The Rise And Decline Of Technorati

Posted Sep 9, 2007

The CEO of Technorati, David Sifry is leaving. When a Web 2.0 company with millions in funding that has potential doesn’t make any moves for a long time and makes a few bad decisions, one cannot help but think, “if only I was the CEO of that company.”  The last time I heard from Technorati, they had raised a solid $11.5 million in funding from various sources include DFJ, yet the only feature that has come out since the funding that I know of is Technorati: Support. YAAAWN!

Eight staff members are also being let go. “At some point this year, the site turned into an aggregator of best videos, music, books and movies. It looked overwhelming, with nothing but pictures and tags on the front page. Another strange thing that happened was the release of WTF (Where is The Fire?). This feature is basically a Digg clone, letting users vote on stories. Why this was needed on top of automated popularity ranking is a mystery,” wrote Alex Iskold of Read/WriteWeb.  I agree with Iskold on this one.  Technorati had the potential to take on Google’s Blog Search unit, but decided to go with a broader market rather than a niche search through its music/video crawlers and WTF product.  Personally, I would have loved to see Technorati focus on a specific niche: Blog searching excluding music and videos.

Is Technorati dead yet?  Not quite.  The company is still in the top 300 on Alexa and tracks websites linking to blogs very well, but the problem is that there doesn’t seem to be a very established advertising base depending on Technorati.  But, by judging the amount of money that is being plugged into acquiring advertising companies these days by Microsoft, Yahoo!, and Google, I would not be surprised if Technorati stays alive via advertising.  However, it may take more than a potential Technorati Facebook application (if or when it comes out) to keep me impressed.

With $12 million+ funding in the bank, I want to see Technorati take Web 2.0 blog search to a level of heights that we have not seen before.  Good luck Technorati, I wish you success and nothing less.  Good luck in finding a new CEO and I’m interested in also seeing how Technorati makes its next few moves.