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Tim Callan | 27 Oct 2005 | 0 comments

Tom Forenski gives voice to a growing sentiment in the blogosphere: search engine crawling for many sites is a net negative. The bandwidth and computing costs of servicing crawlers are often hard to justify in light of the identifiable traffic they bring.

The problem is much more pronounced in the blogosphere than in the wider web. If a user navigates to once, initial from a Google search page, and returns via bookmark 15 times over the next month, the traffic from Google would show as 6.25% of this user’s traffic. If the user in question returns another 15 times over the next month, the Google referral traffic for that month drops to zero, and the two month share is reduced to just over 3%.  The specific figures aren’t...

Tim Callan | 25 Oct 2005 | 0 comments

Maybe you noticed, maybe you didn’t, but early this morning, around midnight eastern standard time, the home page of recent pings for stopped displaying new pings. Inbound pings continued to be accepted and recorded throughout; the problems encountered affected the service’s ability to publish the received pings out to subscribers.

The problem was diagnosed and remedied early this morning. If you click on the “hourly” update links for early this morning (at the bottom of the home page), you will see a large number of pings published at the 7am hourly update (WARNING: this is a huge file).  These are the accumulated pings that were received while the “output” side of the service was having problems.  Systems and subscribers that have been consuming changes.xml and shortChanges.xml during this period should be up to date....

Tim Callan | 17 Oct 2005 | 0 comments

Today, VeriSign announced the acquisition of For almost a year, we’ve been thinking, watching and discussing (internally and externally) what’s been happening in the blogosphere. By early spring, several trends emerged that were important to us:

  • rapid, sustained growth of blogs
  • convergence of mainstream news and corporate data with feed-based publishing
  • increasing levels of spam in the blogosphere

The blogosphere was growing fast, and would soon outgrow its own infrastructure, and at the same time it was beginning to transcend the term “blogosphere” and establish itself as the new framework for Internet publishing for all kinds of information and content. In short, the blogosphere was going...

Tim Callan | 13 Oct 2005 | 0 comments

Dave Winer points out that BART now offers an RSS Feed. Here's a screenshot of a recent Yahoo! render:


That's progress, I guess. But here's the type of info I wish BART would stream in an RSS feed:


BART has a stream of events and information that is of interest to BART riders that they should surface through RSS. I'm not interested in subscribing to a BART email list, but I would like to have a BART feed with the latest "traffic tips" to check before I head home. If I'm up in the morning and I see entries of significant delays on the Pleasanton-Daly City line, I might decide to drive into the city -- parking hassle and all -- rather than ride BART.


Tim Callan | 12 Oct 2005 | 0 comments

Qumana has a series of posts that report on the result of a survey they’ve run across their users about advertising on blogs. Two Interesting questions they are asking:

1. Which is more effective: contextual ads or keyword-based ads?

2. Do add in RSS feeds work, or are ads only effective on the blog pages?

Keyword-based ads are ads that are matched against author-supplied tags for the content. Contextual ads are the same, only software analyzers are used to automatically deduce the contextual metadata. All things being equal, a human...

Tim Callan | 12 Oct 2005 | 0 comments

Via Dave Winer, here’s an interesting post by Rogers Cadenhead, who worked on with Dave over the past several months.  He closes with this:

Rogers Cadenhead

One thing I'd like to see is a real-time search engine built only on the last several hours of pings, which could be a terrific current news service if compiled intelligently. While I was running W eblogs.Com, I wanted to use my brief moment as the king of pings to extend the API, which VeriSign appears to be considering, but Dave didn't want to mess with things while companies were loading a truck with money and asking for directions to his house.
I want to pursue these ideas, either independently or in concert with...

Tim Callan | 12 Oct 2005 | 0 comments

A tip o’ the hat to Stowe Boyd who has coined the (now obvious) term pingwidth.  In his comments replying to my earlier post:

I agree. It is very bad mojo. But we still are going to wind up with a 'pro' version -- for extra cash -- with all the fancy bells and whistles (geolocation, etc.) and more 'pingwidth' than the basic stuff. (Yes, I did say 'pingwidth'. You heard it here first.)

I agree with this. We’ve been talking about ‘fat pings’ versus ‘thin pings’ for some time. The narrowest ping in terms of pingwidth would be just a URL indicating the feed that changed. Current pings submitted through are only marginally thicker. The basic ping through has...

Tim Callan | 11 Oct 2005 | 0 comments

Reviews of Yahoo!’s launch of its blog search have been mixed. Most of the discussion has been about the quality of the blog search itself, which obviously is an important consideration. But what’s interesting to me is Yahoo!’s decision to integrate blog search right into their regular news search. This has two important effects. First, it will introduce blog search to millions who are unaware of Technorati, Ice Rocket, Bloglines or a host of other blog search tools. Yahoo! has brought feeds to the masses on their My Yahoo! pages. Now, the search tools will address the content they are reading from their subscribed RSS feeds. Second, it blurs the line between news and blogs. TheYahoo! team sees what I see: that over time the news/blog distinction will become increasingly arbitrary.

Tim Callan | 11 Oct 2005 | 0 comments

VeriSign and eBay announced a deal with eBay yesterday. VeriSign's payment business, which is how I came to VeriSign, has been acquired by eBay. Good luck to all in the payments team!

Tim Callan | 07 Oct 2005 | 0 comments

A couple of comments reaction to the evolving discussion of VeriSign’s acquisition of the ping service…

DISCLAIMER: My comments on this blog are not official VeriSign service announcements. Repeat, not official service announcements. They reflect my understanding and attitude on the matter, but just that: I’m just one person on a large team.  Please keep that in mind generally on this blog, and specifically for the comments below.

·        Niall Kennedy writes:

I expect VeriSign will introduce an authentication certificate for ping submissions to its servers. One possible upsell on the listening side is the ability to be alerted to a blog update before anyone else, similar to how stock market systems delay stock quotes to non-...