April 05, 2007

Technorati "Stat-Porn", and Why I'm Not Running A Data-Mining Startup

I thought I'd missed the boat on the "statistics porn" a few days ago about the growth of blog search engine Technorati, but a related round today seems to be a good opportunity. Their traffic is supposedly booming. No reason is given, though it's possible that the increases are from Google ranking certain of their category ("tag") pages highly in search results. That's legitimate, but also fragile, since what Google giveth, it can also taketh away in the next algorithm reshuffle. The "stat-porn" matches with a rumor of Technorati trying to find a buyer while the bubbling is good.

Speak of a buyout, and Dave Sifry (their CEO) will appear in the comments, and recite the official company line (that public relations is what's called "conversation" - no offense to Dave Sifry meant, he's a very nice guy, but that's what happening). I will save him the trouble: "I can assure you that Technorati is most definitely not for sale or looking for money, and we've got a lot of really great things going on."

Now, Technorati is reported to have at least $17 million dollars ($6.5M in 2004 + $10.5M in 2006) in venture capital investment, with venture capitalists having a majority of the company as of the last round (seems reasonable). So if you believe they aren't for sale, given all that VC money and Google's competition, well, then, I have a blog search engine to sell you.

I find it all interesting for all the associated implications. It's a case study of where in a data-mining start-up, technology is not destiny and the marketing seems to be decisive (and even then it's a struggle). Companies like PubSub and Findory, were innovative, but died (it'll be worthwhile to see how tracker Megite fares).

So when people ask why if I'm so smart I'm not rich, I mean, running my own data-mining startup, the basic answer is that I'm not good at marketing. What seems to propel Technorati ahead of the pack is what I call "serving the A-list". I get it. Send attention to them, and they send attention to you. But it's not for me.

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in AOTechnorati100 | on April 05, 2007 09:09 AM (Infothought permalink)
Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog (Wikipedia, Google, censorware, and an inside view of net-politics) - Syndicate site (subscribe, RSS)

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don't T'rati have an exclusive deal with Edelman ?


Posted by: /pd at April 5, 2007 05:15 PM

No more:


"Looks like the much vaunted deal between Edelman PR and Technorati is all but done ..."

Posted by: Seth Finkelstein at April 6, 2007 12:39 AM

I hope you don't mind an off-topic comment, but I think this is important: There is a great post on The Carpetbagger Report from a few days ago about the mainstream media's (specifically Time magazine's) ignoring the prosecutor purge scandal.


What explains the failure of the mainstream media to cover the purge scandal for so long, and so many other scandals? Do you think somebody just set up newspaper editors to cheat on their wives, and threatened to tell if the editors wouldn’t play ball when they come back some day and ask for something?

It wouldn’t be that hard to do, when you think about it. People wouldn’t talk about it.

Posted by: Swan at April 7, 2007 08:28 AM

With Technorati getting more and more popular I'm not surprised at all. I'm sure that they will have a lot of people look at them with the $ signs! well I don't blame them!

Posted by: james kingsted - Domain Inform at April 9, 2007 03:52 AM