Yesterday I wrote about how I felt that this new obsession with shared feeds and the new services that are aggregating them was only part of the answer to being able to create and track conversations within the blogosphere. It was my opinion that the other part of the equation; and the more important one, was the use of tags – or idea markers – to enable us to create RSS feeds based on those tags and available through a service like Technorati.
After I posted that I had a chance to actually try and build out the idea as I outlined in a reply to a comment made to the post on how to create such an RSS feed at Technorati. Once I posted the reply I started to realize that there are two fundamental problems with what I had proposed.
The first problem lies with Technorati and how they implement being able to search by tags. Even with a simple one word search by tags doesn’t always return results as I found out when I tried to search for the very word I coined – ideastreaming – and have used as a tag whenever I talk about the idea. When I searched for ideastreaming it returned no results for any authority and yet I have at least four or five posts with it as a tag.
Interestingly enough when I use the tag lifestreaming it does return results but even there they are questionable as when I check one of the returned link (Somewhat Frank) there were no Technorati tag links anywhere on the page however I did see the word lifestreaming as one of the words in a list of Popular Articles for the site. As a result I can only think that Technorati’s implementation of tags and their use as search terms is broken. If not broken then at least the whole way in which they are used is in some severe need of an overhaul.
More importantly though it doesn’t matter one iota how much work Technorati does to try and improve their tag searching and indexing if they don’t have anything to work with in the first place. I had thought that the use of Technorati tags – especially within the tech blogosphere – was fairly commonplace. As it turns out this could very well be far from the case; but to make sure even if just for myself I spent a few hours double checking this against the blogs within my own RSS feeds.
Keeping my range to just those blogs that where within tech related news and information itself I found the following from the 80 blogs I checked:
6 blogs used the new WordPress tagging which points inward to the blog content rather than outward to and possible conversation
So in effect 10% of the blogs checked even took the time to include Technorati tags that could have lead them to being a part of any real wide ranging conversation – either as an originator or as a participant.
Where does this leave us? Well as far as I can see any illusion of idea sharing or conversation beyond the limited scope of whatever blogging circle you find yourself in is pretty well dead in the water. New ideas and new conversation have a very hard time breaking into closed circles and as long as we don’t provide avenues by which we can easily expand our source of new thoughts we become stagnant and repetitive.
Just as Technorati; or even del.icio.us, are losing out by not making it easy for us and our readers to find conversations we are losing out even more so by not taking advantage of any method at our disposal to expand our circle of ideas and conversation.
Until we do any talk of blogging being about the sharing of ideas and conversation is bullshit.
Hey, like this post? Why not share it with a buddy?Tweet