything? For example, Mitch has an authority of 550 on Technorati, but Jaffe has about 685. Should that mean I automatically take Jaffe to be more credible? Certainly I have learned a lot from both bloggers and would not say they should be almost 150 points apart.

Conversely, the JaffeJuice group on Facebook has 626 members while the Six Pixels Society more than doubles it at 1325 members. Does that mean anything?

Both are instances where bloggers or Facebook users have a choice whether to link or to join the groups. Some choose to, some don’t.

Here’s what I feel is the inherent flaw: You have to own a blog or be on Facebook to add to the Technorati authority or to the Facebook group’s numbers. But the number of people who are actual content creators (ie bloggers) is somewhere in the region of 13% according to a study shown in social media class. In other words, the other 87% are by default, excluded.

Now I’m not saying this is a bad metric. Obviously I love it when my authority goes up (I’m at 13). But I also know that while I have certain nice mentions by people like Louis Gray in an actual conversation, it also contains spam blog links and links on people’s blogroll, whether or not they read my blog. This difference makes me take the Technorati authority with a pinch of salt.

The system isn’t perfect, but then perhaps no system is. But personally, until this tension between discriminatory and non-discriminatory links are reconciled, I’m hesitant to place a strong emphasis on Technorati authority.

Yet Another Centraliser: LinkRiver

February 13, 2008

Louisgray is very quickly becoming one of my top “must reads” whenever something comes from his RSS feed. Late January he alerted the blogosphere about AssetBar, and now he has the latest on LinkRiver.

So we already use Google Reader or some other RSS reader, why LinkRiver? Without trying it out yet, the biggest draw for me is that is aggregates everything from your RSS feeds to Twitter to Del.icio.us bookmarks into one central location. As Louis says:

harnesses your RSS streams from multiple services, including Google Reader shared items, Twitter, del.icio.us, Yahoo! Bookmarks and others, and posts them to a single “Stream”. As your friends join the service, or you choose to subscribed to other LinkRiver users, these small streams become a “River” of shared links, hence the name.

 

To get a real good idea, check out Louis’s stream right here. I for one am already sold and have sent in my beta application.

The one negative that I can see coming out of it is if someone is pushing similar feeds on social bookmarks, Google Reader and Twitter, and then it could get very tiresome to deal with. I suppose we’ll find out soon won’t we?

Do you keep your feeds/updates central? Or is there some other way you keep on top of everything? Let me know.