FatDoor: Whitepages 2.0?

Just received a message in the last few days from Raj Abhyanker, co-founder of FatDoor. He informs me that they just launched their alpha site at the Ignite session at the Where 2.0 conference in San Jose, California. FatDoor is a new hyperlocal web site focused on discovering who and what’s in your neighborhood.

Highlights:

  • Comes pre-loaded with residential and business data (based on zip code), mashed-up with Microsoft Virtual Earth
  • You can claim your name and position your avatar on your house
  • You can see your various neighbors and their interest via tags but it does not show their address or their phone number for privacy reasons
  • You can contact your neighbors
  • You can modify people’s profile (images, text) a la wiki
  • You can create and join interest groups
  • You can see deals and merchant reviews in your neighborhood (crawled content)
  • You can see events in your neighborhood
  • There is also a point system linked to the contributions you do

What it means: I like the effort as it is visually very beautiful but I’m not sure I completely get it. Although I’m a big fan of hyperlocal, I’m not sure tackling it from the residential side first will allow for more traction. Many people might be frightened to open up to their neighbors about their likes, association, and where they live. In any case, anyone running a residential search site should take a look at it. There are some interesting concepts in there.

Over 70M Blogs Served: Technorati’s State of the Blogosphere

Dave Sifry offers Technorati’s latest state of the blogosphere, one of the best way to size up the growth, the evolution and measure the importance of the blogosphere and other social media. Highlights:

Size of the blogosphere:

Technorati tracks over 70 million blogs (74.9M today), about 120,000 new ones are created worldwide every day.

Mainstream media vs. blogs:

“The number of blogs in the top 100 most popular sites has risen substantially. During Q3 2006 there were only 12 blogs in the Top 100 most popular sites. In Q4, however, there were 22 blogs on the list”

Languages:

“Japanese retakes the top spot from our last report, with 37% (up from 33%) of the posts followed closely by English at 36% (down from 39%). Additionally there was movement in the middle of the top 10 languages, highlighted by Italian overtaking Spanish for the number four spot.”

Tags:

“The bottom line: we’re seeing explosive growth in the tags index. People are clicking on tags, people are using tags, Google features tagged media in its results pages. Tags adoption has become a phenomenon across the Live Web (definition), and we are seeing a correlative explosive growth at Technorati. Technorati is now tracking over 230 million posts using tags or categories, and the number of people who are using tags is growing.” This confirms the Pew Report on tagging we covered in January.

Summary:

  • 70 million weblogs
  • About 120,000 new weblogs each day, or 1.4 new blogs every second
  • 3000-7000 new splogs (fake, or spam blogs) created every day. Peak of 11,000 splogs per day last December
  • 1.5 million posts per day, or 17 posts per second
  • Growing from 35 to 75 million blogs took 320 days
  • 22 blogs among the top 100 blogs among the top 100 sources linked to in Q4 2006 – up from 12 in the prior quarter
  • Japanese the #1 blogging language at 37%, English second at 33%, Chinese third at 8%, Italian fourth at 3%, Farsi a newcomer in the top 10 at 1%
  • English the most even in postings around-the-clock
  • Tracking 230 million posts with tags or categories, 35% of all February 2007 posts used tags, 2.5 million blogs posted at least one tagged post in February

What it means: the blogosphere is now a brilliant and strong standalone ecosystem. I believe it has reached a scale which makes it a viable environment for new business opportunities. I also like the comment about tags as I strongly believe the future of Web information will leverage structured data.

Tagging: Everyone’s Doing It! Are You?

The Pew Internet & American Life Project just released a new report about tagging. The survey has found that “28% of Internet users have tagged or categorized content online such as photos, news stories or blog posts. On a typical day online, 7% of internet users say they tag or categorize online content. ”

What is a tag?

According to Wikipedia, “a tag is a (relevant) keyword or term associated with or assigned to a piece of information (like picture, article, or video clip), thus describing the item and enabling keyword-based classification of information it is applied to.”

Who are the taggers?

According to the survey, “Taggers look like classic early adopters of technology. They are more likely to be under age 40, and have higher levels of education and income. Taggers are considerably more likely to have broadband connections at home, rather than dial-up connections. Men and women are equally likely to be taggers, while online minorities are a bit more likely than whites to be taggers.”

In addition, there is also an interesting interview with David Weinberger (co-author of the Cluetrain Manifesto). Asked “What started the current interest in tagging? He answers: “First, tagging lets us organize the vastness of the Web. Second, tagging is social.” He’s also working on a new book: Everything Is Miscellaneous: The Power of the New Digital Disorder

(found via David Weinberger’s blog)

What it means: Those numbers are definitely higher than I thought they would be. Ever since I started blogging (a short three months ago!), I’ve discovered the power of tags. Not only do tags help organize your content, they help others find your content through search engines or other sites like Technorati or Del.icio.us. Coming from the business directory (“Yellow Pages”) world, I believe the future marriage of taxonomy and tags (folksonomy) will create a much stronger online categorization system. As more and more people start tagging content, any web site owner with structured data needs to allow their users to tag the information. BTW, David’s book seems fascinating. I wonder if one of my readers has received an advanced copy and could comment on it?