I've been writing a lot about Technorati and its recent identity crisis ("I'm a portal! No, I'm a search engine! No, I'm a portal! No, a search engine! No, I'm a mess!") lately. I just don't understand how an essential tool in a specific space -- i.e., blogging -- can become virtually unusable after a round of publicized enhancements, supposedly tested out on beta users like me. I don't understand how Technorati's full-scale search failure over the last several weeks can go unexplained.
And don't get me wrong. I love(d) Technorati. I use(d) it for clients and for my own blog travels. I paid the money. I joined the party. I expect more.
And I'm getting a little miffed.
Because when it's someone like Dell that fails to deliver, more brick than click, the bloggerati jump up and down and demand satisfaction. They call in the legit media and launch a feeding frenzy.
But when it's me and the folks who comment here about Technorati's weeks of non-usability, you hear a lot of wind. Is that because we're supposed to all be friends? Not bite the hand that ranks us? Because Dave Sifry's busier launching Live 8 sites and sending bloggers backstage, and announcing top 100s, than he is making sure that we can search beyond the new Technorati wasted-space homepage?
Is it okay to take Dell to the matt while making sure one of our own is immune?
No it's not.
So what is it? Why no word from on high? Is it the price point difference between a Dell Notebook and a Technorati Watchlist? Is it a loyalty on the part of the Top 100 that Technorati has appointed that buys silence?
I have tried to search more than a dozen times in the past month. I have gotten an error message every time I've tried to go beyond first-page results. I've blogged about it. I've included screen clips. When I'm lucky enough to arrive at an actual page without an error message, it is taking upwards of a minute or more. Today, I didn't even make it to the first page results. Instead I got the old error message again.
You see, I don't like the big colorful icons and links to things I don't care about taking up space and costing extended loading time. I'm not a teen, I'm not a tween, and I'm not a twenty-something, so get over all the FUN you're trying to make me have, Technorati. Just cut it out and fix your product.
I don't know about you folks, but I'd like a few answers. I'm not sure who Technorati's PR folks are. Maybe I should snoop around.
And maybe Dell should stop making computers and start making blog search engines. No portals. No search engines. No portals.... They'd have it a whole lot easier when they screw up.