Scripting News for 10/9/07

All the pics that’s fit to twit 

Last night while way too jetlagged I decided to add a feature that accumulates all the pictures that TwitterGram flows from Flickr to Twitter. Apparently I got away with it. Here they are…

Obviously some more work is needed, but it’s already a fun way to get an idea of who’s using TwitterGram and what their lives are like.

Thanks to the Flickr API and the Twitter API.


Today is Jaiku Day in TwitterLand 

Congratulations to the folks at Jaiku for their deal to be acquired by Google.

I happened, by chance, to be at lunch today with Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures, the lead venture investor in Twitter, when we got the news (via Twitter, naturally). I called out to him at the counter, while he was ordering our food. “Fred, Google bought Jaiku.”

The big win of course would be if Jaiku supported the Twitter API in a plug-compatible way. Then all our apps that work with Twitter would work with Google’s new tool. (Doesn’t appear to be a clone of the Twitter API, but they do have an XML-RPC interface, which of course we like.)

Scoble called while we were at lunch, saying this isn’t about Twitter, it’s about Facebook. Probably so.

In any case, our world changed today, while we were in a cab on our way to lunch.

Here I am on Jaiku:

How we’re twisted by the top-100 lists 

There are now two top 100 lists in the tech blogosphere, Technorati’s and Techmeme’s.

Mike Arrington’s site, TechCrunch, appears high on both lists, it’s #4 on Technorati and #1 on Techmeme.

Feedburner reports that 609K people subscribe to the TechCrunch feed.

When I got a prominent link from a TechCrunch piece on September 30, it generated 228 hits (according to Google Analytics). Now it could be there was some other reason less than 1 in 1000 of the readers clicked on the link, or it may be that these sources are over-reporting the influence of TechCrunch.

In other words, there may be some kind of bubble going on here.

It could be that the position it occupies on these lists is largely “game” because there are non-editorial incentives for blogs to point to TechCrunch, esp in the Techmeme cloud. Since Arrington’s pieces tend to rise to the top of the page, pieces that link to them become more visible (they show up in the Discussion links), and the chances that another blogger is going to point to them go up. All it takes is one or two of those pointers to promote your piece to the top level, and that really boosts your visibility, and now that the Leaderboard is there, it could make that status semi-permanent, creating an even greater incentive to point. So people can and do, at least sometimes, point to TechCrunch not because they think one of their pieces is worthy of a comment for its own sake, rather because it gives them status and flow, and if they’re running ads on their site, money.

The only way TechCrunch could be sure that this wasn’t the reason people point is if they put a line in their robots.txt file that keeps Techmeme from crawling the site. Then we would know that when someone points it isn’t for the Techmeme flow and status, because there would be none. Maybe they will do that. Honestly, I think it would be great for the tech blogosphere if they did. It would force more of those 609K people to use their subscriptions, rather than depend on Techmeme to find the important TechCrunch pieces. In other words it might actually have the effect of boosting the influence of TechCrunch. No matter, that’s up to Mike and Heather, I’m just speculating.

And in case anyone accuses me of spamming Techmeme with this piece, I’ve added a line to my robots.txt file that tells Techmeme that it is not permitted to crawl my site. So you won’t see this piece on Techmeme, nor any other stuff I may write today. And no one will point to this piece for the TM juice it provides, because it doesn’t provide any. It might be a refreshing break! ๐Ÿ™‚

PS: I turned off TechMeme, as an experiment, on January 24, and turned it back on on April 12.

PPS: At 2:43PM today’s TechCrunch piece linking to this site generated 22 hits. I remember when a link from TechCrunch would deliver 2000 hits in the first hour.

PPPS: I turned TechMeme back on. No one accused me of spamming them. Happy. ๐Ÿ™‚

9 responses to this post.

  1. The world is really fucked up until 609K are reading the Gore Years.


  2. Posted by Alexander van Elsas on October 9, 2007 at 12:58 am

    Hi Dave, I was thinking about this discussion too this morning and decided to post a much more “attractive” algorithm for ranking in the blogosphere. Unlike the Techmeme leaderboard mechanism that has the effect of everyone reading the same things and reinforcing blogs that are hugh already to become even larger, my proposal is bidirectional and answers the questions, which blogs are attractive to me and which find mine attractive. It also has the effect that the blogosphere is there to explore and find new creativity instead of all looking at the same sources. Of course, since I am neither a mathmatician nor a blog rank expert it shouldn’t be taken too seriously ๐Ÿ™‚
    If interested, the article is here:


  3. Dave — your link appears in an update to TC’s original post. Any idea how long after the original story was posted? Might have influenced click-throughs quite a bit.

    Also the issue of whether the average TC reader could make it all the way down to your link.


  4. Marc, I don’t know, the first I saw of the TC piece it had the update and link in it (it showed up in my referrer log). Mike says the same thing you say, but I still think there’s an order of magnitude problem here. If there really were hundreds of thousands of readers, wouldn’t there be more than 288 clicks? Seems that way to me.

    There are sites that deliver over 5000 hits when they link. TechMeme seems to generate around 1000 when you get a top level item for a reasonable period of time.

    And I said the reasoning could be wrong, and I’ll repeat that.


  5. Posted by Sam Yates on October 9, 2007 at 8:04 am

    I’m wondering if we’re not being a little overly concerned about a couple of lists, one of which has as it’s #11 most popular “blog”. ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s hard to take the lists *too* seriously when you see stuff like that.


  6. Dave,

    I get way more than 200 hits when you link to me ๐Ÿ˜›


  7. Therefore, > Tech Crunch


  8. Re: Scoble and this isn’t about Twitter, it is about Facebook. The only thing that makes sense to me in that statement would be if FB made a play for Twitter. I don’t see the relevance of Google’s acquisition of Jaiku as a threatening move to FB. It doesn’t fit with Googles M.O.

    Now, if FB somehow was able to form a partnership with Twitter that would be tremendous. The one thing that FB sorely lacks is any type of IM or microblogging for communicating with friends. Twitter would be perfect for that.


  9. Love the new picstream, an awsome glimpse into a certain sort of people’s lives!


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