When I started this blog, I was worried that it would take over my life. What I didn’t know at the time was that the blog wasn’t the only thing that would take over. Now, when I log on each day, it’s not just to read comments on the blog or write something for it. I also must make a trip to Technorati to find out what the rest of the blogging world thinks of me.
Technorati is a search engine for blogs. So if you want to find out what bloggers are writing about, say, the Dubai Ports controversy, you would have plenty of reading material through Technorati. Of course you’d have to sift through 12,000+ posts on the subject.
But if you’re a blogger, Technorati has a much different purpose, one that easily becomes addictive. You can track what other bloggers are saying about what you write on your blog simply by searching for your blog’s web address. This is the wider conversation in the blogosphere, and one that’s important to follow if you truly want to engage with your readers.
And it gets better (or worse): Technorati also ranks your blog by the number of “unique links” you’ve received from other sites and blogs. So day by day, I can watch my blog climb from 13,848th place up to 10,432nd place up to its current position of 8,845th place. Of course there’s a Top 100 list of blogs that are deemed most popular, ranked according to links.
If this whole thing sounds like some sort of pyramid scheme, where blogs linking to blogs makes them all more popular, you’re starting to get the picture. Being popular doesn’t mean you’re the most useful blog. There’s no sane reason why the Cute Overload blog filled with cuddly animal pictures comes in at #49, while Steve Rubel’s Micropersuasion blog filled with new-media marketing knowledge comes in at #71. (Perhaps Steve should add more pics of furry animals?)
Yes, of course, there are plenty of imitators to the Technorati title of blog search king — Google Blog Search, IceRocket, etc. — but none of them have the personality or combination of features to hook you in as a blogger.
Of course it didn’t hurt when Technorati CEO Dave Sifry dropped me an email telling me to “claim my blog” on Technorati. It sounded so innocent but he might as well have been dealing crack. Now I can obsess every hour about who has linked to me, what they’ve said, and if my ranking has gone up a few spots or down. He should call it Techno-crack-i.
I thought it might be helpful to put together a traditional 12 step plan to help us Technorati addicts kick our habit. And if that doesn’t work, I also have some suggestions for Sifry to help addict us even more.
12 Step Plan for Curing Technorati Addiction
1. We admit we are powerless over Technorati — that our lives have become unmanageable.
2. We erase all Technorati bookmarks and links from our browsers.
3. We swear on a stack of bibles that we will only visit the Technorati site once per day.
4. We accept in our hearts that being in 8,845th place is good enough!
5. We admit to God, to ourselves, and to another blogger the exact nature of our addiction.
6. We swear that we will never, ever take Technorati’s new Top 100 Most Favorited blogs list seriously. Really.
7. We are entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of our character.
8. We make a list of all the people we have secretly hated for writing bad things about us on their blogs, and become willing to make amends with them all.
9. We make amends with these people without flaming them on our blogs or in the comments section of their blogs.
10. We will never beg, grovel or cajole other bloggers to link to us in order to raise our Technorati ranking.
11. We will fully accept into our hearts any blog post we write even if it isn’t linked by anyone via Technorati.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we will carry this message to the blogosphere, and will practice these principles in all of our online life.
6 Step Plan for Making Technorati More Addictive
1. Tell us how our blog ranks within each category of blogs.
2. Send us email alerts when our blog goes up 500 places, congratulating us.
3. Tell us exactly who said what about our blog, and identify exactly who they are — real name, profession, hometown.
4. Speed up the performance of the site.
5. Give us full graphical charts showing the ups and downs of our blogs’ popularity.
6. Eliminate all lag between the moment someone posts about our blog to the time we can see it on a Technorati search.