Technorati Topics: Sensational Concept, Suggestions For Improvement

Posted Sep 12, 2007

Over the weekend, I wrote an article about The Rise and Decline of Technorati based on the assumptions that there is major management shuffle.  Then Technorati Topics was introduced yesterday.  At first I was going to write an article ruling out the idea like Sean Aune of Mashable did, but then I did a little bit more thinking about the concept and how I would improve the service if I was running the idea.

The concept seems to be similar to Digg Spy’s idea where stories getting dugg, commented on, buried, or submitted are popped at the top of the list in real-time.  Technorati Topics displays blogs that are linked to recently popping at the top in real-time.  And Technorati tracks millions of blogs.

Technorati does a good job of filtering blog story types under Entertainment, Technology, Politics, Sports, Business and Life categories, but I believe the user interface could use a little tweaking.  First is the speed at which things pop up should be controllable by the user.  Another problem seems to be with the story pop-up pause function.  It does not stand out:

Notice the text, “mouse over to pause?”  The instructions should be more specific about how to pause the stories from popping up. 

Another problem is that interesting stories are constantly showing up in Technorati Topics, but if you aren’t constantly watching the web site, you may miss out.  I’m wondering how will Technorati Topics cater to those who feel like they’re missing out on the important stuff and do not have as much time to spend on the Internet as others.  If you think about the concept of DVR, perhaps Technorati could provide a similar feature where users can log in and see the recent activity based on the tags they want specifically. 

On the positive side, I would have to say that some of the stories that appear on Technorati Topics seem to be more interesting than Digg.  Why?  Stories popping up aren’t being controlled by a limited community of users.  Stories appearing at the top tend to have a higher Authority, an algorithm Technorati uses to determine which blogs are credible and are often linked to. 

This is a good move for Technorati as it shows once again that their primary focus is on bloggers.  Personally, I hope to see Technorati Topics’ continuously improving.