Daily Archives: September 25, 2007

Using Technorati to see what people are saying about your blog, and more.

Technorati is a valuable tool, and also a social network, that you can use to see what people are saying about your blog.

I have written about Technorati in prior posts; see The Word-Press Project, Word-press project initial status report”, Welcome back Thomas Friedman: Smart Guy #5, Moving up the long tail, no-account accounting 2006-12-08, On social networking: The Wayward Women Internet Technologists, Reflections on one hundred days of blogging, A not so gaping void, posted about a year ago; and — more recently — Installing Lotus Symphony on Windows XP, On Being a Celebrity: Till Death Do We Part?, and Dave Shields’s — Bikers, Bloggers, Writers.

Technorati is both a way to learn what people are saying about your blog and a social network. It is easy to use. You just create an account and point Technorati to your blog. It will then track the links that others make to your blog. WordPress has a similar function but I have found Technorati’s to be more complete.

See for example, my Technorati page, Everything in the known universe about The Wayward Word Press.

You can also search technorati to see what folks are saying about the topics you are interested in; for example, blog posts about open-source and blog posts about dave-shields.

Technorati was founded by David Sifry, who was once the CEO of Linuxcare. I visited their booth at the first LinuxWorld in San Jose in March, 1999, and recall the booth well as the the folks were dressed in white lab coats. Sifry’s name rings a bell, so I expect I spoke with him then. You can learn more about him via Technorati Management, his blog Sifry’s Alerts, How to Change the World: Ten Questions with David Sifry, Technorati Founder and CEO Chats with BusinessWeek.

Technorati struggled on; see Big computing flexes Linux muscle (2002), but eventually went belly-up, IBM Marries Linux to Outsourcing (the latter post comes from SoftPanorama.org, a valuable site that will be the subject of a forthcoming post.) I understand that IBM then hired some of LinuxCare’s former employees, some of whom continue to work for IBM’s Linux Technology Center (LTC) today.

Though it was sad to see LinuxCare fail — the Linux market was then too small — it is good news to see that we have Technorati as a result.

Dave Shields’s — Bikers, Bloggers, Writers

While preparing a forthcoming post on Technorati I reviewed my previous posts that made mention of Technorati, and came across a comment I had never noticed before, posted last December. If you look at the comments for Word-press project initial status report, you will find:


Hey Jikes,
This is Bikes. Ever ride trikes? Or do you prefer hikes? Yikes, this is bizarre message is not one I likes.
Dave Shields

Whoops. I should have proofed my poem before hitting send. How did that extra “is” find it’s way into my last sentence?

Though I am sorry it took so long, let me now say, from one Dave Shields to another, “Thanks, Dave.”

David Shields's/Dave Shields writing a post about David Shields’s

I refer to the commenter Dave Shields as “Biker Dave,” though in my post I relayed some adventures from my own days when I rode a Yahama YDS2 motorcycle, the most fun vehicle I have ever owned.

Biker Dave writes about bicycling and has published several books about it. According to his web site Dave Shields — The Author’s Official Site, Dave is the “2005 Benjamin Franklin Award winner for Best New Voice in Fiction!” Congratulations, Dave! Also, note that the link of your web site to pma-online.org no longer works.

There is another David Shields who has published several books, David Shields — Author Website. I saw a copy of his novel “Heroes” in the remainder section of a bookstore many years ago (sorry to bring you the bad news, David) and bought a copy so I could put it on my bookshelf, so in a Stephen-Potter sort of way I could say when someone asked of it, “Yes, David Shields writes novels. This is the first.” [1]

I have always gone by Dave Shields, and it was because David Shields had already made claim to that name on the web that I use “daveshields” or “dave shields” to identify myself on the web.

All three Dave’s are bloggers:


1. Stephen Potter was one of the great humorists of the last century. My mother was a big admirer of his work and first exposed me to it before I turned ten. He is best known for his book “Gamesmanship,” of which Wikipedia says:

He published Gamesmanship in 1947, the first of his books that purport to teach “ploys” for manipulating one’s associates, especially making them feel inferior and thereby gaining the status of being “one-up” on them.

For example, he suggested that, when playing chess, the knight should always be moved first, followed by the casual comment, “Chigorin likes knights, as do I.”

I put this strategy to work in a meeting of our high school chess club a few years later. After a few desultory moves, I casually tipped over my king, saying, “It’s over. I see you have mate in ten moves. Congratulations.” My opponent was infuriated; I was happy the ploy had worked.

I see by his Wikipedia entry that Stephen collaborated with Joyce Grenfell, another of the great British humorists, and also an accomplished actress. I saw some of her films as a child, including “Laughter in Paradise,” “The Pickwick Papers,” “The Million Pound Note,” and “The Belles of St. Trinian’s.” Writing their names, as I have just done, brought many memories of much laughter while seeing them.

My mother worked for the theater chain in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Their nearest theater was the Lobo, just a short walk from our apartment (we didn’t have a car), and I saw many of the classic British comedies as a boy: “Lavender Hill Mob,” “Kind Hearts and Coronets,” “Passport to Pimlico,” and “The Titfield Thunderbolt,” among others. I also saw “The Man in the White Suit, ” a cautionary tale on the unforeseen consequences of technological innovation, and the source of two of the great sounds in cinema — the sound made by the machine invented by the hero of the tale (played by Alec Guiness) and one of the sexiest voices you will ever hear, that of Joan Greenwood.

I saw many movies as a child since I was able to get in for free just by signing my name. I also got to meet some wonderful people. Blanche Hatton was the manager of both the Lobo and the Hiland Theater, just a few blocks from my high school. Joe Abuzelman also managed the Hiland and later owned a Dairy Queen on Central Avenue in the Nob Hill District. My mother and I ate there often while I was attending Highland High School. Joe was fun to talk to and also made the best hamburgers I have ever had.

The best theater building was that of the Kimo, notable for its “Pueblo Deco Style.” My mother worked in the Sunshine building, where I first saw “High Noon,” and “The Man From Laramie” (much of it was filmed near Albuquerque.)

On Being a Celebrity: Till Death Do We Part?

I published a post yesterday about the recent passing of a great artist, Marcel Marceau, Renowned Mime, Dies at 84.

In that post I placed Marceau in the triumvirate of the greatest mimes of the twentieth century, with Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin. Of Chaplin, I wrote:

Charlie Chaplin was the most famous. Indeed, he was the first “celebrity” created by the film industry to achieve truly global fame. I read his autobiography many years ago and recall well his recounting of a train trip from New York to Los Angeles during his first visit to the United States (he began his career in England). As the train arrived in a small town he saw hundreds of people waiting at the station, and was amazed to learn they were there just to see him.

I noted a few hours later that my post had been linked to by Celebrity, a site devoted to the cult of celebrity that has so many followers. Trying to find the link, I examinded its recent links, and found therein such goodies as:

I scanned several more pages of equally trivial posts yet could not find mine about Marceau. Then I went over to my Technorati page, Everything in the known universe about The Wayward Word Press and learned the link from Celebrity was:

The Celebrity Death Toll Update wrote an interesting post today on Here’s a quick excerpt Indeed, he was the first “celebrity” created by the film industry to achieve truly global fame. I read his autobiography many years ago and recall well his recounting of a train trip from

It then took only a couple of minutes to find Celebrity’s Death Toll Update, a vivid reminder that celebrities live on even after their deaths; for example, Chaplin died on Christmas Day, 1977, almost thirty years ago.

It makes one wonder if this focus on celebrities, especially in the 24×7 coverage provided about the current crop by so many cable channels, will be the death of us.

If so, least Jon Stewart and his colleagues on The Daily Show will provide the last laugh from beyond the grave.

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