Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Mud wrestling with Technorati

This thing (Thing 14) made my head hurt.

I have to admit that my most valuable discovery while scrapping in the mud with wasn't about Technorati. While looking for reasons why Technorati wasn't indexing my blog, I found this bit of HTML in the Technorati Help/FAQ, that, when inserted into my blog's page header, made my blog's RSS finally work properly with Outlook. Bonus! Weird that it wasn't already included in this standard page template for Blogger, though.

As far as using Technorati to search...well, maybe. I might use it if I were really digging. However, I'm more likely to start following blogs because they are acclaimed in respected publications or by people I respect.

My issues: Looking for particular topics brought up too much junk, and looking for authorities either brought up stuff I already know about or didn't really like. There seemed to be no middle ground. The sites in the pre-populated directories (e.g., "Popular" and "Top 100") were either of little interest to me (I know it's crazy, but I really don't care about Paris Hilton or Jennifer Garner) or obvious (I've long been acquainted with Gizmodo).

I also created a watchlist...but why? I just don't like searching on this site. Now, if I really had to exhaustively follow a particular topic (e.g., for competitive intelligence) or if I were monitoring to see how and when a new idea first appears in the digital realm (e.g., new product buzz), this might be a valuable tool.

It also took me longer than it should to figure out where things were. I guess Technorati's concept of design and mine diverge greatly. It may have been a fluke, but I also seemed to receive an extraordiary number of error messages while using the site. Very irritating.

Now, as a blog owner, Technorati is an entirely different matter. I can certainly see the merit of adding Technorati tags to my blog to generate exposure. The tools for seeing links to my blog, where my blog ranks (4,777,538), et cetera, might also be good if, unlike me, you actually care about readership numbers. I also rather like the widget, which you can see in the side navigation bar.

So why does my head hurt? Well, it seems to me that I should be able to use the labels in Blogger do double duty as Technorati tags. I couldn't seem to get it to work, though, no matter what I tried. (If someone out there can tell me, please do.) I found the Help/FAQ on Technorati to be poorly written. I finally conceded that I'd forever need to add separate Technorati tags at the end of each post. I suppose that's not terrible, but is annoyingly redundant.

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