Technorati – Bullies, Struggles

    October 9, 2007

Technorati has had its ups and downs, as have we all. In August, their then-CEO Dave Sifry stepped down, leaving the position vacant. Last week, they finally replaced him with new CEO & President, Richard Jalichandra. He comes with a ringing endorsement from Sifry, who is still head of Technorati’s board of directors.

But I’m gonna have to say that it’s been a rough first week. First, Mike Arrington catches what looks like a backhanded compliment Jalichandra pays to quasi-rival Techmeme in an interview with Wired:

WN: What’s your take on TechMeme’s leaderboard?

RJ: It’s a great little site and there are a lot of cool things on there, but when I look at the assets we’re sitting on it’s clear that we’re doing something different. They don’t track 100 million blogs and they’re not nearly as embedded in blog community. There’s nothing wrong with that, but in terms of how deep we can go, I feel like we’re in a pretty good place.

(emphasis added)

Jalichandra wisely responded to the TechCrunch post, saying that he admires Techmeme (which he says was conveyed by his tone in the interview), and has long liked the site. Still, it’s not a good foot to put forward first.

Today, Shoemoney notes that the latest version of WordPress (now about 2 weeks old) has dropped its use of Technorati “and now use[s] Google Blog Search to see backlinks.” Shoemoney states that WordPress’s initial use of Technorati may have lead to the site’s initial dominance—and its abandonment could lead to its demise.

TechCrunch’s post contained a similarly dim view of the company and its fortunes:

Technorati managed to burn through $20 million in capital and has created little more than the second most popular blog search engine after Google blogsearch (and with how quickly Google is indexing blogs and other news sites, many loyal blog searchers simply search today anyway). They missed huge opportunities – Techmeme (rapidly [sic] passionate readers), MyBlogLog (social network around blogs) and Sphere’s related search product (stole Technorati partners like WSJ and Washington Post) are all opportunities that Technorati just plain missed, and shouldn’t have.

Jalichandra still sees a bright future, however. He tells Wired that for the future “We’re really centered on trying to create a wholly unique media experience and improving our properties.”

Good luck.