Over the past little while there has been quite a bit of talk about new Top 100 lists with people like TechCrunch, Gabe Rivera and Robert Scoble mashing up Google Reader numbers or Techmeme coming out with the Leaderboard. All through this has been a background thread about how Technorati was falling by the wayside as a reliable service to use.
Well I for one; even with it’s recent struggling, like Technorati and like a lot of bloggers have something of an investment in it. After all it is holding almost a year’s worth of tagged posts from WinExtra within its database. While that may not be all that valuable at this moment it could be in the long tail. The value may not necessarily be monetary; although as traffic increases that does change, but more the value of conversation and ideas.
During the last week Doug Karr had a piece he wrote on his feelings about Technorati which saw Ian Kallen from Technorati comment on Doug’s thoughts. Then yesterday I posted about a slightly larger issue of the A-List and the whole ranking thing. This morning I found that Ian had been good enough to join in the conversation and I set about replying to his comment only to find that what was starting as a reply developed into more of a post so Ian here is my reply to your comment
First off as a blog low on the pecking order thanks for taking the time to add your voice to the conversation here – I appreciate your feedback as well.
As for the pecking order I see nothing wrong with it at all even if WinExtra would be considered as one occupying a lower spot in that order. As Doug Karr pointed out and I totally agree with this is a good thing as it gives all of us a metric by which we can gauge the success; or failure, of what we are doing.
The problem as you point out is with the pecking order criteria and how it is arrived at and then implemented. I think one thing that is missing is our involvement with that process. As it stands right now Technorati is the deciding force in what is considered as a blog or a as a splog. Could it possibly be that this is one area where Technorati could benefit from a crowdsourcing philosophy where we the user’s of Technorati have some method by which we could flag a linked site as a possible splog? I know there have been more than a few splog/blogs that I didn’t want as part of my Authority “trail”.
I understand the problem as well trying to figure out the segmentation criteria. We have mainstream media daily hopping on the blog bandwagon and because of their natural big name drawing power they are helping to push the traditional and small blogs out of the stream of conversation. Along with that you have the new media conglomerates blogs like TechCrunch and others that are competing against the traditional mainstream media move which again is taking the conversation flow away from smaller blogs.
I don’t envy Technorati’s situation at this point as it is also having to stay alive in an increasingly active field of metrics. I do think that the company has two very big strengths. The first one is the long time blogger following that has developed around Technorati and while in the past year the company seems to have been more interested is abandoning us for the larger (and unattainable I am afraid) search industry I do believe that the core service of providing a stable and reliable ranking service not only benefits bloggers but it will also provide internet users with a valuable resource as the blogging field becomes even more mainstream.
The other area where I think Technorati is ahead of the field is its growing data of tagged information. To me this primarily untapped resource has potential both now and for the future. As I pointed out in my post on Ideastreaming give me a RSS hook into a tag or even a series of tags. Let me have a way to see what has been written, is being written and a way to be updated on new additions to that tagged stream of ideas/conversations. Heck let’s get really crazy here and how about an advertising platform based on tags. Let advertisers hook into the tagging system and provide ads based around conversations.
I really believe that Technorati has all the pieces to the puzzle; some of which may not even be apparent yet, but one thing is for sure – blogging will be a growth industry. Even as the current early adopter type A-Listers hop skip and jump to the next shiny new thing the core of serious bloggers will continue to grow and services like Technorati could be an integral part of that growth.