My Love Hate Relationship With Technorati

Technorati has been around the blogging world for longer than I have. I remember when I first started blogging, I asked Jeff Jarvis "how do I know if anyone is linking to me?" He told me to type my blog’s URL into technorati. It was one of those "aha moments".

I don’t think a day has gone by since then that I have not entered my blog’s URL into technorati.  I value comments for sure, they are my favorite form of feedback. But I also really appreciate when someone links to my blog. In fact, those links are often my greatest source of traffic. I include a link to technorati at the bottom of all my posts in case you all want to see who is linking to that specific post. I find that link very useful and I hope you do too.

So the news that Technorati is relaunching (again) and is now focusing on bloggers is welcome news. I certainly want to see technorati succeed. But as everyone knows, technorati has been a maddening service to use. In the early days of my experience with technorati, many times I’d get an error message when I tried to access the service. For the most part, they have fixed that problem. But I still get flakey behavior every now and then.

But what’s worse is the ever changing UI. Every time I figure out exactly how to get what I need out of the service, they change it. The most recent UI was the worst. I had no idea how to use the service after they made that change.

One thing that is a big pet peeve for me is the lack of a direct link to the blog post that is linking to me. Check out this screenshot. This is the technorati result for my post on non-competes on monday.


Look at the second post, the one from Planet Ajaxian. There is no link to the post. The links takes you to Technorati’s page for that blog. From there, it’s hard to find the link to the blog itself, and from there you need to scroll around to find the post.

I never used to have this problem with Technorati. Now it happens all the time. What did they do to the service to make this happen? Are they doing this to get more traffic to technorati? I can understand the desire to do that. It’s hard to monetize a single result page and then the user is gone. But unfortunately, that’s what I expect from technorati and what they’ve been giving me for years.

If technorati wants to focus on bloggers, my first suggestion is to focus on these pages, the result pages for searches on blog URL’s and post URL’s. They can do a lot on these pages that they are not doing. Today I go to sitemeter, feedburner, google analytics, technorati, and a few other places to find out what’s going on my blog. Maybe technorati should use the apis from those other services to create a single page where I can see everything that’s going on my blog today. That would be useful.

Finally, a plea for bringing back the dynamic Technorati feed flare. It used to be that the technorati link at the bottom of each and every post on my blog would register the number of technorati links to that post, just like the way the comments link, the digg link, and the delicious link work.  That is really useful and would result in me (and others) clicking on that link quite often. Now that it doesn’t display the number of links I click on it a lot less and I am sure others do it. Please fix this technorati and feedburner/google. It’s badly needed.

#VC & Technology

Comments (Archived):

  1. Riaz Kanani

    why do you use sitemeter as well as google analytics? What does one give you that the other doesn’t?

    1. fredwilson

      i use all three; feedburner, google, and sitemeter. none give the exact same result, all three have different ways of showing the data, and i like to me anal about this stuff and you are right.fred

      1. Riaz Kanani

        lol – I am the same – how different is the data between them? Is it significant?

  2. engtech

    Technorati’s latest bug for about a month has been indexing my blog comments instead of my blog.Instead of having my blog posts show up nicely, it’s showing my comment feed.…Technorati is fundamentally broken in they scrape your blog homepage for posts instead of using an RSS feed. So depending on what template you use you can really screw them up.

  3. pwb

    Technorati has never had a very good handle on how users do and would use its service.

  4. Jim Kukral

    The question is…What problem does Technorati solve for us?Why do I need it? Why does it make my job/life easier?I can’t answer those questions right now, can you?

    1. fredwilson

      Yes, it shows me who is linking to me. It’s very valuable to bloggers. Not sure it has value to blog reader or anyone else though.Fred

    2. Riaz Kanani

      Seeing who is linking to you is definitely useful – but that doesn’t feel like it was what Technorati was set up to do – weren’t they there to allow you to see what was happening in real time in the blog world? I used to use Technorati for this a few years back but have stopped now because Google has caught up and my RSS feeds keeps me in touch with the majority of areas I used to search for. Now I only use it to see who links back to me – it regularly irritates me that my wordpress trackbacks never matches technorati’s though!

  5. bernard lunn

    I never used Technorati and now looked at it to see what value it might have and…blah! Techmeme is great at picking stories that I like and might have missed. I use Google Alerts to tell me who is linking to me, totally simple. I think this whole filtering technology is overdone. If something is worth reading some combination of Techmeme or a Blogger that I follow will highlight it (in other words, good old fashioned editorial). Of course by not using the latest set of filters I might be 24 hours behind the time…oh darn!

  6. Walnut Creek Kango

    I can’t keep up with Technorati’s changes either — it’s maddening, really, the way they apparently change things overnight. Couldn’t they just post some sort of advance notification on their site? Let’s storm the Bastille and demand our rights!

  7. Richard Jalichandra

    Fred, There’s some great feedback here, some of which can be addressed and some that is a lot more challenging. First, the new design was very important to do (and overall has gotten very good reviews), as the previous was difficult for both readers and advertisers to grasp. That’s not always what the passionate and professional blogger wants to hear, but the realities are that many people want to just read blogs and that advertisers pay the bills. This presents Technorati with a huge challenge: how do we satisfy the professional and hardcore blogger – our critically important minority – as well as the readers and advertisers, who are the overwhelming majority of our audience. After completing my first two months on the job, we’re still working on this challenge, and we clearly have a lot more to do. That said, this is really good feedback. I can’t promise we can address all of it, but we love hearing the constructive input and are trying to incorporate much of it while balancing our other constituents.

    1. fredwilson

      Thanks for the comment RichardMy gut tells me that focusing on your hard core constituency is the best wayto ultimately serve the entire audiencefred

  8. knev

    hi , iam new to technorati how do i link my blogs to other blogs in technorati.