Simplified Technorati search

20071130a.png I think I’m probably not alone when I say that Technorati may have put too much in at once when they decided to move from focussing on blogs to many other types of tagged content some time ago.

Luckily, they also implemented a stripped-down version for those who remember and just want to use Technorati as a “Google for blogs”. Its available at By the way, this isn’t new news: it has been there for six months, but the link is kind of hidden on the “Advanced Search” page.

WebCamp workshop on social network portability


A WebCamp “Social Network Portability” workshop has been announced to be co-located with BlogTalk on 2nd March 2008. You can view the wiki page for this event.

“Social network portability” is a term that has been used to describe the ability to reuse one’s own profile and contacts across various social networking sites and social media applications. At this workshop, presentations will be combined with breakout sessions to discuss all aspects of portability for social networking sites (including accounts, friends, activities / content, and applications).

Topics of relevance include, but are not limited to, social network centralisation versus decentralisation, OpenSocial, microformats including XHTML Friends Network (XFN) and hCard, authentication and authorisation, OpenID single sign-on, Bloom filters, categorising friends and personas, FOAF, ownership of your published content, SIOC, the OpenFriend format, the Social Network Aggregation Protocol (SNAP), aggregation and privacy, permissions and context, and the Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP).

You can register for this workshop in conjunction with BlogTalk 2008. If you are interested in speaking or otherwise participating in the workshop, please add your name under the Speakers or Participants headings on the wiki page at

Final call for social software conference “BlogTalk”

20071127a.png BlogTalk 2008, the 5th International Conference on Social Software, will be held in Cork, Ireland on 3rd/4th March 2008. The event is designed to allow dialogue between practitioners, developers and academics who are involved in the area of social software (blogs, wikis, forums, IM, social networks, etc.). A workshop on Social Network Portability will also be co-located with the event.

The organisers (me included) have just sent the final call for proposals to present at BlogTalk 2008. The end date for submissions is 7th December 2007, and these should be over two pages in length (no fixed template). Reviews will be completed by the end of December 2007, and the organisers will notify successful authors in early January 2008.

You can view the full call for proposals at and can submit your proposals at

As well as peer-reviewed proposals, BlogTalk 2008 will have a number of prominent invited speakers (including Rashmi Sinha of SlideShare and Nova Spivack of Radar Networks, with others to be confirmed).

20071127b.png Mashable recently listed BlogTalk as one of the top 10 events for bloggers in 2008, and you can register for BlogTalk 2008 with Mashable’s 10% discount code “mashtalk”.

Newstalk: Government to use social networking websites to highlight dangers of drugs following Waterford house party

From Ireland’s Newstalk radio news today:

The Government’s planning on using Facebook and Bebo to try to warn people of the dangers of illegal drugs.

The news comes as two people remain in a critical condition in hospital, and more than a dozen others were treated after a 21st birthday party in Waterford.

The Minister for State with responsibility for the National Drugs Strategy says it’s alarming that so many people appeared to have taken drugs at the celebration.

Will OpenSocial enable social network portability?

What does OpenSocial offer in the way of being able to transfer your social network profile and contacts across networks? It’s the question that has been on many lips, from Tim O’Reilly to Tantek Celik, but a hint that this may in fact be possible recently appeared in the OpenSocial documentation for hosting applications with this statement:

Usually your SPI will connect to your own social network, so that an OpenSocial app added to your website automatically uses your site’s data. However, it is possible to use data from another social network as well, should you prefer.

Of course, this will require social networks to enable such functionality, but if done, it could be a step in the right direction.

My reports from the ISWC 2007 and Web 2.0 Expo Tokyo

I’ve written some summaries / transcripts of talks I attended at the recent 6th International Semantic Web Conference in Korea and also the 1st Web 2.0 Expo Tokyo event.

International Semantic Web Conference

Perhaps even better than my transcripts (if you have time) are the video captures of the invited talks, available at Brewster Kahle, Barney Pell, and Chris Welty (which I missed myself).

Web 2.0 Expo Tokyo

You can also read some other reports from Web 2.0 Expo Tokyo by Rob Cawte (1, 2), Daniel Goldman (1), John Mettraux (1), Yuki Naotori (1), Robert Sanzalone (1, 2), Serkan Toto (1), Nasir Sobri (1, 2) and the rest of the IDD / TeDD team (1, 2, 3, 4, 5). There’s also a short video capture of the end of Evan Williams’ conversation with Tim O’Reilly on YouTube.

Seesmic pre-alpha release

20071122a.png (Sorry for the lack of updates recently. I was attending some conferences for the past two weeks, and I will post links to my reports soon.)

As originally rumoured on Scobleizer and announced on TechCrunch recently, Loic Le Meur‘s newest startup called “Seesmic” is a microvlogging service in the style of sites like Twitter (such that it is being referred to as “the video Twitter”).

Dennis Howlett of ZDnet has written a nice overview of Seesmic which makes the important point that if a picture is worth a thousand words (and a video contains many thousands of pictures), then Seesmic is quite different to Twitter in terms of expressivity and what can be conveyed through even a short video message (when compared to 140 characters).

I tried out Seesmic this morning, and quite liked the simple but intuitive interface for creating content and viewing videos (from the public or from friends). The skin is a little bit “gamesy”, but I’m sure this will be customisable very soon. With an emphasis on using your webcam for creating microvlogs and uploading of short .FLV files, I expect that the gallery of videos shown on the left-hand side will soon benefit or suffer from an imaginative usage of video filters, in-shot props or other attractive techniques to garner people’s attention and clicks.

What is also interesting is that Seesmic has decided to adopt our SIOC ontology as one of their “open platform” formats (along with FOAF and DC). In fact, I like their description of SIOC better than anything I’ve managed to come up with so far: “SIOC is an open data format for community description”. Thanks!