Technorati, tags, and making sense of the web


Over the last week, Technorati‘s reports on the state of the blogosphere have received massive press attention. The focus has been on the raw numbers – Technorati tracks 14.7 million blogs, and the number of blogs doubles approximately every 5.5 months. One of the other reports, on blog tags, has received far less attention. Blog platforms usually allow bloggers to create categories in which to allocate their postings. Given the millions of people who are each creating their own taxonomy for structuring information, this is implicitly creating a bottom-up means of making sense of a world of almost-infinite information. There’s a very nice movie of the growth in tags (12.2MB) that gives a sense of how this has developed at a stunning pace over just the last 6 months since Technorati started tracking tags. For those not familiar with it, Technorati is a blog search engine, that in real-time keeps track of what is being written by bloggers about what, what is emerging, effectively uncovering the current stream of consciousness of the global brain. Other good blog search engines are MIT Media Lab‘s Blogdex and Daypop, where I tend to look at the media stories currently most broadly referenced by bloggers worldwide.