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Technorati and the inevitable sadness of death

Technorati and the inevitable sadness of death

Duncan Riley> A melodramatic title to be sure, but I didn’t want to use Technorati is broken because I’ve used it before, and also I’m sad. Because Technorati is dying. It’s not the same depth of sadness you’d have for a close friend or family member, its more like losing an associate, you know, the sort of person you wave to or say Gday (sorry Hi for US readers) to on your way into work. You might not even know their name but the familiarity of the interaction causes sadness when it ceases to be. Inevitably though the relationship is replaced, a new person might now sit in that cubicle or office space, and they might be less or more friendly, new patterns of interaction emerge.

In the blogosphere, Technorati is the old, and services such as Blogpulse are taking their place. The new interaction is not the same however. I miss the particular way that Technorati use to deliver me my stats, figures that included the number of blogs linking in and the number of stats, which was actually accurate and changed every day. I miss the way I could look where I ranked in the blogosphere and trust that the number was accurate. I miss being able to troll through recent links and discover new blogs and interesting people. Sure, I can do it with some of the other services, but the old Technorati just did it in a way that I was comfortable with.

But like many deaths this one is being argued across the blogosphere. Jeremy gets right to the point, in a way I cant without swearing profusely. Doc defends Technorati. Others report on the quest to moneterize Technorati while its core services die a slow and painful death. Scoble uses the word ragging in a sentence. .

But what does it all mean. The Technorati we all knew and loved is dying. Perhaps in the model of Google Technorati has tried to expand its business whilst ignoring its core and initial function. Search at Technorati gets worse and more inaccurate by the day whilst its competitors grow stronger. Is there life in Technorati? maybe, but only if they start focusing on getting the fundementals right first. David Sifry, hear this plea of love for a lost associate and act, because tomorrow there is always BlogPulse, PubSub, Bloglines and others, but alas they will never be the same.

View Comments (20)
  • I fear you may be right, Duncan, which would be a great shame. I’m in a small minority it seems when I say that I still rely on Technorati for a number of services. Of course, we don’t know their financial situation, but it was rather ominous when the paid subscription service was blurted out at a conference, leaving the blog world astounded. Hard choices? They need a white knight.

  • You talk about BlogPulse, PubSub, Bloglines replacing technorati – but there are lacking one central feature: they don’t try to establish tags. Technorati dying now, will mean the idea of tags will die with it (at least for a while, I assume it will return some other day).

  • Indeed, Technorati has become less and less useful as of late. 90% of the time when I punch in my URL, I get a Zero Sized Reply. They don’t index my posts anymore, by keywords or by tags. I’m not sure what’s wrong – maybe they don’t have enough money to deal with the increased usage they’re seeing.

    Whatever it is, unless they do a U-turn fairly soon, I think Technorati is out of the game.

  • I’ve tried to be nice to our friend Technorati, turning a blind eye to his various transgressions. Sure he’s been buying the drinks, but he’s in a new crowd now. He’s spread thin, he’s laughing at the wrong jokes. I thought I knew him, but the him I knew is gone. Bartender! Another brandy manhattan, please.

    Seriously, it sucks. It doesn’t do the very thing I’ve always used it for – track who is linking to my blog. Guess I’ll check out BlogPulse. Feedster is good too, and faster.

  • Duncan,

    Thanks for the teriffic feedback and comments. I feel your pain.

    We sat down, listened hard to what you were saying, and then got to work. And tonight, we rolled out a raft of bug fixes and performance enhancements that should help most, if not all of the Cosmos (URL) searches you do on Technorati.

    Give it a go – I just did a search for links to blogherald, and the search came back in about 2 seconds:

    These improvements don’t fix everything – some searches are still slow, and while we pride ourselves on completeness and fast index times, there’s still a long way to go. Performance and scalability improvements are our top priority over the next 6 weeks.

    Let me give you some stats on what’s going on in the blogosphere as well, just for perspective. We’re now tracking over 900,000 posts per day on average, which means about 10 posts per second. We’re also seeing about 80,000 new weblogs created each day. That’s more weblogs created each day than there were total when I started the service in November 2002. And our search traffic has increased by over 40% month on month for each of the last 4 months. The day of the london bombings we saw over 1.2 Million posts, and had an additional 30% increase in traffic as people turned to weblogs, moblogs, and other citizen’s media for instant updates on events in London, survivor accounts, and sharing of deep feelings on the tragedy.

    By the way, those stats are not meant as an excuse. We are in the big leagues, and we are investing in all of the infrastructure necessary to scale and handle the incredible growth of the blogosphere. I hope that we can win back your trust and that the fixes we rolled out tonight and will continue to roll out over the coming days and weeks will be of service to you. Because, in the end, that’s what this is all about to us – to be of service to you.

    Thanks again for the great feedback and comments. I really appreciate the time you’ve taken to be so frank and honest with us.


  • Ok David, you are listening! Great. But what about postings which do not show up at all? Or tags which are not there?

    Some examples: (where are my postings: and

    They are not in the search and in the tags? I see the same with this posting of maarten of sixapart:

  • David
    thanks for the response, and I’m glad you’ve taken it the right way, because its hard not to love Technorati, I’ve used the service from the days when you had 100,000 blogs listed and its been a part of my blogging experience since and I really think that had you’d not been there blogging would have been the same for me and a whole pile of relatively older blogging hack. From a user perspective its just hard to cope with the bad stuff, I understand and respect that you guys are growing, maybe we’ll put it down to puberty :-)

  • I can live without the cosmos and rep tracking functions, plenty of other ways to do that. I can live without the blog search box (I’m using blogdigger now, and it works!) but I cannot live without technorati tags. They have made themselves the industry standard and they had better get their service problems taken care of, or I’m going to cry. It has always made me nervous that we bloggers link back to Technorati Tags exclusively. Especially when the damn site is unavailable half the time. I’m sure scalability is a real challenge, but what’s that VC money going towards if not scalability?

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