Thursday, December 11, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Saturday, September 8, 2007
CS 855 Futuring and Innovation
CS 855 Futuring and Innovation
So, this is the week 11 activity for explaining “How I spent my summer vacation” (remember writing that paper at the start of every school year in grade school??)
This however, was a different kind of “vacation”. We embarked on a trip to alternate environments, new horizons, and fascinating discovery as we are learning to become experts in computer science (including predicting the future).
Where we started:
We began with an exceptionally renowned lecturer, Dr. William Halal in our July residency who gave us some basics about this topic of “futuring”. Dr. Halal helped us to begin to understand the forces operating within and around the technology revolution. This series of lectures covered the highlights of Dr. Halal’s think-tank “TechCast”, the folks at BT.com (Ian Nelid and Ian Pearson), the Internet and world-wide-web, popular science and technology magazines, world experts, and newsletters such as the Harrow Report and Peter Cochrane who have crafted a fairly comprehensive listing of predictions in the areas of
- Artificial Intelligence and Artificial Life
- Biotechnology, Health, and Medicine
- Business and Education
- Environment and Countryside
- Home and Office Infrastructure
- Life and Leisure in a Cyberspace World
- Machine Input/Output
- Materials and Electronic Devices
- Processing, Memory, and Storage
- Security, Military, and Law
- Shopping and Money
- Transport and Travel
- Wearable Technology
- Wild Cards
These predictions/forecasts were laid out for us and expounded upon by Dr. Halal and we had some vigorous discussion regarding many of them with the few days we had to share with Dr. Halal. The interesting thing he reminded us about forecasts (besides making certain we don’t call them predictions—he insisted we leave “predictions” to fortune tellers not professional forecasters) is that many of the forecasts may seem like science fiction, but as the great scientist Arthur C. Clarke said: “…Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic…” (Clarke’s third law—Profiles of the Future by Arthur C Clarke--Original edition first published in 1962.)
Some of the other important points that were brought up from Dr. Halal’s visit lead us to think of how our children will view and interact with their world—we will likely do many of the same basic things in life, but in terms of how we do them, we may as well be on different planets due to the future of technology. One very interesting quote from Dr. Halal’s lecture material stated “The future comes to us all at 60 minutes per hour, but (forecasting the future) allows us to look a bit further up the road and see what could be happening…” (Quote from either Ian Pearson or Ian Nelid—the source was not clear)
In the book, “The Fortune Sellers”, William Sherdan states that there are basically sixteen different types of forecasts (economic, weather, stock market, population, technology, and so on) and only two could be counted on reliably (one-day ahead weather forecasts and the aging of the population) and only ONE of them has any scientific foundation—short-term weather forecasting. He states the remainder are “…typically based on conjecture, unproved theory, and the mere extrapolation of past trends…”
Dr. Halal continues these same thoughts by admonishing us
“…some contend methods like this are subjective, whereas quantitative methods are more precise. The fallacy of this argument lies in seeing that quantitative methods also involve large amounts of uncertainty because they require underlying assumptions that are often doubtful…Experts may have their own bias, naturally, but it is usually distributed normally, washing out in the aggregate results…”
To this, from Sherdan’s “The Fortune Sellers”, I.F. Clarke, a future historian of future thinking characterizes bias as follows:
“Traditional beliefs, professional attitudes, customary roles, inherited symbols, sectional and national interests—these make it extraordinarily difficult for all but the most original of minds to break away from patterns of thought and go voyaging on the unknown seas of the future. In consequence, it is a rare forecast that makes any allowance for the essential waywardness of human affairs and does not insist on a strict continuity between the self-evident present and the evidential future.”
All of this is somewhat summed up by Sherdan discussing the cost of forecast error. He stated that the approximately $200 BILLION DOLLARS that consumers and businesses spend on predictions bear significant financial risk when “they use faulty forecasts to make important decisions. As individuals, we pay a large psychological cost when doom-and-gloom (see Malthus) predictions gives us needless anxiety. Then, there is the cost of just plain being duped.” So in other words, many predictions/forecasts have failed and some have been successful, but all have significant cost. The success of our ability to forecast the future then, will be somewhat determined by what we study from the past, so we began…
Where we went:
We studied the past, present, and future of forecasting and futuring with emphasis and analysis on failed and successful predictions to determine what we can apply to our own futuring abilities.
We embarked upon learning the “future” of the Internet and World-Wide-Web by exploring the newest “bleeding-edge” tools commonly known as Web2.0. We did all of our work in Blogs and in SecondLife (If you don’t know about SecondLife, go here to read what news sources are saying and find out more)
to immerse us in the daily activity of advanced technology. We explored many types of Web2.0 tools to add skills to our personal toolkits—some were familiar and some were quite new to me, but ALL were extremely exciting!
I totally loved the idea of using blogs for this course because of the many benefits blogs offer, most notably: EASE of USE—casual communication style, feedback from many others as opposed to only your class, WIDE dissemination of subject matter/topics (its on the Internet!), Open audience, Interactive style, NO RULES, No previous knowledge required for using most blogging software.
The listing of my blogs for this course was:
I was amazed by some of the tools my classmates and peers found, so while I was looking for clipart pix for the above collage, I stumbled on (but not by using stumbleopon.com) this fantastic “directory” of 2.0 tools.
If there’s a listing of Web2.0 tools available, it may be here--
Here’s a site that we ALL must get familiar with: GO2WEB20.NET
Where we’re going:
Why did we do this?
The emphasis on learning new and innovative tools and skills will assist us in defining the future of technology and other areas that we may become involved in after graduation from Colorado Technical University.
Our goals were to identify and discuss the models of innovation, make informed predictions on industry trends and future directions, identify organizational structures that support or hinder future change, identify the means through which innovation is diffused and disseminated within an organization and throughout society.
Some of my favorite quotes on futuring and innovation:
“Just as energy is the basis of life itself, and ideas the source of innovation, so is innovation the vital spark of all human change, improvement and progress”
“To stay ahead, you must have your next idea waiting in the wings.”
~Rosabeth Moss Cantor
“Keeping a little ahead of conditions is one of the secrets of business”
“Innovation is not the product of logical thought, although the result is tied to logical structure.”
“I believe in being an innovator.”
To close out, the Sherdan book “The Fortune Tellers” reminds us that one of the biggest challenges in assessing the validity of a prediction is to question whether our own judgment about the prediction is clouded by personal beliefs and predispositions. “Is our belief in a prediction a function of hearing what we want to hear?” For example, the chronic pessimist (ME) is much more likely to believe an economist who issues a negative forecast.
Sherdan stated that our propensity to believe in predictions consistent with our own beliefs is often exploited by charlatans using what is called the Barnum effect, named in honor of the master showman and trickster who advised other tricksters to “…have a little something in it for everyone…” This tactic is central to the art of astrology where the believability of predictions or personality analysis is enhanced by including general observation in which customers can see themselves or relate to.
The one major thing I think I learned is that paradoxically, our future lives are seemingly more influenceable than predictable. Although one can never really know how his/her life will evolve, it is surely possible to influence the evolution of one’s life to achieve certain aims and goals. If there is something to be gained by heeding the message, “Que Sera ,Sera” (What shall be, shall be), it is that we should not take ourselves so seriously in the light of the fact that our futures will be filled with uncertainty and, in large part, shaped by chance events and luck (except for us who believe that God directs our paths and leads us if we are obedient in following his word—no luck involved with God).
In spite of that, it seems that we can choose to lead lives that somehow flexibly adapt to unforeseen changes, and ambitious and motivated individuals can influence their futures by striving to make things happen. It’s all about making decisions and choices to shape your own future.
And the future, according to a famous movie line, is yet to be written…
Thursday, September 6, 2007
The ever-expanding universe of the forecasted fate of my blog. (huh?)
Or at least how my focus has centered on one of my predictions based on my research…
The week 9 and 10 activity/project for expanding my predictions includes many of the blogged topics we have covered in CS855 Socio-Technical Futuring (now, Futuring and Innovation). But specifically, I will be introducing Nanotechnology and how I believe the future of very many processes, systems, and manufactured items will be touched by this exciting new frontier. In the old TV series, Star Trek, William Shatner (Captain James T. Kirk) of the starship Enterprise would always narrate the story at the beginning for each episode and explain how “…Space…is the final frontier…”; if (outer) Space is the final frontier, then I propose that (inner) Space is the next closest thing—if we are to truly reach out and explore new worlds in our galaxy and beyond, we must first expand our knowledge of how our inner space works through this new science of Nanotechnology…
Nanotechnology is an emerging and promising field of research, loosely defined as the study of functional structures with dimensions in the 1-1000 nanometer range. (Rice 2007) Certainly, many organic chemists have designed and fabricated such structures for decades via chemical synthesis. During the last decade, however, developments in the areas of surface microscopy, silicon fabrication, biochemistry, physical chemistry, and computational engineering have converged to provide remarkable capabilities for understanding, fabricating and manipulating structures at the atomic level.
Research in nanoscience is exploding, both because of the intellectual allure of constructing matter and molecules one atom at a time, and because the new technical capabilities permit creation of materials and devices with significant societal impact. The rapid evolution of this new science and the opportunities for its application promise that Nanotechnology will become one of the dominant technologies of the 21st century. “Nanotechnology represents a central direction for the future of chemistry that is increasingly interdisciplinary and ecumenical in application.”(Rice 2007)
There seem to be three distinct “nanotechnologies” or fields of Nanotechnology:
1. "Wet" Nanotechnology, which is the study of biological systems that exist primarily in a water environment. The functional nanometer-scale structures of interest here are genetic material, membranes, enzymes and other cellular components. The success of this Nanotechnology is amply demonstrated by the existence of living organisms whose form, function, and evolution are governed by the interactions of nanometer-scale structures.
2. "Dry" Nanotechnology, which derives from surface science and physical chemistry, focuses on fabrication of structures in carbon (for example, fullerenes and nanotubes), silicon, and other inorganic materials. Unlike the "wet" technology, "dry" techniques admit use of metals and semiconductors. The active conduction electrons of these materials make them too reactive to operate in a "wet" environment, but these same electrons provide the physical properties that make "dry" nanostructures promising as electronic, magnetic, and optical devices. Another objective is to develop "dry" structures that possess some of the same attributes of the self-assembly that the wet ones exhibit.
3. Computational Nanotechnology, which permits the modeling and simulation of complex nanometer-scale structures. The predictive and analytical power of computation is critical to success in Nanotechnology: nature required several hundred million years to evolve a functional "wet" Nanotechnology; the insight provided by computation should allow us to reduce the development time of a working "dry" Nanotechnology to a few decades, and it will have a major impact on the "wet" side as well.
This aspect of Nanotechnology is where my prediction for this project falls into—See Making Information Technology Available to All below.
Most importantly, these three nanotechnologies are highly interdependent. The major advances in each have often come from application of techniques or adaptation of information from one or both of the others.
Some of the key Nanotechnology Challenges being addressed are:
- Providing Renewable Clean Energy
Balancing humanity’s energy demands while protecting the environment is a major challenge. Nanotechnology will help to solve the dilemma of energy needs and limited planetary resources through more efficient generation, storage and distribution.
- Supplying Clean Water Globally
The demand for fresh water is increasing. Experts have predicted that considering the current rate of consumption and projected population growth, some two-thirds of the world will be affected by drought by the year 2050. Nanotechnology can help solve this problem through improved water purification and filtration.
- Improving Health and Longevity
Humans are living longer lives, yet infectious diseases and cancer continue to kill millions annually. Again experts have predicted that because of an aging population there could be a 50% increase of new cancer cases by the year 2020. Nanotechnology will enhance the quality of life for human beings through medical diagnostics, drug delivery and customized therapy.
- Healing and Preserving the Environment
As a set of fundamental technologies that cuts across all industries, nanotech can benefit the environment in a wide variety of ways. Stronger, lighter-weight materials in transportation can reduce fuel use, nano-structured fibers reduce staining and therefore laundering, and low-cost nanosensors will make pollution monitoring affordable. In the longer term, manufacturing processes using productive nanosystems should be able to build our products with little if any waste.
- Maximizing Productivity of Agriculture
Pressure on the world's food sources is ever increasing while harvests have fallen short in recent years. It is anticipated (those experts again…) that our world population will swell to 8.9 billion by the year 2050 putting even greater demands on agriculture. Precision farming, targeted pest management and the creation of high yield crops are a few nanotech solutions.
- Making Information Technology Available To All
Experts agree that humanity will need to cooperate as we respond to disasters and critical threats to our survival. A "planetary nervous system" fostering rapid communication and cross-cultural relationships is needed. Nanotechnology applications in electronics will increase access through reduced cost and higher performance of memory, networks, processors and components.
This is the very point of impact that I am predicting that my classmates will have a significant role in fulfilling. In my predictions/forecasts within my blogs, I predicted that Ted Vera, Steve Chadwick, Michelle Hammonds, or Alex Probst (who began the DCS#1 class but transferred to another University) will have significant input into a new solution to Nanotech, possibly a new Nano-Language for programming computers, devices, or other such Nanotechnology instruments.
Predictions about Predictions
People are always asking consultants to make predictions.
Should we be wise and silent, or attempt to accommodate them?
People especially crave predictions about their financial and emotional futures. Which stocks will grow? Will I be happy? Which companies will fold? What jobs will be best? Will I find love? What should they study to prepare for their future jobs? What products will sell?
Predictions are difficult.
…Well, no, predictions are actually easy—many people are ready to throw in “their two cents” -- unless you want some semblance of accuracy.
As Gerald M. Weinberg (consultant and author on consulting) has put it: “Since I'd feel responsible if I hurt somebody with a poor prediction, I seldom accept their invitation to predict.” I must agree with him and decline to predict as a general principle.
In Mr. Weinberg’s blog, he recounts how book publishers predicted his book’s failures if they would but choose to print it on several occasions. In one instance the publisher took pains to expound on why they were predicting failure “…I first sent it to the company that had published all my previous books without hesitation. Here's what they said: "It just is not worthwhile pushing this project any further. It may be that the concept is good ... but the style and breadth of presentation is just not suitable. It could be that a major overhaul and rewrite will result in a marketable project. On the other hand, it may be wiser to forget the book concept entirely...”
He continues “…The book was not overhauled, nor rewritten, but it was turned down by another publisher before it finally found a home. It's now been in print for more than 30 years, and has sold over 100,000 copies in English, and many more in other languages. For the company that eventually published it, The Psychology of Computer Programming sold more copies and made more money than the next five books (published) in their line…”
Weinberg adds, “…in retrospect, the two publishers who declined the project proved not to have much (successful) predictive power.” We couldn’t agree more!
Patrick Henry once said, "I have but one lamp to guide my life. I only know the future from the past."
So, if the past can be used to make predictions, what predictions can we make using past predictions as a guide?
- Publishers will be wrong?
- The world is flat?
· "I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."
- Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943
- "Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons."
- Popular Mechanics, 1949
· "I have traveled the length and breadth of this country and talked with the best people, and I can assure you that data processing’s is a fad that won't last out the year."
- The editor in charge of business books for Prentice-Hall, 1957
· "But what...is it good for?"
- Engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems Division of IBM, 1968, commenting on the microchip
· "There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home."
- Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of DEC
· "So we went to Atari and said, 'Hey, we've got this amazing thing, even built with some of your parts, and what do you think about funding us? Or we'll give it to you. We just want to do it. Pay our salary; we'll come work for you.' And they said, 'No.' So then we went to Hewlett-Packard, and they said, 'Hey, we don't need you. You haven't got through college yet.'"
- Steve Jobs, cofounder of Apple Computer
· "Indeed, it would not be an exaggeration to describe the history of the computer industry for the past decade as a massive effort to keep up with Apple."
- Byte, December 1994
…You’re welcome, Ted Vera—from Matt.
One further thing to remember about forecasting and predictions as Dr. William E. Halal reminded us “Many of the items (predictions on future technology) may seem like science fiction, but as the great scientist Arthur C. Clarke said: ‘Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic’ (Profiles of the Future, 1961 – Clarke’s third law).” Some test huh?
I’m not going “out there” as Dr. Halal and the 2005 BT Technology timeline did (see similar predictions here), however here are some that I’m willing to make (some even have dates to qualify my success/failure):
- I feel that Computational grids (including CPU Scavenging grids) which focuses primarily on computationally-intensive operations, or -- the controlled sharing and management of large amounts of distributed data will come into personal computing usage in the mainstream (not just reserved for large companies anymore).
- Computers will not replace humans with complex problem-solving skills since humans use logic mixed with illogic (mainly due to their human perspective and experiences) to create success. Note: this one is contrary to the 205 BT technology timeline that predicts “Expert systems surpass average human learning and logic abilities – 2011-2015”
- Computers will control basic functions such as self-monitoring of simple systems (communication, comfort, entertainment, facilities) and some self-maintenance in homes widespread globally in civilized countries by 2025.
- People will have more personal computers (in their homes, cars, and clothing) than televisions by 2020. Remember the movie “Back to the Future” when the 50’s family flatly stated that “nobody has two TVs”?
- A “new” major computer programming language (or perhaps a NanoLanguage) will emerge prior to 2030 that will replace many of the older languages. I expect Ted Vera, Steve Chadwick, Alex Probst, or Michelle Hammonds to be involved in this project somehow…
- New ways will be invented to harness the power of the human brain using some type of technology or devices (e.g. Nanotechnology). In the 2005 BT technology timeline, they refer to this as “Brain add-on’s” and I agree with them, although I believe we will see them prior to (at least one decade sooner than) the forecasted 2030’s date.
Check back often to see what others are saying about these!
- Enabling Space Development
Heavy demands on resources and raw materials are creating challenges on earth, whereas these items are plentiful in space. Current obstacles to developing space are cost, reliability, safety, and performance. Nanotechnology will solve these through improved fuels, smart materials, uniforms and environments.
In fact, there may not be a single industry that will not be changed by nanotechnological applications. Be it a tennis racquets or long-lasting nanoparticle tennis balls. A foot warmers, athlete skin care or a ski wax.
Nanotechnology today, is progressing towards the delivery system for anti-cancer drugs at the same time research is going on to develop nanofibre which will help create blood vessels, help in treatment of vascular diseases and in heart surgeries.
The purpose of medical devices and nanorobots traveling through the human body is essentially a positive one of searching out and destroying clusters of cancer cells before they spread. Scientists are also working towards the preparation of injectable nanoparticles that will help as medication for treating alcoholism and other related diseases. Because of this it is also called the “future technology” by some observers.
Furthermore, a lot of money is being invested in this field (as is usually true with any new, promising technology). In 2004,
In terms of techniques for manufacturing “nanoscale” materials, there are two different approaches, bottom up and top down. Figures 1 and 2 give examples of each approach. (SustainPack 2007)
Top-down refers to making nanoscale structures by machining and etching techniques, whereas bottom-up, or "molecular Nanotechnology," applies to building organic and inorganic structures atom-by-atom, or molecule-by-molecule.
Figure 1 Top-Down Manufacturing
Figure 2 Bottom-Up Manufacturing
"Molecular manufacturing will eventually transform our relationship to molecules and matter as thoroughly as the computer changed our relationship to bits and information. It will enable precise, inexpensive control of the structure of matter."
— Neil Jacobstein, Chairman, IMM (Institute for Molecular Manufacturing 2007)
As with any developing technology, there will undoubtedly be actual and perceived risks and since we’re dealing with ourselves (humans) -- associated fear, there is a seemingly urgent requirement to constructively and proactively debate these now, rather than wait until polarized views have developed any further—which are likely to damage any further advances in the technology. It seems likely that although there is much political (and scientific) support for Nanotechnology, a repeat performance of the handling of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) use in agriculture—should be avoided at any cost. Although, according to Dr. Halal’s TechCast group, there is a growing acceptance or trend towards acceptance of GMOs (see this article for more Tull-TechCast.org 2007)
Therefore, thorough risk assessments of the advancements in Nanotechnology should almost be as important as the technology itself. For example, it is envisioned that it may be important to assess whole lifecycles via Life Cycle Analysis or development tools, in order to evaluate the net benefits for environmental improvements. Such evaluations will be required to ensure there is not an increase in burden further down the supply chain, in disposal etc.
The technical challenges should by no means be underestimated. They comprise the following:
- Scaling up from lab to industrial capabilities.
- Understanding the properties involved with nano materials.
- Converting the science into application.
Herein is where my prediction takes place at this level. The application of the science of Nanotechnology will be driven by pioneers already in the field as well as newly formed experts and think tank type organizations who are willing to use agile methodologies and yet-to-be-discovered processes and languages for programming the tools, hardware and software that will enable these bold new endeavors to flourish. This is where my prediction comes into play—Ted Vera, Steve Chadwick, Michelle Hammonds, or Alex Probst (who began the DCS#1 class but transferred to another University) will have significant input (if not a patented new technology) into a new solution to Nanotech, possibly a new Nano-Language for programming computers, devices, or other such Nanotechnology instruments by the year 2030.
(No pressure though gang!)
- Regulating, standardizing, classifying and risk managing round out the list of the technical challenges.
Indeed, if we are to reach out to the Stars as we imagined Captain Kirk and his brave crew actually did, then we must first master our inner-space and the very building blocks of matter, through the ever-shrinking world of Nanotechnology (at least, that’s what I’m forecasting for the future!)
Hinkle, Matthew. Blog entry “My latest predictions—fodder for the foolish?”. Retrieved from http://profhinkle.blogspot.com/2007/09/my-latest-predictions-fodder-for.html September 6, 2007.
Institute for Molecular Manufacturing Website, homepage. Retrieved from http://www.imm.org/ September 6, 2007.
Nano Science and Technology Consortium Website, “Application of Nanotechnology”. Retrieved from http://www.nstc.in/NTBenefits.aspx September 6, 2007.
Rice. 2007. The Richard E. Smalley Institute for NanoScale Science and Technology at
SustainPack Website, “What is Nanotechnology?”. Retrieved from http://www.sustainpack.com/Nanotechnology.html September 6, 2007.
Tull, Whitney. 2006. TechCast Report on Genetically Manufactured Organisms “Why Do People Fear or Accept Genetically Modified Foods?” retrieved from http://www.techcast.org/fup/articles/060705165246TC%20GMF.pdf September 6, 2007.
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
The week 10 web2.0 activity for exploring Del.icio.us begins at http://del.icio.us/ and ends (who knows where you will go?... Oh, the places you’ll go!)
Categorically, this is another Web2.0 tool for social bookmarking (and yes, another new account for me!). Technically, it was designed to allow users to store and share bookmarks on the web, instead of inside the user’s browser which offers several advantages like
- You can get your bookmarks from anywhere-home, work, library, outhouse (for the very wired), etc.
- You could share your bookmarks publicly so your friends and everyone can view them for reference, collaboration, or in my case, amusement. You could also mark yours as private (which kind of defeats the whole intent, but if you’re just using it as a web-only resource, then this would be preferable to public)
- You can locate other people on del.icio.us who have similar tastes and add theirs to yours—as the site reminds people, “…which may help you find things that are useful for you, too.”
del.icio.us has a "hotlist" on its home page and "popular" and "recent" pages, which help to surface interesting content and make the website an effective conveyor of popular internet memes and trends.
Many novel features have contributed to making del.icio.us a very popular service. These include the website's simple interface, human-readable URL scheme, a novel domain name, a simple REST API, and RSS feeds for web syndication.
Use of del.icio.us is free. The source code of the site is not available, but a user's own data is freely downloadable through the API in an XML or JSON format, and can also be exported to a standard Netscape bookmarks format.
The very coolest feature I found in del.icio.us was the place to find the most popular tagged sites/bookmarks—the Tag Cloud.
del.icio.us was acquired by Yahoo! on December 9, 2005.Various guesses suggest it was sold for somewhere between US$15 million and US$30 million.
The del.icio.us domain name is a notable example of a domain hack, an unconventional combination of letters to form a word or phrase. del.icio.us, though not the first domain of this nature, is the best-known and most frequently-accessed domain hack, and the Yahoo! acquisition is the highest-profile acquisition of a domain in this category. However, delicious.com and delicio.us also redirect to the del.icio.us website.
Have Fun! but don't lick the monitor...
Technorati, Part 2...
Technorati, Part 2...
The week 9 web2.0 activity for exploring Technorati begins at http://technorati.com/ . The website is another Web2.0 tool that specifically deals with social networking and how individuals interconnect and collaborate globally across the internet.
Once again, I've signed up for yet another account.
Their Headline banner proclaims: “Zillions of Photos, Videos, Blogs, and more—some of them have to be good”
So, obviously it is a tool to share and find photos, videos, and blogs and more.
The center navigation tool of the page offers categories of “most popular” items in Videos, Music, DVDs, Movies, Games, News, and Blogs.
The links are shown based upon their own links in others’ blogs; so in other words, the people who are linking to them are driving the search results to the top based on the sheer number of links.
There are also links to “Top Tags” (the most popular tagged items) and extra tools for the Technorati such as Browser Buttons, Desktop Widgets, Blog Widgets, Blog Searching and Info, Pinging, and Misc. Widgets; all of which make Technorati a VERY POWEFULL Web2.0 tool indeed—if you truly want to stay ultra-connected, this is the tool you CAN’T do without!
There are further linked websites listed in category tabs such as: Favorites, Watchlist, Popular, and WTF (stands for “Where’s the Fire” in this instance)
“WTFs are short blurbs that explain the buzz around people, things, or events—why the hot topics are so hot—and you can vote the best ones to the top. Have some genius to spare? Jump in and write a WTF!”
Part of the process of signing up and creating your profile includes adding links to your existing blog(s) to the Technorati empire. They have some simple rules for doing this: (They call it “claiming your blog”)
Here are their simple instructions:
Activate the claim using Post Claim
Blogger Posting Instructions
In another web browser window, log in to your Blogger account
On the Blogger Dashboard, click on your blog name
Click "Create" to create a new post
Copy the code below, then paste it into the main text box of your new post with any Title
After I followed the instructions, I published the blog entry with their special code that shows up in the blog like this: Technorati Profile
After I published that code, I returned to their website to click on the next button (which was interestingly titled [“Release the spiders”] Apparently a nod to the bots/agents/spiders that it sends out to find its own code to return the data to Technorati for logging) to finish the “claiming” process. A very , very Web2.0 feature!
Next began the process of editing your blog information for the Technorati audience. They have available a profile or description of the blog, the language you write in, a place to create tags for your blog, and code you can insert into your blogs for allowing others to save your blog as a Technorati favorite!
There are simply TOO MANY tools on this website to investigate here in this short blog—you really need to check it out at length to properly set up your account for maximum usability…
this is where I am signing up for an account at Technorati, so I am following their directions for "claiming my blog" within the Technorati membership.
Here are their simple instructions:
Here is the scoop:
Hang on to your bloomers--we're off!