Technorati Fail – The Monster is Out – Another Cloud in Transition

Technorati has fallen far in the rankings of web relevancy since Twitter has bulldozed into the public attention span. What once was the benchmark for authority and all things blog, Technorati has struggled recently to pull up out of the tech-no-rati or tech-literate strata and made it’s presence known in the MSM (mainstream media).

A quick look at the top nav might reveal some of what the problem is.

technorati's top nav

Are banners across the top of navigation systems effective these days? Does anyone click on these? I guess here the add is merely separating the top “Notice” ribbon from the nav, but I find them part of the problem with online advertising. The AD is well targeted at the “tech” savvy, but it’s a virus checking software package from Norton. And the headline is a bit more like a teaser for a racing game. Does anyone associate SPEED with virus checking? I guess if I’m in the market for virus protection this is as good a place as any for me to find out about it, but the call to action (CTA) should be relevant to the purpose of the software and not fronted as a game. [Cause virus elimination is NO GAME. Sorry, I had to put that in.]

Okay, to the nav: What used to go for Technorati’s top navigation points were tabs at the bottom. Channels, Blogs, Photos, Videos, Favorites, Popular, Blogger Central, Support. Add to that the #1 Technorati feature SEARCH. And finally the account login or signout.

And now across the top, the Explore Technorati tabs: Technology, Business, Entertainment, Lifestyle, Politics, Sports, Motorcycles, Gadgets, Celebrity, IT, Film, Music, Advertising. This is where the Technorati value proposition breaks down.

In catering for the mass audience, Technorati has forgotten it’s main purpose.

Technorati #1 Purpose: Provide search and support for people blogging, looking for blogs and wanting to explore the blogosphere. What used to be the nerve center for blogging has become a “media site.” One of the many, one of the unfocused, and one of the lost sites now catering to whom ever might wander by and hopefully give them, “everyone,” something of interest.

It is possible to make a case for Technology, Business, IT, Gadgets under the umbrella “Tech”norati. But where does “celebrity” or “Motorcycles” add. In fact “motorcycles” is an interesting topic, don’t you think. It doesn’t quite fit in the same strata with the others. “Sports” would probably suffice. BUT, here’s the rub, “motorcycles” IS A TOPIC BECAUSE TECHNORATI HAS AN ADVERTISER PAYING TO ADVERTISE MOTORCYCLE INSURANCE.

So what audience is being served by Technorati’s “Explore” tabs?

I’ll leave that one for your insights in the comments.

So what about the “Monster” Fail of Technorati?

The Technorati Monster
The Technorati Monster

It’s cute, it’s failurific. It’s not as cute as the Fail Whale. But for the last two weeks I have attempted to “list” or “claim” several new blogs on Technorati. And this is the message from Technorati, “Doh!”

This is not a screen I have seen a couple of times. It is a repeatable fail. EVERY TIME I click on a request to get a WIDGET for one of the blogs I already have in my Technorati account, this “monster” prevents me from completing my task. This task has gone uncompleted for WEEKS. Do you know what “weeks” are in internet time? FOREVER. Perhaps the monster has slain the entire site.

server co-location problems
server co-location problems

All I can say for the “Maintenance” idea behind this monstrous problem at Technorati is “I hope you finish the ‘maintenance’ soon.”

And a finally a word of patience for myself and Technorati.

“There is no time to slay the dragon, the dragon is your friend.” — Rashad Field

So if Technorati can make friends with their monsters and befriend them, rather than try to purge them from the system, perhaps they will come back alive with the vibrancy of their past relevance. Or perhaps motorcycle insurance and Britney Spears sightings will continue to hold court.

I’m still waiting to add a few more blogs to my claims, whenever you get the site fixed. I’ll ping ya a couple of times a week, but at this point I am feeling more and more like I am wasting my time.

@jmacofearth
permalink: http://uber.la/2009/05/technorati-fail/ ‎

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