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July 15, 2005

Technorati: about problems., feedback, support

Technorati_sellingWow. I did not know that all these guys are talking about the same problem. Doc Searl has a list: Dave Sifry, Tom Foremski, Stephen Baker in BusinessWeek, Robert Scoble, Hans Mestrum, Jeneane Sessum, Geodog, Paul Chaney, Susan Mernit, HexLex, Padawan, Rick Segal, Stephen Pierzchala, Mike Sanders, David Weinberger, Adam Penenberg in Wired News, Jason Dowdell...
Hé that's me showing up there as well. Ok what happened. I saw this article:
Technorati and the inevitable sadness of death and David Sifry (founder of Technorati) replied on that. I wrote a comment here and also on the blog of David. An hour or so later David sent me an email about my complaint of postings not showing up, tags which were not on the system. That's really fast! He first said that I should ping them. Hé I just have a list of 30 addresses to ping and Technorati is one of them. So this was not the problem. Ok. David sent 'my' problem to his dev team and later I got an email from Niall Kennedy. He said that they indexed my blog again and all should be fine. From July 6th till yesterday my blog was not indexed, he said. So great support and feedback. Kevin Marks made a comment on my posting. So far so good. But why was I on that list of Doc Searl? I dived into his postings and saw that there was another conversation going on. Not just about the problems of performance but also on money. It seems that Technorati is selling our content.
Doc wrote: The selling of the Blogosphere—Technorati's big push into monetizing its treasure trove of data collected about millions of blogs, by Tom Foremski at SiliconValleyWatcher. Hmmm. And then the conversation started:
Jason Calcanis is concerned, Mike Sanders, Dave Winer, Jeremy Zawodny and Disruptive Media Technologies, quoted, Jeremy Wright quoted, Naill Kennedy (who works for Technorati) was next, Mitch Ratcliffe says, and so on and so forth. Doc made his comments (from Steve Boyd's posting of Corante):

"[from Department of Connections] Okay, a few questions.

First, How many witnesses reported on what Peter said on that panel?
Answer: One. Another panelist, by the way. How many bloggers jumped to conclusions based on what one guy said?

Next: Are marketers clueless or cluefull about blogging?
If the answer is "clueless," then don't we want them to get the clues? Especially if all the raw data is nothing more than what's been published on the free and open Web, and what's sold is data about data rather than "repurposed content"?

Next: Do we think they can get all the clues they need from search engines and feeds of blogs and searches about blogs and other stuff that's already out there?
If the answer is no, then what is wrong with selling those clues to people willing to pay for them?"

(from Stowe Boyd of Corante):

"A few recommendations to Sifry and Technorati

  1. Its ok to make money, so don't cave on the core issue. State, unequivocally, that you plan to make money, and have always said so.
  2. The raw information you are using is public, and anyone has access to it.
  3. The service that Technorati offers is important, and you will continue to offer many elements of that service free, as a public service.
  4. It is true that services -- such as Google search -- can have an enormous influence on business and society. That's why Google's share price is where it is, and why so many people work so hard at search engine optimization.
  5. Technorati will inevitably -- to the degree that it is successful -- influence the behavior of those who would like to benefit from the power thet comes from a high Technorati ranking, just like the lengths that people will go to in order to get a high Google ranking. As a result, Technorati will need to have very scrupulous business practices in its dealings with those to whom it sells its services."

And yesterday: "Throwing a cat amongst the pigeons. . . the blogosphere reaction to "The Selling of the Blogosphere...." the first in a series . . .it's like Doc Searls snowball effect by Tom Foremski for SiliconValleyWatcher".
So it is not just all about performance, tags, links, but also about the money.

- can Technorati keep track on bloglines citations which is now more accurate?
- is it possible for Technorati to control the blogosphere?
- can or better are they allowed to make money with our free content, selling it to other companies?
- should it not be better if Yahoo or Goolge buys them for a better and stable technology?
- can we complain if a service is for free?

Let's see how fast this posting will show up. When searching for Peter Hirschberg (Technorati staff) I see that the search is fast on the postings but the photo's and links to Furl a.s.o. do not show up. So David what about: "Scaling, performance, and plain old bug fixing" or does it not make sense to complain because Technorati is free?


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» Interrogations sur l'avenir de Technorati from
Technorati occupe une place à part dans la blogosphère. Né en novembre 2002, il a été le premier un des premiers services (voir commentaires) à permettre aux blogueurs de se découvrir, de se parler et de suivre l'évolution de leur... [Read More]

Stowe Boyd

It's Stowe, not Steve.

Hans Mestrum

My apologies Stowe. I changed it.

Duncan Riley

I'm happy you referenced the Blog Herald as a referece point, but I've got to add something on the whole money argument, and that's the fact I'm not comfortable with it. Don't get me wrong, there are lots of problems with Technorati, but I don't begrudge them making a quid, indeed I can only hope that they'll use the money to improve the service. Unfortunately a lot of the money posts have been anti-making money and I don't think that's fair. Technorati is entitled to make money as is any one or company is. They've not done a Six Apart and excluded us for the main service so credit where credit is due, but they have ignored to some extent the reliability of their main public service. As I've posted at The Blog Herald though I make these comments with no malice as perhaps others do: Technorati to me means a lot: they were there when I started and I've always used the services, its justy so sad that its not as good as it use to be. I do honestly hope however that they get their act together.

Hans Mestrum

@duncan: Technorati is a great tool. If it is functioning. It is a disaster when it has hickups. I discover that more and more last weeks. Especially because I use the technorati tags. It is not a problem that they make money with it. But it is good to have a discussion about ethics of blogging. On what part of my content are they making money? The metadata or the content itself? The content itself has a cc license. The metadata is no problem. But the technology must be better otherwise they are death at the end. And I think that is not what we want. I also really love this tool.
The SixApart example of you makes no sense (but every now and then you are using it....). It is no problem for me paying a very small amount for this great tool (TypePad) and service. This tool is reliable and stable.

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