Author Archives: Michelle Lentz

by Michelle Lentz

SezWho (which you might recognize from the comments in this blog) is a universal profile service for the social web that engages communities and enables content discovery. Today they announced the acquisition of Tejit, which is a provider of semantic intelligence solutions. SezWho wants to utilize Tejit to bring richer, context-based profile and reputation management capabilities to the their service. The acquisition enables SezWho to provide more precise contextual reputation scores for contributors based on topics of conversation. In this way, users can build their reputations in specific areas increasing their social capital. As mentioned on Louis Gray’s blog today, Disqus is a similar service. SezWho, takes a different approach by not hosting blog comments off-site and giving more control and SEO juice to the blogger.

And this is directly from the press release – this should appeal to the more technical amongst you: 

SezWho has begun integration of Tejit’s semantic-analysis engine, which uses Natural Language Processing (NLP) and semantic matching technology to identify topics, sentiments and entities present in web content. Building on the elements of Semantic web and advanced information retrieval techniques, like entity recognition and text classification, this new technology locates the relevant discussions and content around topics of interest. The use of algorithms to rank content differs from the traditional citation-driven approach, allowing for a deeper interpretation of content and more accurate reputation scoring.

“The integration of this innovative semantic analysis technology with our own universal profiles, content discovery and reputation services allows SezWho to more closely emulate how communities flourish on the long tail as we provide more precise context-based reputation scoring for those who contribute,” said SezWho CEO, Jitendra Gupta. “The traditional method of content discovery based on the similarity of content is not adequate for connecting conversation across social sites in a meaningful way. A new level of context-sensitive, semantic discovery is required to reflect all the layers of users’ participation across the social web, and to track their contributions in a way that is universally relevant both within and across communities.”

Also of note, Tejit CEO Indus Khaitan will head SezWho’s development efforts. Khaitan began Tejit in 2007 as a personal project when he became frustrated reading duplicate content from the 1000+ blogs he had bookmarked. Tejit expanded its analysis capabilities across millions of blogs.With this integration, I’d say watch for some nifty improvements on blogs with SezWho, including In fact, I read that SezWho supports not only WordPress, but also Typepad and Blogger. I may be integrating SezWho into my own blogs in the coming weeks.

Events, news, apps, and more – let me know at michelle[at]writetech[dot]net, via
Twitter, or via Pownce.


by Michelle Lentz

The TechCocktail conference is tomorrow, 9 am – 5 pm, at Loyola University – Water Tower Campus, Chicago. It’s an all-day event that offers some great speakers, interesting perspectives, and a small environment. The goal of the conference is to “assist attendees by bringing them essential business startup tips, advice, and knowledge from a super-cast of successful founders, developers, and entrepreneurs.”

Speakers include author Geoff Livingston (Buzz Bin blog/Livingston Communications), Mike Domek (TicketMaster), Dick Costolo (Feedburner/Google), Jason Fried (37signals), Gary Vaynerchuk (Wine Library TV), and more. A bunch of locally owned start-ups will be there as well, including the wonderfully time-sucking, to which I am addicted, as well as crowdSPRING, Edmodo, and the list keeps going.

Following the conference, you can attend the 8th Chicago TechCocktail mixer event. A cocktail party for the TechCocktail, of course. Over 600 guests have RSVP’d, so it should be a blast. You can still register for the conference; standard rates are $350.

I wish I’d known about this sooner. Chicago is a five-hour drive from me and one of my favorite cities. Sadly, I now have meetings all day instead. However, if any of you are available and close to Chicago, this event sounds like a blast.

Events, news, apps, and more – just let me know at michelle[at]writetech[dot]net or via Twitter or Pownce.

by Michelle Lentz 

One thing I love about readers is that you talk to me. You’re not afraid to post comments or links. So I have a question for you – Would you pay for Twitter? Apparently the thought is being tossed around, although it’s worth mentioning it hasn’t come from the folks actually working at Twitter. It’s come from many of the power users.

Newmedia Jim had a thought-provoking post on this, all stirred up by Jason Calacanis. I posted a comment over on Jim’s blog, but then I started thinking a little more about this and I want to amend and elaborate.

My first instinct is no, I won’t pay for Twitter. After all, I don’t pay for Pownce, Jaiku, FriendFeed, or any of the other countless social networks I find myself a part of. Then I remember, I pay a small fee to Typepad every month to host my blogs and their images. I pay $25 to Flickr each year to upload as many photos as my heart desires. Why wouldn’t I pay for Twitter?

So my revised answer is sure, I’ll pay a yearly fee to Twitter if it goes that way. But I would see it as something similar to Flickr – $24.95/year for added benefits. I have no quibble with that. Make it easy to group tweet or send direct messages to multiple people, alphabetize my followers list, and more features. Possibly put a limit on how many messages per month a standard account can tweet. Twitter Pro and Twitter Standard would work, assuming the Twitter Pro account isn’t ungodly expensive.

As Jim points out in his blog, $60 is currently what it takes to fill up a gas tank. I can only imagine the gas prices in larger citiies – in Cincinnati we crossed the $4/gallon mark this weekend. I have better things to do with my money than pay Twitter. But I hold that if I can pay Flickr $25/year, I can pay it to Twitter as well.  

Do I think this is coming? No, not yet, so I’m not overly concerned. But I found it an interesting question.

Contact me with new media, apps, news, and more at michelle[at]writetech[dot]net or via

 by Michelle Lentz

Personally, I always like a corporate excuse to get myself to Las Vegas. The 2008 BlogWorld Conference and New Media Expo will take place Sept 20-21 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Attached to the main conference is an “Executive and Entrepreneur” preconference beginning Sept 19.

BlogWorld promotes itself as “an industry-wide trade show, conference, and media event dedicated to promoting the dynamic industry of blogging and new media. BlogWorld features the largest blogging conference in the world including more than 50 seminars, panel discussions and keynotes from iconic personalities on the leading-edge of online technology and internet-savvy business.”

Last year, at the inaugural conference, there were more than 60 sessions with over 100 speakers, including Mark Cuban, Leo Laporte, and Jeremy Wright. Keynotes for 2008 haven’t been announced yet, but with such a large audience, chances are there will be some big names from social media. Concurrent sessions will give the audience a chance to choose from high-end experienced topics to those of interest to people just getting started in blogging.

The Executive and Entrepreneur preconference focus on corporate blogging and the use of new media in business environments. This preconference will offer topics for those looking for how a blog might help their business to bloggers already involved with corporate topics.

Registration is already open for this event, which only costs $200 before June 20, $300 by Aug 22, and $400 thereafter.

If you have tech news, apps, or gadgets that you want to hear about, let me know at michelle[at]writetech[dot]net or via

by Michelle Lentz

Remember back when Google scooped up JotSpot? Well, a few months ago, JotSpot (now called Google Sites), was launched as part of Google Apps for Your Domain, which I”ll just call GAFYD. 

I use GAFYD with my and blogs. It allows me to have email with my URLs, which I could do anyway. The catch is that I can have that email through GMail, which I really like. The GMail spam filter is excellent and I love the archiving and threaded conversations. GAFYD is sort of a pain to set up – I had to modify DNS settings, CNAME settings, and the like, but it’s do-able in an evening. In exchange, I get GMail with my own URL, personalized iGoogle start page, personalized Google Docs, Google Sites, and more. I really only use the Google Docs and the GMail.

Last month I had poked around in Google Sites. Previously this was only available through GAFYD, but today, it was opened up to everyone. Google Sites is simply an online site creation tool that is amazingly simple to use. It helps those with little to no HTML skills create a nifty web site that is also part social network. The social networking aspects of the site are built in, and more Wiki than Facebook. Google thinks these sites are perfect for small groups or clubs, even using a Ski Club as their example. Without a purchased domain, your URL reads something like this:

There are still a few little kinks to work out, but this is a nice feature, for free, allowing more people to acquire a web presence with little effort.

This Google video explains it all: