Wednesday, August 09, 2006

"Albert Lai... I hate that guy"

I don't know how I missed a entry titled "Albert Lai... I hate that guy =)" on my radar from Michael Corcoran blog, someone whom I haven't spoke to in ages (Hi Michael!).

But the article is NOT what you think it is.

So what's the purpose of this blog posting other than gloating about how people love to hate me?

Well, its (sorta) simple: why the heck do we STILL not yet have a good auto-notification engine for all notifying you of what others are saying about you (specifically you, not just people that mention your first and last name).

Sure Google has news alerts, and technorati kinda works for that(but doesn't alert via email, why, technorati, why?!)... but it would be so much better for folks with common first/last name combinations if they could have a search/name/alert engine that would be intelligently figure out if that personal is actually referring to YOU specifically. Perhaps by using attention trust and FOAF/social network type semantic information (i.e. scan your LinkedIn network to get a better understanding of who is likely to be referring to you)?


  1. There was a company in Cambridge England that was working on some search engine tech related to that, but ran into some major hurdles with names like John Smith clogging up the system.

    I used to do ego searches on google, but then I found a couple of posts that called me an asshole and decided 'who the hell needs to know' so I gave it up.

  2. haha

    well you know leila could keep track if anyone's using pictures of you ;)

    but also you could use something like feedblitz to convert a technorati rss feed into an email feed/digest


  3. Albert...I'm glad you recognize that my hatred is filled with love and respect:)

    As to your question about auto-notification, I too have hit brick walls. I have to track a bunch of companies/issues for clients of mine, and have yet to come across a single solution. What I end up doing is a half hour run-through of (at least) searches on the following:

    * Google, Yahoo and MSN News
    * PubSub and Technorati

    I've also tried a number of the social search/favorites sites (, Prefound, Eurekster) but - while really, really appreciating the potential - haven't found much in the way of meaningful results.

    For the time being (months maybe), I think it's still a world of vanity searches and manual input.

  4. PS...If you haven't already, you should check out The Canadian Tech Mob, a web-ring to showcase what Canadians here and abroad are doing to shape the new, new thing. It's almost like a virtual lapel pin for proud Canadian tech entrepreneurs to wear on their site. You may recall this was one of the many to-do's we had back with the Leaf Initiative. In any case, you're exactly the type of person who should be part of it and post the "virtual lapel pin" on your blog. Check it out...and spread the word.

  5. Mike, thanks for the comments... i'm joining the mob now that you and reg and everyone else has been pushing me on it =)

    It did totally remind me of the Leaf Initiative, which was the first thing that came to mind when I saw it.

    WRT the whole company/people tracking thing, a friend of mine as a joke built: which is pretty fun, and worked pretty well for a while until the socialnetworks started blocking the deep crawls.

  6. tom, that's a great idea... there's also RMail from local RSSboy Randy Morin =)

    the problem with these solutions is that i'm just too damn lazy to set up and learn so many tool. just give me 2 fields to fill out and leave me alone with my email box.

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