I just moved to Tokyo and saw on Joi Ito's site that he and Dave Sifry, Technorati CEO, were putting on a "Technorati Meetup" on Thursday night at the Marinouchi Building, so I decided to go. It was a fun time, I learned a lot, and they had free Wi-Fi (a rarity in Tokyo), so I was able to update several programs real fast.
Here are some notes from Dave's talk (which Joi translated, although Dave speaks Japanese).
Technorati tracks 2.4 million blogs.
45% haven't posted in three months.
Around 200,000 new blogs are created daily.
About 7 minutes after someone posts a new entry it's indexed by Technorati and searchable
Sifry says blogs are striving for authority, as defined by how many people link to you when you write about things. You may not write the truth or even be correct, but if you're interesting people link to you.
He sees bloggers as commentators on the news and filters on the news, rather than replacing the news ... though blogs are giving big media sites a run for their money on hits and attention (as seen on a chart of hits).
Technorati has an active developers' site with several bindings and sample code of the program for people to use and mutate on their own. "Because if there's one thing I know, it's that you guys are all smarter than me," Sifry says.
An example is a program Joi wrote to send SMS to his phone when someone links to his site. It vibrates every time somebody links to him (and he encourages frequent linking).
Future directions for Technorati: Open reviews, subscribe to keywords and Cosmos filters, discovery & filtering of subscription lists, vote links and geographic search & filtering, which is hard because people have to put in GPS coordinates (applies more to phone blogging). There currently are 11,000 blogs in the geographic database.