Thursday, January 13, 2005

Will Technorati die?

Andrew Chen gives us "5 Reasons Why Feedster and Technorati will Die". Brutal, but the post makes some good points and is worth reading.

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 there it is. Technorati has huge amounts of oh-so-tasty data. They're swimming in an ocean of information. If they can surface the right data to the right people, bubble up the news people need, then they'd have something truly unusual.

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.


Thomas Hawk said...

It was interesting to notice for the first time today that Technorati had ads running in a search that I did on the site. They must get an awful lot of hits for the time being.

Greg Linden said...

The link for the article was on the word "gives". I switched it to the title of the article so it's easier to see. Sorry about that.

Doug Thacker said...

Interesting speculation on Technorati. On my my weblog I've been using Technorati tags since December. They're great and they drive quite a bit of traffic my way. But of late I've noticed they aren't working at all. One day everything was working fine, and, the next, my blog just disappeared to Technorati. Something is broken, and I don't know if its Technorati, or something in Blogger.

in any event, Technorati - what they do - seems like a natural for Google or Yahoo or MSN. It's one of those companies that gets crushed by its larger, related brethren, or else grows big enough first that instead of being crushed is bought and absorbed.