One of my favorite sites the last few months is Technorati.
Here’s part of the reason why:
For example, the blogosphere often “lights up” with respect to a particular topic (e.g., the President’s National Guard scandal, rollout of the iPod mini at MacWorld Expo, etc.) in response to a recent article or news report.
That is, many bloggers start “conversing” about the topic in response to the breaking of the news in the mainstream media.
Not only does the present invention enable tracking of these conversations, it also enables the identification of individuals who were talking about the topic before release of the news.
As will be understood, the ability to identify such “conversation starters” or influencers relating to particular topics is extremely valuable from a number of perspectives.
I really like this notion of capturing conversations. The snippet is from the patent application assigned to Technorati Inc., titled Ecosystem method of aggregation and search and related techniques.
What makes Technorati different from other search engines? It’s the ecosystem. To quote the patent application:
The ecosystem of the present invention represents a fundamental paradigm shift in the way in which data are aggregated and made searchable.
Instead of the conventional paradigm of simply inserting data in one side of a database and then pulling it from the other, the universe of data on the Internet and the Web may be conceptualized and monitored as “streams” of information.
Very simple, very fast applications (e.g., event listeners and data receptors) are constructed which do nothing but look for and capture specific streams of information which are then indexed, stored, and made searchable in near real time.
And because these applications are all operating in parallel, the information for any given “stream” does not need to be first pulled out of some large data warehouse before it can be made available
The patent application notes some potential uses for these different streams of information, and how they can benefit different users. One example is that it can be used to find the most influential or authoritative people on specific subjects that are presently being discussed on the web.