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April 3, 2007

Rumor Mill: Is Technorati About to Be Sold Off?

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Update: David Sifry confirms in the comment section that Technorati is NOT for sale. Huzzah! Thanks, David!

It’s been six months since we’ve received our "quarterly" update from Technorati founder David Sifry about the current State of the Blogosphere. We still haven’t gotten a true update (I hear things are progressing nicely in the blog world…) but today we did get a status report on Technorati. It seems David’s baby has grown up substantially over the past four years. No more onesies for this mature 4-year-old.

David says:

"Many people still think of us as the world’s leading blog search company I founded nearly four years ago (yeah, we will hit our 4 year corporate anniversary in May). While that statement is still true, it is only part of our story today. Technorati is now very much a media company – one that is unlike any other you’ve seen to be sure, but a media company nonetheless. What we bring to the fore is social media – the ways in which people are expressing themselves across the Web each and every day, in real-time. It’s informative, entertaining, vexing, touching, enervating and, every once in awhile, utterly unforgettable. It is, truly, the Live Web."

David’s comments and a promise of a full blogosphere update later in the week have made people like Mark Evans and Andy Beal wary that Technorati may be on its way to sold. What got me and others was David’s assertion that Technorati has grown into "a media company". Like Google, it’s no longer just a search engine; it’s a company–a company that can buy and sell things. A company that can stay out late and steal its parents car if it wants to. Huzzah! [Why must you always take the metaphors too far?–Susan] It’s part of my charm; don’t hate.

Personally, I hope Technorati isn’t looking for suitors. I’m hoping that everyone is just reading far too much into David’s wording due to it being a somewhat slow news day (Google hasn’t bought anything today yet). My gut feeling is anyone who purchases Technorati will ruin it. I rely on Technorati way too much to watch that happen.

On paper, Technorati may look like a media company ready to be snatched up, but would it really be smart for another company to try and snatch up Technorati? The fact that it’s so self-sustaining would make it nearly impossible for anyone to smartly integrate it into their own system. For example, if Google wanted to add Technorati to the list of companies it will acquire this April, what would they actually do with it? It wouldn’t be something they could take full control over like Writely, it would be more akin to a separate-but-we-own-it YouTube acquisition. Is that really what they need? They’re better off improving Google Blog Search.

I don’t want to see Technorati sell out. I continue to be impressed by their growth. Page views and users aside, Technorati has grown from being a query-based engine to one that uses tags to give you multiple views of the topic at hand. A lot of the features Google is testing out in SearchMash and Ask is toying with in Ask X, Technorati is already implementing wide-spread.

Try using Technorati’s tag search today instead of the main blog search. When users perform a query for [boston red sox] [You misspelled [los angeles dodgers], there but I fixed it for you.–Susan] – Why must you always take your comments too far? I’m a Sox fan. Move on. Technorati includes blog posts, photos, videos, podcasts, music, people, events, and related tags to help users see that tag in its full context. As tagging is become more universally used in social media, this was a very smart feature for Technorati to add. It’s not only smart, though; it’s hopefully where traditional search is heading as well. I’ve long rallied behind the idea of one-size-fits-all approach to search. I want to be able to go to my favorite search engine, enter in my query, and get all the information that engine has on the topic. Technorati is the closest engine and "media company" to be able to do this.

David, please don’t sell Technorati. And if you already have, please don’t let Company X ruin it. You’ll be breaking my little blogger heart.

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One response to “Rumor Mill: Is Technorati About to Be Sold Off?”

  1. David Sifry writes:

    Thanks, Lisa! I’m not sure where people get their theories from, but Technorati is not for sale. We’ve got a LOT of great things going on, and nobody is looking to sell it off…

    Dave



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