Technorati, the UI you Love to Hate™, just relaunched with a new user experience, some new features, a rediscovered emphasis on What’s Happening on the Web Right Now. Fred Wilson is hopeful. I’m not that impressed. How is this any different than the huge relaunch 6 months ago?
Whereas folks using Technorati a couple of years ago were predominantly coming to us to search the blogosphere to surface the conversations that were most interesting to them, today they are increasingly coming to our site to get the 360 degree context of the Live Web – blogs of course, but also user-generated video, photos, podcasts, music, games and more. They want all the good stuff out there, all in real-time, and we’re using the power of 80 million bloggers to help organize it and make it fun to browse; using the wisdom of crowds as a mirror on ourselves.
That was from May 2007.
First, an aside — are they searching, discovering, or percolating? Or all three? My Marketing Buzzmeter flashes uncontrollably when I read some of this. It sounds focus-grouped. It sounds like Mindheads. It sounds smelly.
I jest (a little bit); their theory seems sound enough. Blog posts are
primarily ranked by the age of the item, the authority of its source, the authority of the referring blogs and the density of recent links to it […]
I did a little test: I had a lengthy post last night on performance reviews titled Performance Reviews Are Asinine. I searched for “Performance Reviews” on Technorati.com:
The top two results (above the fold) are from a music review blog and an Oscar-awards blog. Then we have something ACTUALLY about performance reviews from the Frugal Duchess, then crap: Manga, Cell Phones, London Theater, Erotic Art. I mean, come ON. Only one of those seven posts includes the exact term “Performance Reviews”, and only one (the same one) concerns the topic at hand. A few of those blogs have barely any more authority than does Xidey. The common factor seems to be timeliness — the oldest post in this list is only 6 hours ago.
Just for kicks, I searched for the exact title of my post — Performance Reviews are Asinine — and (predictably) didn’t get any better luck.
Note the age of these posts: 25 to 98 days ago.
My verdict on Technorati search, whether or not it’s called “Search”, “Discovery”, “Percolating”, or whatever — is that it needs some fundamental changes. If you can’t find posts with the exact title you’re looking for, it’s not really search at all. The good news? They are probably better than Safari Bookshelf.