Technorati Blues

technorati-784323I am very excited about the potential of Technorati. Technorati indexes weblogs. Recall that weblogs are much more than just some dude‘s online diary. Weblogs (or blogs, for short) are a new publishing mechanism that allows a lot more people to publish content to the internet more easily. The point being that just because you have no desire to read someone’s diary, don’t write off blogs as a source for great, real-time information. Check out the blogs listed on the left hand side of The Home Place for blogs that I read daily.

First the good news: I use Technorati for two purposes right now. To search for content on topics that interest me. For example I use it to look for people who are writing articles about camping. Right now there are almost 200,000 posts about camping (alas, none of my articles are there- more on that below). I also use it to see what other authors are mentioning Newsome.Org in their articles. For example, here is a post on a German blog that mentions this site.

The problem that is driving me nuts is that I want to use it for a third purpose: to allow readers to find my articles and posts via a keyword search, just like I did above with camping. Unfortunately, my site is not being indexed by Technorati. Not because Technorati doesn’t want to, but because of some technical problem that I cannot seem to overcome. Technorati is run by smart people, but like any new service, its support staff is stretched thin. I wrote about the problem, which is shared by others, including Improbulus, as detailed in this post. I got a friendly response a few days later, suggesting that I try to fix a horde of XHTML errors on my page. Without going into a lot a technical detail, my page, while reasonably compliant with most standards, does not comply with the stricter syntax of this newer markup language. There is nothing wrong with that advice, at least as a first try. Here’s the rub: I can’t create compliance without dumping the new look and feel of this site, and there are lots of other sites with more compliance issues than this one (i.e., that have more XHTML errors than I do) that do get indexed by Technorati.

So I have a hobson’s choice: dump the new look and feel in favor of a simpler look that would be more compliant and might get indexed or leave things the way they are and run the risk of never getting indexed.

I have written back to Technorati to show them other (less compliant) pages that are getting indexed and asking if there is another way to solve the problem.

I hope so. Technorati is a great idea, but if I’m not getting indexed, you can be sure there are a lot of others who aren’t either. And that’s a lot of content to leave on the table (or out of the database, as the case may be).

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