Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Tech Blogger Starts a Company Around His Data Mining (a.k.a. Web Stalking) Skills

Longtime tech blogger (if there is such a thing!) Marshall Kirkpatrick is starting a data mining company devoted to discovering emerging information.

Called Plexus Engine, the start-up will target information workers such as those in marketing and PR.

Kirkpatrick had developed over his years at ReadWriteWeb and TechCrunch tools for getting scoops not by talking to sources but by tracking people online. For instance, he found geo-located tweets from a Twitter engineer in Utah that corroborated the location of a Twitter data center there, and generated instant message alerts for himself when people he was tracking made comments on any blog around the Web.

Kirkpatrick said Plexus Engine has been in testing for a year and a half. He will continue to write columns for ReadWriteWeb.


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik