Feedster Will Die in 2006?

    January 8, 2006

Is it just me, or has Feedster been completely useless for over 6 months now?

I have no idea if it’s related to the recent departure of Scott Rafer (former CEO) and Scott Johnson (former co-founder), but I’m amazed at how bad it is. And I should know. I’ve been a Feedster user from the first day it was announced, back when it was called “Roogle.”

Ever since then, I’ve had a few Feedster keyword search subscriptions in my aggregator so I’d know when bloggers wrote about something I’m interested in: my name, my company, my favorite technology, etc. And for quite a while now the results have been abysmal. They’ve often been broken chunks of HTML from seemingly random blog posts that are months (or years!) old, and more than half are content scraping spam blogs.

About the only thing it’s been useful for is finding the latest spam blogs to begin stealing my content. Technorati used to have that distinction but they’ve done an excellent job of cleaning up the spam.

Over a year ago a friend of mine got a job at Feedster. (I had introduced him to Scott.) Not long after that, we were driving up to San Francisco when I asked him a question. It went something like this:

What do you think Feedster’s window of opportunity is? 6 months? 12? 18? They’re clearly in a race to establish themselves in the market, carve out their space, and compete with Technorati before the Big Three build blog/rss search.

He hadn’t really thought about it. I encouraged him to do so mainly because I think it’s easy to get caught up in the fun and excitement of building while things are actually crumbling around you and your company is steadily loosing ground.

He wisely left Feedster in the middle of last year.

A lot of folks have been making predictions for 2006. Here is the first of mine: by the end of 2006, Feedster will be dead and buried. Technorati, on the other hand, will be just fine.

Jeremy Zawodny is the author of the popular Jeremy Zawodny’s blog. Jeremy is part of the Yahoo search team and frequently posts in the Yahoo! Search blog as well.

Visit Jeremy’s blog: Jeremy Zawodny’s blog.