While battling reliability and scaling issues Technorati is forging ahead with new services. David Sifry announced the launch of their Blog Finder service. The basic premise is to rank blogs by category or technically speaking, by tags. David says in his blog that new service answers the question, “How can you find authoritative blogs on a subject?” This is what Robert Scoble was asking for on Monday.
I took a quick look around at the new service this evening and here are my initial impressions.
The initial version of the listings was built by using category and tag data that blogs had already submitted. Right out of the box, the lists are very BETA. For example, some bloggers use the category ‘PR’ instead of ‘Public Relations’. As such, Neville Hobson’s blog is listed as the Most Authorative blog on ‘PR’ but is nowhere to be found on the list for ‘Public Relations’ blogs. Fellow Business Blog Consulting contributor BL Ochman is listed as the Most Authorative blog for ‘Public Relations’.
My blog is listed as the Most Authorative blog for ‘Orlando’ even though I rarely write about Orlando. Why? I guess becuase I have tagged more posts Orlando than other bloggers.
There are other issues as well. In the ‘PR’ search, Neville’s blog is listed in three places, under three different URLs. (nevon.net/nevon/, nevon.typepad.com and nevon.typepad.com/nevon/) This is due to the fracturing of data within Technorati’s index. If you remember Neville discovered this when he was having problems with Technorati’s search tool.
In addition, Steve Rubel is not listed under ‘PR’ or ‘Public Relations’, but he is second for ‘Podcasting’ behind Dave Winer.
If you have a Technorati account and have claimed your blog, you can specify the tags you want associated with your blog. I looked at this option and it does allow you to specify up to 20 tags for your blog. One problem I noticed though was it didn’t always save my changes. I removed a few generic tags such as ‘Stuff’ (one of my categories) and replaced it with something else. A few minutes later I returned to the entry screen and a number of tags were repeated and some of my original tags were no longer there. Hopefully they’ll fix this.
Overall this should be a very talked about feature. The initial bugs I noticed should be able to be cleaned up. We’ll see how the rest of the blogosphere reacts in the coming days. And unfortunately, we’ll also see how soon the spammers begin to manipulate the results.
Update 9.2.05 I have posted some futher analysis of Blog Finder.