Sorry, Steve, But I Think It’s the Other Way Around

Steve Rubel wonders if Technorati might be the silent Memeorandum killer. He makes some good points about Technorati’s Explore pages. Specifically, he likes the way Technorati’s evolving Explore pages may allow users to create content streams, similar to the traditional meme trackers, for dozens of topics.

I am on-record over and over about how much I love Technorati. And I have defended it against its critics on many occasions.

But while I like the idea of customized content streams, I don’t fully agree with Steve. In fact, I think if there’s a killer on the loose, it’s Memeorandum.

And here’s why.

The Reliability Factor is Hurting Technorati

While I continue to think Technorati is doing a pretty good job, the fact remains that Technorati is broken a lot of the time for a lot of people. On my Favorites list alone, there are blogs that have not been updated by Technorati in 148, 116, 104 and 88 days. In Steve’s list there are blogs that haven’t been updated in 418, 121 and 106 days. And these are popular blogs.

More importantly, there is a growing feeling in the blogosphere that Technorati is unreliable. Too many people have given up trying to get indexed properly, and there is a growing sense of frustration.

The Negative Buzz is Getting Louder

When I wrote my most recent defense of Technorati, I got a few Comments and several emails from people complaining about various indexing problems they have be unable to solve. I’ve had my own share of Technorati problems, and have written about them here on many occasions. Yes, they all got fixed. But they all came back. In fact, my last several posts have not been indexed by Technorati. Is this evidence of a problem? I don’t know, but this is how they start.

Which Causes Even Others to Wonder

The end effect of all of this is that people who read of these problems can’t help but wonder about Technorati’s ability to reliably gather up and present content the way it is designed to do. If a bunch of people who write on the topics that interest me are not being indexed by Technorati (and based on the Comments, emails and Favorite lists I have read, they aren’t), then how can I say it’s the best place to go to reliably find the best content?

So Maybe Memeorandum is the Hunter and Not the Prey?

On the other hand, Memeorandum is very reliable and tends to give me exactly the sort of content I want to read, written by the people I want to read. Sure, there are a lot of posts that don’t make it on Memeorandum. But that’s by design, not the result of a technical failure.

My Challenge to Technorati

I’m still hanging onto my title as a self-appointed customer evangelist for Technorati, but it’s time for Technorati to face these problems head on. Assure people that the problems will be fixed. Make your email support meaningful, as opposed to the black hole it is now. Better yet, find a bunch of people, maybe even volunteers, and turn them loose to search the blogosphere for problems and see that they get fixed.

Do it. It’s smart, easy and the right thing to do.

If not, there’s always Memeorandum. And, so far at least, it works.