The biggest issue I see with Technorati and Feedster is that they seem to have no competitive advantage over the search giants. Technorati is a weblog search engine. It's a web search restricted to weblogs.
What would it take for Google to offer the same product? Identify weblogs in their crawl, crawl them more frequently, and then put up a version of their search index that only contains weblogs. I've got weblog search and trackbacks. Looks like I'm done. Frankly, I'd be really surprised if Google didn't already have this available internally.
It's unfortunate. I like Technorati. I'd love to see them thrive and succeed.
What should Technorati do? Andrew Chen suggests they should focus on helping people read the news, a version of Google News for weblogs. This would be entering the same space as My Yahoo, My MSN, and Bloglines though, a space that has its own issues.
Nevertheless, Feedster definitely appears to be moving in this direction with My Feedster. And Technorati is including more and more news on its home page.
But I think the answer lies in what appears to be a comment from Dave Sifry (CEO, Technorati) at the bottom of Andrew Chen's post. Dave says:
- ... I think you're missing out the huge 90% of Technorati that is "under the surface" ...
And Technorati is moving in this direction. For example, some of the clever uses of Technorati from the Technorati developers contest surface otherwise hidden tidbits of data in some quite interesting ways.
But they'll have to move quickly to avoid the search giants. Right now, Technorati is underfoot. That's not a good place to be.