Part 1: Interview with Derek Gordon, Marketing Director for Technorati

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tn-logo.gifEven though interviews with marketing directors aren’t believed much these days (sorry Derek!), it gives a good insight on what Technorati is up to and what’s coming from them in the future, so I thought I’d post it. Here’s part one of my interview with Derek Gordon, the Marketing Director for Technorati:

[Also, for the record, I did try to get and ask for Dave Sifry (the questions below were originally intended for him), perhaps my blog wasn’t big enough to be worth giving an interview to ;-)]

Technorati has to be one of the most successful ‘Web 2.0’ companies around. How did it start? Could you give us a brief history?

David Sifry founded the company after creating the service that allowed folks to search the blogosphere for relevant and timely blog content — that was November 27, 2002. Since then Technorati has steadily grown while improving and expanding its services along side the explosive expansion of the blogosphere. As increasingly more people take up blogging around the world, Technorati’s motto of “be of service” continues to be our primary guiding principal. Today, we have more than 30 employees, have a joint venture partner, Technorati Japan, that’s also very successful, and are tracking more than 29 million blogs.

When Technorati was new, I remember it faced quite a few problems, most of which, although not all, are now fixed (Jason Calacanis has a good post on this). Is this because Technorati has grown, in funding and also as a company? How would you justify its growth?

Technorati has grown as the global phenomenon of blogging has grown. The combination of the the extraordinarily hard work of our engineers and business folks, together with the foresight of our investors, has meant that we’ve been able to continually improve our service, usually guided by the invaluable (and often blunt!) feedback from those we seek to serve.

Speaking of growth, you very recently posted an update on the state of the blogsphere, which seem to be very interesting and simply amazing. One of those which stand out most to me is the fact that the blogosphere is doubling in size every 5 and a half months. One year from now, do you see this number growing (ie. doubling every 3 months) or reducing? Where is the blogosphere heading?

Clearly, this trend of the blogosphere doubling every five and a half months can’t continue forever; there are only so many humans on the planet! At some point, we expect the growth rate to slow, especially as some folks decide to drop blogging as an activity even as new folks come online. And there will be the phenomenon of single individuals publishing multiple blogs, each with its own topic or point of view.

Something which has been in the news recently is the Technorati Kitchen, which is part of a rapidly growing space of so-called “meme-trackers” (Memeorandum, Tailrank, Blogniscient, and most recently Megite). How do you think it stacks up to the competition?

The Technorati Kitchen was introduced as a way for those we seek to serve to test those things we’re cooking up and to give us their really valuable insights and feedback. Sometimes, we admittedly come up with truly “half-baked” ideas, so we thought why not invite folks into our kitchen to help guide our efforts. Of course, this isn’t a new idea, and I’m sure others are doing this better than we, but it’s a first step for us and the feedback so far is that folks really appreciate this sort of an opportunity.

Recently, Steve Rubel raised a good point about being able to “take your Technorati links with you” when you switch blog addresses or platforms. Is this something Technorati might look at in the future?

It’s definitely something we’re looking into, but don’t have firm plans for as yet.

The second part of this interview will be posted within the next several days. Stay tuned! (to be notified when it’s posted, consider subscribing to the RSS feed).


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