Minnebar: Social Search in the Corporate Environment

Now in the 10am session on Social Search in the Corporate Environment here at Minnebar.

Presenter is Rich from Honeywell Labs – he built the first websites for Honeywell back before the graphical website days when most folks were browsing using Lynx and other text online web browsers.

Original blogging platform at Honeywell was Movable Type under their commercial license approach – we’ll find out in a bit if he’s still using that internally. Session will be focused on social media and search within a large corporation.

Honeywell using alot of open source based software within the firewall for social media and social work.

Appears that they are using Connectbeam for social media search inside the firewall – and also using a Google Search Appliance for internal search. Mmm, I’d love one of those at some of my clients.

Connectbeam integrates with Exchange Server, if that’s your poison, and integrates with internal Google search appliances as well as external Google searches as well. It’s not an issue integrating services like LinkedIn, Facebook, and others into the Connectbeam platform. Interesting..

Unfortunately, his projector is not working so we may go without any live examples…

<5 minutes later> PROJECTOR IS NOW BACK UP. Yay

Connectbeam appears to integrate directly into Google Search and other search engines – displays bar on the right with related internal content and tags…

10 licenses for $1k – rather cheaper than what I would have probably expected.. upcoming versions will have RSS feeds and an API…

Confluence is their wiki platform – $3k for a license… 16,000+ users are contributing to their wiki..

Wiki has a tag cloud already associated with it – plus can be tagged for use within ConnectBeam..also has a Sharepoint 07 tie-in.. very semantic web connections here… looks like the goal is to provide discovery within the enterprise..

Honeywell has tried for years to build a skills database to let folks connect with each other – the tagging within Connectbeam has really fulfilled that function.. Senior leaders (direct reports of CEO) are using the system to some extent – and want to foster more connectivity amongst individual contributors throughout the company…

Using some simple windows based feed readers inside the firewall – doing this to read competitive intelligence feeds and other RSS feeds within the corporation…

technical library showing information on various pre-built RSS feeds on key topics for research to keep team members and employees informed on their competition, etc.. using Compendex Plus for some of this (license fee involved)…

Honeywell running daily rss searches/google searches on the names of key engineers at their competitors

Rich’s blog is at eContent.

Twingly: “The future of media is conversation”

Last weekend at The Next Web Conference in Amsterdam I spoke with Anton Johansson and CEO Martin Källström from the new blog search engine Twingly. They present themselves as a new spam-free blog search engine with a strong focus on the conversational nature of the blogosphere.

TwinglyLorelle VanFossen recently addressed the issue of spam in blog search engines and keeping their index spam free is one of the main objectives of Twingly. On top of that they focus on conversational search in the blogosphere by partnering with traditional media. They have closed several deals with major newspapers in Europe which provide links to the blogs that reference them. This is another step in showing the two-way links between blogs and online newspapers. Their main competitor in this area is of course Sphere but Twingly focuses on different markets. Read all about their ideas to start another blog search engine in the following interview and grab a special Blog Herald beta invite code while you can!

[Read more…]

Blog Writing with Keyword Map Searches

KWMap diary search term chart

Earlier this week, I introduced you to the search engine, with tips on how it can be used to brainstorm and research blog content. Today, I want to showcase the , a visual keyword map search engine.

KWMap is different as it graphically charts out relationships to your search term or phrase. It’s invaluable for exploring those relationships for brainstorming and research, giving you a new perspective on your search.
[Read more…]

Using Clusty For Blog Content and Research

Clusty logo

Clusty logoGoogle is not the end all and be all of search engines. There are actually some better and more efficient search engines out there, and there are different types of search engines worthy of your attention. Especially when it comes to researching and writing blog content.

is a cluster search engine. Carnegie Mellon computer science researchers began researching search clusters in the 1990s and eventually brought the first “high-quality text clustering search engine” online through Vivisimo in 2000. The idea behind clustering is to gather related information into groups or folders, thus directing the searcher to more specific information rather than just a big list. The result eventually became Clusty.

Wikipedia describes cluster analysis as:
[Read more…]

The Blogosphere is Defined By Technology

Chris Garrett wrote in ‘Why Blogging is Not About Technology‘ that instead of focusing on technology we should focus on people. Kevin added in the comments that blogging is about sharing information and Lorelle VanFossen added that blogging is about (reader) interaction. An important blogging technology that enables us to share our information is the site feed. While the practice of blogging is not about technology the blogosphere heavily depends on this technology.

[Read more…]

EatonWeb to Phase Out PageRank in its Metrics Computation

Google’s latest PageRank update caused a ruckus in the blogosphere because many high profile or popular blogs have had significant drops in ranking. While experts will tell you that PageRank is not the end-all and be-all of blogging, it still is a big factor, especially when it comes to marketing and advertising. This means advertisers still look for sites with good PR juice, and ad placement rates are still PR-dependent in many cases.

However, there are other metrics by which you can determine how good a blog is performing. Earlier this year, Splashpress Media relaunched the EatonWeb Blog directory and introduced the momentum metric.

Now, EatonWeb is radically changing the way it values blogs’ performance by devaluing the role of Google PageRank from its own algorithm, mostly because of how Google manually penalized sites in the recent PR update.

Google has been systematically introducing the equivalent of theoretical epicycles to its display of PageRank to the public, and we think it’s about time to face the facts. You can’t manually penalize hundreds of influential sites and expect to be used as a reliable source of information any longer.

In fact, we believe that PageRank epicycles are chinks in the Google armor and that Google needs to make a major strategical decision going forward to preserve its influence in the webmaster community. And in the end, it’s going to come down to whether Google can accurately determine the value of each independent link, buffering the outflow of poor quality links, rather than inaccurately painting an artificially depressed picture of site authority.

Google PageRank is no longer considered a reliable indicator of importance in the blogosphere. In this light, EatonWeb is not necessarily taking PR completely out of its measurement, but only devaluing the weight of PR in the EatonWeb metrics.

The EatonWeb directory measures blog peformance using over a dozen individual metrics from a variety of sources. The EatonWeb momentum metric gives a measure of relative growth over time at any given point. The overall metric, meanwhile, is the result of combining the strength and momentum metrics, and shows a blog’s overall quality. This is considered the best means of valuing a blog taking into consideration both age and growth in one measurement.

What’s the Score on the Latest Google PR Crunch?

If you’ve been reading up on the blogosphere lately, then you would probably be aware of the latest Google PageRank drops that several high-profile sites and blogs have been experiencing since the past couple of days. For one, the Blog Herald itself among a few of our other sites had been badly hit–from a PR 6 to a PR4. Hey, that’s lower than my own personal blog, and for that matter a lot of other blogs out there, including MFA and spam blogs, to be frank.

Other sites–notably high-profile blogs–have been hit, too. And these are not only the blogs, but also popular mainstream media sites, with several very trustworty newspaper sites included. Does that mean Google now deems them–and us–less trustworthy?

What’s the score with this latest PageRank crunch? Are we being penalized for monetizing links? Are we being penalized for bad inter-linking practices? These are the speculations as to what is most likely the reason behind the PR drops.

Andy Beard says these “favorites” have likely been slapped by Google for either (or both) selling links or extensive interlinking within one’s network.

Many of the reputable sources that have received a penalty are part of extensive blog networks, and they have one factor in common. They have massive interlinking between their network sites.

They may also sell links or advertising that passes PageRank on some of their less visible properties, but those properties benefit from the high pagerank sites that link to them, with sitewide links.

It is also being argued whether this is a PageRank update in general, or if Google is just penalizing a few, select sites for going against the Google guideline against artificially jacking up rankings through paid link schemes or link exchanges.

Some blog networks have been affected, while some have not. Those that exercise extensive intra-linking in their blogrolls, like b5media (via Technosailor), 9rules (via Scrivs) and Weblogs, Inc. were highly affected. Others that weren’t much into this practice were left mostly unscathed (if at all affected), such as Bloggy Network.

Whether it’s one thing or the other (as I’m not sure if anyone has actually confirmed the root cause as of this writing), one thing is for sure. Google has just shaken up the online economy. And I say this both as an economist and as a manager of a new media network.

Fact is that around the behemoth search and advertising company Google is built a secondary economy. Blogs and websites use PageRank as one primary metric for reputation and trustworthiness. Many site owners bank on their sites’ or domains’ PageRank, and use these to command or negotiate advertising rates.

It’s like the gold standard applied online. And with this mass PR drop, Google has just devalued the webmasters’ gold. In effect, Google has just caused the value of this thriving industry to fall in a single day. What was a thriving economy is being rendered worth less (while not worthless, of course).

But then again, we can argue that this economy is artificial in the first place–with people putting too much premium on PageRank, and especially with people putting a price tag on PR. But in that case, wouldn’t Google still be morally (and legally?) liable for killing off its competition? Do keep in mind that Google runs its own advertising program and is at the top of its game.

Other new media networks that were affected have expressed they are keeping their heads up high and will continue to cope and thrive. Likewise we at Splashpress Media admit it won’t be easy to overcome this challenge, but we know we will survive and move on and forward. It would take a little shift in strategies and priorities, sure. We live in a changing world. And with the fast-changing nature of new media, we should also know how to adapt well and keep in tune with the times.

Splashpress Media Acquires Blog Search Engine

Splashpress Media has recently acquired yet another blog-related new media property: Blog Search Engine. Originally owned by Loren Baker of Search Engine Journal, the deal was done for an undisclosed amount via private bidding.

Blog Search Engine is described as “a living and breathing search engine of blogs which brings you posts from over 10,000,000 blogs in our IceRocket powered search results.” Relevant results are listed in reverse chronological order–blog style.

Splashpress Media plans to overhaul Blog Search Engine with the help of design guru Thord Daniel Hedengren, who has done several other designs for the network’s various blogs and portals. The site will then be re-launched as a service that will compliment the EatonWeb Blog Directory.

Disclaimer: Splashpress Media is the owner of the Blog Herald.