Scripting News for 10/10/07

Today’s links 

Pizza, salad and spaghetti with Alan Levy of BlogTalkRadio at John’s Pizzeria, 260 W 44th.

Adam Engst: “My initial reaction to Twitter was that it was utterly inane, but I was basing my opinion on the public timeline that show posts from all Twitter users and on the Twittervision service that plots messages from Twitter users on a map of the world.”

Newsroom at CUNY 

I’ve become fascinated by newsrooms, and they have an interesting setup at CUNY where the Networked Journalism conference took place.

So I got out the video camera and took a brief tour.

How to create an IRC backchannel? 

Micah Sifry sent an email asking if I could create an IRC channel for this conference. Good idea, except I don’t know how to do it. I’ve always depended on Kevin Marks to create them for my conferences.

But it can’t be that hard, right? Let’s see if we can figure it out. If you have a clue, please post a comment here.

Okay, here’s a clue from the mirc faq: “A channel is automatically created as soon as the first person joins it. If you join a channel and you find your name as the only one there, you just created that channel. Channels on IRC are dynamic in the sense that anyone can create a new channel, and a channel disappears when the last person leaves it.”

Okay, so I logged onto a channel whose name I made up.

It’s called netjny at

Come join me and let’s see if we can chat. 🙂

How we’re twisted, day 2 

I am absolutely delighted to see a piece by Scoble on top of Techmeme, one which explains how flow works in the tech blogosphere. There’s also a piece on Valleywag. My piece yesterday may have started a ball rolling. Everyone who’s been pointed to by TechCrunch who tracks referrers knows that the site may be high-ranked, but it doesn’t generate so many click-throughs. It used to be very different, a link from TechCrunch would deliver 2000 readers in the first hour. Yesterday, I was linked to by TechCrunch, and there were 33 click-throughs, total.

Techmeme, on the other hand, is steadily increasing. I never said, never implied, never thought otherwise, despite what The Guardian says. I don’t know why people think that paper is so authoritative, they make a lot of (big) mistakes. For me a top link on Techmeme is worth 1000 hits. That’s a lot of hits for me, and they’re highly qualified, exactly the kind of people I want to communicate with.

BTW, the Guardian, which links to me from the piece, has delivered 12 hits in a few hours.

I am impressed with Techmeme’s rise. I think it’s because a fair number of people look to it for the news of the day in tech, a role TechCrunch used to play. I think the sites compete, and I think Techmeme is winning. It’s one of the reasons why I suggested to TechCrunch that they try turning off Techmeme, to force people to at least skim their site.

I don’t like the Leaderboard, because it perpetuates a myth, but since we’ve been writing about it, perhaps expectation is getting closer to reality. Being highly rated on that list (which my site is, btw) isn’t saying very much about the power and influence of the site. Same is true for Technorati’s list. Maybe now it’s time to start a discussion about what makes a site powerful, or just go back to blogging, telling our story, and stop trying to be so important. 🙂

PS: Today will probably be a big blogging day, because I’m going to a blogging conference about networked journalism. I expect to take many pictures which will be posted to Twitter.

6 responses to this post.

  1. * use your irc client to log in to (or your favorite irc network).
    * type /join [channelname] – on freenode “unofficial” channels should start with “##”
    * post the channel name in twitter and wherever else you can find;)


  2. 1. Log on to IRC network of choice (

    2. Type in “/join #[channelname]”

    3. Enjoy.

    You may also want to use NickServ and ChanServ on Freenode (or your IRC channel of choice) so that when you log out, you can maintain your op status.


  3. Dave: Another way to do it is using Twitter: at Rails Conference they had a twitter account that would automatically start following you if you started following it. Not sure how they did it, but you can ask Chad Fowler. But the end result is that you could just go to:

    and get all the tweets from the conference attendees. The URL is still active, and I sometimes look at it, even though it’s months ago. It’s more accessible and more versatile than an IRC channel.


  4. thanks for the ongoing reports at twitter, dave

    i hadn’t logged on to irc in years…it made me incredibly nostalgic


  5. Jaiku channels could be a great place for conference backchannels.


  6. Posted by Alan Levy on October 10, 2007 at 4:47 pm


    The conversation was far better than the food. 🙂 Next time, we’ll go to a real Italian restaurant.



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