J-Cal’s troops on the attack over Technorati critics: conflict of interest not in vocab
An interesting attack piece from Marshall Kirkpatrick at the Weblogs Inc blog The Social Software Weblog aimed at Stowe Boyd over at Corante who dared be critical of the new “Technorati Slider” service that kicks out all the allegedly insignificant riff raff of the blogosphere and lets you only see results from the A-List….Sure, Stowe’s argument may have been a little precious but do we see the conflict of interest here? I mean seriously, Kirkpatrick complains that the “Slider” name isn’t the best choice, and he’s probably right. They should have called it the “Weblogs Inc and a few others” feature.
Which AOL owned Weblog Network will benefit the most from a filtering feature that ranks a blogs authority by the number of incoming links?…..hmmm, let me see….would it be Weblogs Inc perhaps. Now I’m not attacking J-Cal because he worked hard (or maybe just made Peter Rojas work hard…) to get Weblogs Inc., to where it is today, and he deserves a lot of credit for that, but when you start attacking people over a difference of opinion where that differing opinion is a threat to a feature that has huge benefits for the company you work for…it’s called a conflict of interest….and lets face it, I know all about conflicts of interest, every time I open my mouth lately I’m accused of having one due to my part ownership of b5media :-)
Hmmm…by this logic any blog in a network would have an unfair advantage, the larger the network the greater the advantage. To be honest this wasn’t something I had considered. It makes a lot of sense though and seems to be another problem with the authority system.
I also hadn’t thought of it as keeping riff raff out (I’m a big fan of riff raff – my personal blog marshallk.com would get whacked by a high slider in most searches), but a way to selectively limit certain searches to blogs that were extensively engaged in the most communicative part of the blogosphere – sharing links from other blogs – relative to others in the discussion of that topic or keeping out search spam.
Sometimes a slider based on inbound links makes sense, sometimes it doesn’t. And I’m glad it’s an option for when it makes sense. But point well taken about the effect of blog networks on this system.