Marshall Kirkpatrick's Blog Discovering awesome new things on the Internet since 2005.

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A Startup I’ve Now Used Every Day for the Past Week: Nsyght

Filed under: Knowledge Management,RSS,Search — Marshall Kirkpatrick @

Nsyght is a clever service with a terrible name (it’s hard to remember) and stock photo on its home page, but don’t be fooled – it’s really useful. I wrote about it on ReadWriteWeb last week under the title How to Search Inside Twitter Lists, and that’s just what it’s for. After a few minutes to index your stream, Nsyght will let you search inside tweets from your friends, inside particular lists or your own archive for months back in history. It’s awesome. I’ve been using it to filter for images shared by friends on Twitter (great for quick little posts) and to find old Tweets of mine that I can’t find nearly as quickly in any other way. And searching inside a Twitter list of topical experts for their opinions on a particular matter? So hot. It’s like a Custom Search Engine for twitter lists, which is incredibly powerful.

I think of things like this as curating my existing community resources, an all-too under utilized strategy I believe. That’s the kind of thing I’m likely to bring up as a guest tomorrow on, which I cannot recommend highly enough that you check out.

Techonomy Resources in the Works

Filed under: Knowledge Management — Marshall Kirkpatrick @

It’s midnight and I’m in Lake Tahoe, ready to cover the first Techonomy conference about using technology to solve the world’s big problems. There’s an incredible group of people participating. I’ll be covering it along with a small group of others on the Techonomy site and on ReadWriteWeb. In preparation for the event, I put together a couple of resources for my own reporting that I thought you might enjoy it too.

A Twitter list of Techonomy participants – There are 250 people listed on the site as participants and this list includes 115 of them that I (with some help from Mechanical Turk) could find on Twitter. It should be a real good place to keep track of the conference discussion and get to know some really interesting people for the future. Are you attending the event but not on that list? Let me know.

Related: A smaller list of 27 women I could identify as Techonomy participants. Just to make sure dudes don’t drown out women, as we are apt to do. These are some very powerful women attending the event, but I thought it might be good anyway. And I’ve got some other ideas in mind for that list in the future.

A Custom Search Engine of the websites associated with the event’s participants. I’ve bookmarked that link to enrich my coverage of what’s said at the event itself. If you hear about something coming out of Techonomy that you’d like to learn more about, searching inside the archives of the websites that conference participants are associated with is a good way to do it. This engine has more than 180 sites indexed, though I’m thinking of making a second version that doesn’t include big, prolific news sites so that you could search inside the websites of other organizations present more easily. Update: Here’s that link – Techonomy No News.

Let me know what you think, I’ll be shining these up over the next half day or so and then use and probably write about them elsewhere. These are the kinds of resources I love to create though, and I’ve got some more in mind. I believe they are super useful, but I suppose the proof will be in the pudding over the next few days.

How to Create Sub-Groups to Maximize Your Online Effectiveness

Filed under: Knowledge Management,My Services,RSS — Marshall Kirkpatrick @

groupspic.jpgOver at ReadWriteWeb, where I spend most of my time, we write mostly news and analysis but some “how-to” type posts. Below you’ll find one of my favorite how-to posts I’ve written lately, originally titled Groups: The Secret Weapon of the Social Web. I thought I’d repost it here in case any readers missed it and because it’s relevant to my consulting work as well. Clients regularly hire me to advise or assist in the creation of strategic groups of contacts on various platforms. It’s super helpful. Check out this post and you’ll see why (and how).

Click This Button To See Into A Twitter User’s Soul

Filed under: Knowledge Management,Search — Marshall Kirkpatrick @

Twitter isn’t just a short messaging service – it’s a major communication platform that can be sliced and diced for all kinds of competitive and market intelligence research. And news writing. And who nows what else.

Last month I wrote a post at ReadWriteWeb titled “The Inner Circles of 10 Geek Heroes on Twitter.” It was all about a service called Mailana where you can plug in any Twitter user name and get a chart and graph of the other Twitter users that the user in question has had the greatest number of reciprocal public @ conversations with. It’s a way to systematically identify the influencers of the influencers in any field (on Twitter).

Just to prove to myself that it works in any field, I did a search of user descriptions in Twellow for the words “veterinary medicine” and found one of the top Twitter users in that field. I then ran her username through Mailana and was able to discover 13 people that she speaks publicly with most regularly on Twitter. It was pretty cool.

Tonight Tantek Çelik helped me figure out how to make a bookmarklet that you can push while on any Twitter user’s page to view their Mailana graph of closest connections. It’s awesome.

And so I present for your drag-to-toolbar pleasure…

Mailana – The Twitter Social Network Analyzer.

Please use it for good and not evil. And don’t let anyone tell you that there aren’t serious use cases for Twitter.

You can join me on Twitter here.

A Look Behind the Curtain at Techmeme

Filed under: Knowledge Management,News — Marshall Kirkpatrick @

In late 2005 former Intel developer Gabe Rivera launched what is now TechMeme, a powerful semi-automated “meme tracker” that discovers the hottest conversations in the tech blogosphere every 5 minutes. It’s an incredible resource and has become a financial success for Rivera as well.

Earlier this month I interviewed Techmeme’s first hired human editor, Megan McCarthy, over on ReadWriteWeb. I think McCarthy’s job is a fascinating one and a good indicator of some future trends on the internet. For whatever reason the interview didn’t get as much traction as I hoped it would upon first publication, so I’ve decided to republish it here to make sure readers of get a chance to see it as well.

One of the issues we didn’t discuss in the interview was the intersection of gender and technology. That’s one I try to think about a lot though, and if it’s of interest to you too then I’d suggest you check out this two year old article I wrote about women on Techmeme and the new ReadWriteWeb Custom Search Engine of Tech Blogs Written by Women.

And now our interview reprinted…

meganpic2.jpgTechmeme is a semi-automated site that tracks the hottest conversations among tech blogs each day, with updates every five minutes. It’s one of the most innovative efforts in news gathering today. In December, Techmeme hired its first human editor, freelance writer Megan McCarthy.

McCarthy tends the gears of Techmeme, makes sure the content on the site remains of high quality and helps ensure the inclusion of new and important voices. It sounds like an awesome job and one that has probably never existed before – a half woman, half robot, news gathering machine. How can you get your blog on Techmeme? What’s in the future for the site? We asked Megan in the following interview.

Three Useful Research Tactics I Learned Last Week

Filed under: Knowledge Management,RSS,Search — Marshall Kirkpatrick @

I’m always trying to figure out how to get more out of the tools I find online. I spend a lot of time figuring out new ways to discover good sources of information on a wide variety of topics; setting up systems for our writing staff at ReadWriteWeb and for consulting clients through my personal blog. Some of the things I’ve discovered lately I can’t disclose publicly, but here are three I can share. I hope you find them useful.

Would You Like a Job as an Online Community Manager?

Filed under: Knowledge Management,My Services,Uncategorized — Marshall Kirkpatrick @

One of the services that I provide for consulting clients is assistance in recruiting bloggers and social media experts for hire. In the past 2 months I’ve helped 3 companies find company bloggers or community managers. Right now I’m working on a list of 3 to 5 high-quality candidates for a community management position for a very innovative and cool startup.

What would a job like that involve? If you’re a startup company reading this post, should you hire a community manager? To explore this question in general, I’ve reposted below a post I wrote this Spring at ReadWriteWeb. It’s titled Do Startup Companies Need Community Managers? I’ve posted it in full below for the benefit of casual readers, but the original post has been read by more than 10,000 people, 69 of whom left comments, many of which are also worth reading. I should also take this opportunity again to thank the 22 people who contributed their thoughts to my research on the article.

If you’d like to learn more about the particular community manager role I’m trying to fill, email me at This position in particular is best for someone on or willing to move to the East Coast, but that may not be 100% essential (and other companies will be looking to hire for similar positions in the future) so… if you’d like to do this kind of work now or later, drop me a line. Whether this kind of position is of interest to you or not, I hope you’ll enjoy the following discussion.

Do Startup Companies Need Community Managers?

communitypic.jpgYou know what little startup companies need these days? They need to hire more people! It may be a frightening thought, but in an increasingly social world – being social is becoming an important full time job.

“Community Manager” is a position being hired for at a good number of large corporations (see Jeremiah Owyang’s growing list of people with that kind of job) but what about smaller companies? We asked a number of people what they thought and the following discussion offers some great things to think about, pro and con.

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