Nobody really saw the blog coming back in 2003, when Blogline’s Mark Fletcher had a couple of hundred blog bookmarks and was frantically looking for a better way to deal with information overload. And certainly, nobody realized the blogosphere would be a firebomb, doubling in size every 5 months for 2 ½ years. Foreseeable or not, the information in these blogs, as our own Mike McDonald put it, “takes targeted marketing to a place its never been before.”
In a previous article, Technorati reported that 80,000 new web logs are created everyday. This is information overload at its peak, operating at a level beyond any normal (or even extraordinary) human brain.
In the same way that search engines transformed the World Wide Web into something navigable and marketable, blog search engines will help save users from neurotransmission shutdown and messy cranial emissions.
Even better than collecting these blogs and bundling them into neat little subject packages through RSS, blog engines will come to “know” the reader—what he likes, doesn’t like, what he buys, when he sleeps, and what he thinks of the new Pope.
Mike has been in San Jose ingesting the latest in search information (when not being wowed by AskJeeves cage girls and listening in on conversations between Danny Sullivan and the CEO of AskJeeves). He sat in on a nice rundown of the up and coming blog engines. He passed the info on to me (in our own primitive cup-and-shoe-string RSS feed), so I could pass it on to you.
Blog Engine Rundown
Mark Fletcher demonstrated the wares of Teomi Technology enhanced AskJeeves powered Bloglines to 300-400 eager listeners. Bloglines, online since the blog infancy in June 2003, handles 1.4 million blog feeds with 600 million blog articles.
Fletcher says Web-based RSS was clearly the way to go during that time as downloadable applications ran into trouble on various machines. Web-based RSS allows for portability and regularly updated features. Bloglines offers browsers search and URL subscriptions much like Google alerts.
Greg Linden of Findory.com says his blog search service “learns from the articles you read,” and adapts to find content interesting to the reader. As content is dictated by user behavior, the better it “knows” you, the better it gets.
This type of personalization helps a lot when you don’t know what’s out there. News, as well as advertising content, is custom tailored to the individual using it.
Linden said the most recent behavior is weighted heavily to keep current interests in tune.
"The key is to look at what people are doing right now,” he said.
Scott Rafer of Feedster.com said, like Bloglines, subscriptions are key to using this blog service. Feedster doesn’t crawl, it is entirely RSS driven and is working on adding targeted advertising into individual publisher feeds.
"For us it’s getting exactly the right blog with exactly the right marketing message to exactly the right people - even if there are only 4 or 5 of them.”
The key to that type of targeting, Rafer says, is freshness. Stale blogs (ones that go without being updated) are removed. In addition, it is also important to deliver relevant subscription results.
"I'm subscribed to Toyota Camry, and so I expect to receive information about Toyota Camry,” he said.
The narrow targeting Feedster offers is attractive to advertisers and the potential is huge. Rafer says the Feedster people can tell a client who writes about what, whether they curse, who writes poorly, who writes well, and who has demonstrated a bias toward or against a company, product, or issue.