Yet Another Sign Blogs Are Here To Stay
Dave Sifry’s excited about the first ever Technorati User Group (TUG) meeting to be held tonight in SF. So that’s actually SFTUG to be proper.
I must admit that if I was Dave I’d be excited too. It’s not every day that you’re able to develop a [tool / service / application] or whatever you want to call it, that people are so excited about they get together to discuss the possibilities of it on their own free time. It reminds me of ColdFusion User Groups and the excitement around the meetings.
It also makes me think about the bigger picture and what this tiny event means in the ever changing landscape of the internet and blogs in general. We’re entering a new and exciting phase, not only from a marketing perspective but from a social networking and information distribution perspective. This SFTUG meeting represents a fundamental shift in the focus of developers everywhere. When the dot com bubble was still inflating developers were working on all sorts of applications but the only feature those apps shared was diversity. Meaning, there was so much opportunity for new sites and apps because there were few authorities online in almost all verticals that you could literally develop a mortgage calculator and be famous nearly overnight. If you even think about developing a mortgage calculator now you’ll be the laughing stock of your coworkers. Now that we have authorities in most fields online from search engine marketing to NBA insiders its not as easy to develop an app and become famous overnight.
That being said, there’s a new and emerging sector online that’s maturing before our very eyes and that’s blogs. From blog search engines like Technorati & Feedster to blog aggregators like Bloglines to OddPost err MyYahoo. And with the rise in popularity of API‘s and geeks like me who can’t get enough data its a very exciting time. Technorati is capitalizing off of this and doing it well.
First off they’re pulling great data from blogs and they’re opening up their data coffers to anyone who registers for an account and download the sdk. So now, instead of developers meeting to discuss a specific language of code, they’re discussing APIs and the possibilities that lie in those APIs. Do you have any idea what that means? Do you see a pattern emerging? Blogs and APIs accomplish the same thing. The common man may be an expert with a single post or a single application. That’s what I call maturing. Yes programming languages and their progression is critical but they’re becoming more and more robust. Allowing smaller and smaller companies to create APIs and benefit from their loyal user communities to get ideas for features and enhancements. That’s going to be the secret sauce of data-centric startups now and possibly for good.
With that I must say I’m really excited about Blogs, APIs and companies like Technorati that are aggregating data in real time and opening it up to anyone interested in using it. Information technology companies that don’t think about this fundamental shift in data mining and analysis will be left behind in the next 2 – 3 years. Don’t believe me? Do your own research and see what conclusions you draw.
Jason Dowdell is a technology entrepreneur and operates the Marketing Shift blog.