Part two, contined from last week’s part one, of my interview with Derek Gordon, Marketing Director for Technorati.
The concept of Technorati Tags has been a success. What’s your take on that? Do you agree on the most part?
Tags has been a terrific success, thanks almost exclusively to the community of folks who regularly use them. Technorati is proud to be among the vanguard of companies to first embrace and use tags as a way to better serve folks looking for relevant and timely search results. It’s a very real example of the success of relying on everyday people to keep information accurate, more easily identified and free-flowing.
Above, I mentioned some of the problems Technorati faced at the start and how most of them are now fixed. However, some bloggers (Darren Rose from ProBlogger has a good post on this), including myself, have still been facing some problems such as the ping feature not working, etc. I realise this is something you have to live with when your managing 30 million blogs and monitoring 1.2 million new blog posts per day. How would to respond to this?
We’re not perfect and we’re absolutely clear on this point. As we continue to focus on being of service to all those who rely on Technorati, we continually work to improve our service even while continually introducing new, more powerful features. As always, we rely on the folks we serve to let us know where we’re excelling, where we’re falling down and what more we might do to better serve all our users. We’ve recently formalized things like the development of and regular updates to our priorities list (we call it our roadmap — original, eh?…) and added a full time technical support person to stay on top of issues as they’re identified and to articulate the steps we need to take to address such issues.
I wanted to get your take on main-steam users and reaches out to the masses. On your about page (http://www.technorati.com/about/), you mention (quote):
“The Pew Internet study estimates that about 11%, or about 50 million, of Internet users are regular blog readers.”
11% is a good number, but how does 20% or 30% sound? Will that ever happen? Is it even possible?
While Pew’s numbers are terrific, they probably don’t tell the full story, because so many still are not sure what blogs are or how to differentiate them from other web-based forms of expression. Also, increasingly folks are seeing blog content side-by-side mainstream media content on the sites they’ve come to trust over the years (for instance, Technorati serves up the blog content offered with stories on washingtonpost.com and newsweek.com, among many others.) So I think the numbers of folks who are readers of blogs are probably far greater than polling data will indicate. I think as awareness of what exactly blogs are (and look like) increases, folks will be able to more accurately respond to surveys.
Lastly, what does the future hold for Technorati?
It’s a very exciting time at Technorati. We continue to grow along with the blogosphere and continue to focus on “being of service” even as we’re called upon to serve folks who live well beyond North America. Our focus in 2006 will be to continue to improve our basic service, create a fuller range of member services, introduce services for businesses, and to create a full range of services that take advantage of the emergence of microformats such as hReview, hCal and others. Longer term, we’re interested in understanding how we might better serve the folks who seek out the fuller range of user-generated content. It’s all very exciting for us!
Thanks for your time.
Thanks for your patience and for seeking us out!