Tuesday? Time for a new Technorati strategy

by Mathew on September 11, 2007 · 2 comments

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.

technorati_stickers.jpgThe 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.

  • http://www.markevanstech.com Mark Evans

    I expected Technorati Topics to be more Techmeme-ish as well. What’s there pales in comparison to Techmeme, Reddit, etc. It is sad and interesting to see Technorati scrambling to stay vibrant when it has such a head start just a couple of years ago.

  • http://spap-oop.blogspot.com Tish Grier

    I don’t quite know what the whole Technorati Topics thing is about (maybe a re-working of Favorites combined with WTF?…I don’t know…) but one thing I do know, and remember, is that rank was, at one time, a very important and hotly-debated topic among bloggers. The theory went that advertisers and marketers *might* want to advertise on blogs, and that they would want the top ranking blogs–the ones with them most links, not nec. readers–to be the places to put premium, high paying advertising.

    it was thought that links and readers(page views) went hand in hand–that is, until some enterprising folks found ways to rig pageviews…

    To get rank, one had to have a combination of permalinks and post links. Permalinks being those in people’s blogrolls. Post links being those links in posts. Those are all crunched in some calculation to give you rank/authority/your position in the “–list” in the blogosphere.

    There was also some other “popularity” thing brought in…but I have no idea where that measure came from…

    But nowadays, blog success isn’t necessarily predicated solely on rank. It can be a combination of traffic (as in page views, another disputed measurement), comments, links (both perma and post–that is, if perma still exist) or other criteria. In a world of RSS readers, trackbacks, Google Page rank, and other means of measuring influence, the notion of influence and authority being measured strictly by links isn’t what it used to be.

    I’ll be posting more on this later at my blog.

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