Technorati tweaking

The original was born during a writing project David Sifry and I were doing for . Late at night David pinged me and said “Look at this,” and I was amazed. It was the first search engine for what we then called The Live Web (and now call Real Time). Basically, it was a search engine that just paid attention to RSS, which back then consisted mostly of blogs. (I welcome corrections from David, or anybody, on that. It’s been awhile.) When David made Technorati a company, he put me on its advisory board, and for awhile I had some influence on where it went and what it did. It was also, for many subjects, my primary search engine. If I wanted to follow conversation about a subject, Technorati was where I went first. I also liked the way it allowed me to look at a topic’s trending over the last few weeks or months. Technorati was also a technical pioneer, introducing tag search, along with new standards and practices around tagging in general. After Google Blogsearch came along, I used both, but Technorati was usually my first choice. I especially liked s.technorati.com, which gave the same results through a plain no-bullshit search UI.

Over the years, however, Technorati came to value popularity and buzz more than the kind of stuff I was looking for. Some of the same functionality was there, but it was buried deeper and deeper. For example, feeds of searches. If I wanted to subscribe to feeds of, say, a search for Nokia N900, I could click on something that said (or meant) “get a feed for this search.” Google Blogsearch had the same feature, and made it easy. Still does, giving me a choice of Blog Alerts, Atom and RSS, under a heading that says “Subscribe”. Twitter search, similarly, has “feed for this query”.

Without being able to find that feed easily, I lost interest in Technorati, only going there when I couldn’t find the results I wanted elsewhere. By that time David and most of the other people I knew at Technorati had moved on, so I didn’t have much interest in volunteering advice.

But I learned this morning (via Twitter, naturally) that Technorati had gone through an overhaul. It’s certainly faster and less cluttered. But I still can’t find feeds for searches. Trending seems to be gone, or hidden where I can’t find it. And I have no idea how to do tag searches with it. Maybe that’s because, as CEO Richard Jalichandra explains here, “We’re eliminating many of Technorati.com‘s annoyances and some features, especially ones people didn’t use enough to justify the cost. Instead, we’re focusing on delivering the value people really want from us: instead of boiling the ocean to make coffee, we’re aiming to deliver the non-fat soy latte you asked for.”

Well, that “you” isn’t me. Which is cool. Technorati has become less a search company and more a media company. They launched Technorati Media at the same time. It’s a way to buy and sell ads. I wish them well with it. (Hey, Techcruch likes it.)

Meanwhile I’ll stick with Google Blogsearch for my live Web searching.

Wonder what the rest of ya’ll think.

11 comments

  1. Seth Finkelstein’s avatar

    “Meanwhile I’ll stick with Google Blogsearch for my live Web searching.”

    Oh, how the (blog world) mighty have fallen. Technorati’s rise and fall is an object lesson that’s there’s some problems with being a big fish in a small pond – like getting eaten by a shark.

  2. Doc Searls’s avatar

    Not sure Technorati was ever “mighty.” At its best it was a good and helpful service. I miss what it did well.

  3. Steve’s avatar

    There authority numbers are completely different and not quite understandable as a number of my sites jumped in authority and others went to a 1. Makes the authority ranking less reliable if a site can completely change from one day to the next.

  4. Russell Nelson’s avatar

    I used to use Technorati to find out who was linking to me. Then they made it too hard to use, so I just stopped. I still have (soon to be “had”) a link into them, but THEY BROKE MY LINK. Life is too short to cooperate with people who break links, so I’m off to remove it.

  5. Bob Boynton’s avatar

    A year ago I was using both Technorati and Google to find blogs about campaign videos posted to YouTube by the candidates. Technorati always found more, and they all seemed relevant. I do not know what has happened in this year, but more was better as far as I was concerned.

  6. Michael Perry’s avatar

    I don’t use technorati at all anymore; not that I ever was a truly power user of it. I did simple searches for things that interested me and had/have an account. I simply moved past it or it moved past me. Unsure. Now I just write my usually stupid and vapid blog posts and search for things on google that I may want to read. I also just read stuff on my android phone using google’s reader stream.

    I don’t think I ever really used all the features there at technorati. Now I use even less.

  7. Skip Malette’s avatar

    You could say they’ve cut the long tail off this puppy. Sounds like a re-application of old media revenue methods.

  8. Doc Searls’s avatar

    Good way of putting it, Skip.

    Worse, it just doesn’t work very well. The old Technorati found stuff nothing else would. The new one doesn’t. I just went to find something Keith Hopper wrote, and Technorati came up with exactly nothing in searches of blogs, and nothing useful in searches of posts, even when I used quotes to force-find the exact phrase. It was as if I hadn’t used the quotes at all. (Did they drop using Lucene?) Google Blogsearch found what I was looking for in one click.

    With “write for Technorati” and Technorati Engage they’re recruiting the long tail as both bait and fish for advertising. Feh.

  9. John’s avatar

    I don’t use technorati at all anymore. It is a pain. It has issues

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