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David Sifry: “An incredible lesson in civics…”

     David Sifry talks with me for a half hour here about his Technorati page. 

     Continuously reading more than 700,000 Weblogs, introducing writers to their readers and noting just who’s linking to whom, Technorati is for me the simplest clearest sketch we have of the coming wonderworld.  I depend especially on the rolling count of the “Top 50 Interesting Recent Blogs With Context.” Technorati is an editorial conference without editors–Jeff Jarvis’s dream come true.  It defines an open, egalitarian, potentially universal community of news and opinion.  It’s a “semiotic democracy” in which every blogger counts.  It’s also an invention that brings the most compelling subjects and comments to the fore.  It doesn’t dictate a consensus, but it composes a moment-to-moment “front page” of buzz in a bigger and bigger network of participating minds.  Most marvelous to me, it is all the work of one man and his amazing machine.  There’s nobody else, it turns out, under the Technorati hood.

     Technorati was born in a flash around Thanksgiving last year, as David Sifry recounts.  It is a means of counting the “votes of attention” that bloggers give eachother.  With a fresh appreciation of both the voting and the counting, he can see “an incredible lesson in civics for a new generation” that had almost abandoned politics.  And it’s a people’s tool, obviously, not just against political hackery but against “industrialized media.”  David Sifry was coy about the blogs he reads and admires, but you can check the blog roll on his personal page, Sifry’s Alerts, which like Technorati has become must reading.

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