As you can read in a number of different places this morning, Technorati — the ailing blog-search engine that recently lost its CEO, Dave Sifry — has come out with a new offering known as Technorati Topics, which appears to be a scrolling list of blogosphere posts chosen by the team at Technorati, based on a bunch of criteria that we aren’t really told a lot about.
The company’s description says that it chooses blogs based on a number of factors, including their Technorati “authority” — another ranking system that we know very little about, and which consequently carries little or no weight (I for one can’t even figure out the numbering system). So far, the new feature is getting panned by many. Topics, incidentally, is not to be confused with the last new service that Technorati launched: that was Technorati WTF, a Digg-style ranking feature that appears to be a ghost town.
As Duncan Riley notes at TechCrunch, it would be easy to be unkind to Technorati, and to poke fun at how they are shuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic — so easy that I plan to do it. What the heck is this company thinking? They have no CEO, their database comes under fire repeatedly for its lack of reliability, and this is the best they can do?
When I first heard about it, I thought Technorati Topics might be going after Techmeme.com, but having seen it I think Gabe Rivera can sleep easily — Topics is just a scrolling list of posts with no organization or ranking that I can see, whereas Techmeme (for all its inscrutability) pulls threads together for you and makes it easy to see a story evolve over time.
Dave Sifry says that this is just the first in a series of releases and announcements, and for Technorati’s sake I hope they improve.