Friday, September 02, 2005

The New Technorati Blog Tool

Yes, I saw Niall's post introducing Technorati's new blog finder tool last night. Yes, I also read some immediate criticism of it. Yes, this seems to address much of what we said was woefully unavailable while at BlogHer.

And yes, I have been playing with it, and tagging my own blogs.

First major positive reaction: Yes, this is what we were talking about.

-The ability to self-identify...and in lots of different ways.
-The ability to search by niche, by topic, whatever you want to call it.
-I have already been using it for my business today, and have already found things I just couldn't find with key word searches. Or I only could have found after wading through lots of garbage.

The obvious potential negative (and some concrete ones.)

-It only seems to automatically pick up some categories, and not others. Which is weird. And just perpetuates my underlying discomfort with Technorati as a service...that it doesn't reliably deliver everything it says it will.
-They continue to have problems with being unable to handle the load they're under, and I do wonder whether they shouldn't have perhaps gotten that more under control before introducing a new tool that everyone was going to try.
-As the post above points out, there is some inconsistency in spelling and taxonomy. Perhaps if someone searches on PR, they should include reasonable variations.
-Yes, I can see how people could try to game this system with the self-identification stuff. Pick words that are popular and tag your blog with those words.But hopefully the folks behind those automated splog creations will take a while to automate blog tagging on them all!

And I confess, my biggest issue remains the fact that we do way too much of this particular search engine's work for it.

Yes indeed, people use SEO techniques to try to improve their rankings in Google. That's not my particular cup o' tea. I don't do anything particularly hard-core, and I do next to no SEO at all with my blogs (vs. my company web site, and yet I manage to be found. I don't need to tag or self-identify and certainly not with every post or page added. Why can't they do the same with blogs?

But, I don't want to leave you with my carping as the last impression. The fact is that this is what we were talking about, asking for, OK, demanding. And Technorati seems to be doing their best to deliver. I'm very pleased, and it will make my day-to-day operations at Worker Bees easier.

Am I wrong or is this new feature just not working? I clicked on one of their featured blog tags, "knitting", and got this, "There are no blogs tagged Knitting yet. To add your blog to this page, just put this code on your site or claim your blog and add "Knitting" to your blog tags". Err...
I just tried it, and 197 blogs showed up.

This is right to my point that they need to get their core services together before they start getting fancy.
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