Friday, May 25, 2007

Just when I thought I had figured out something: Technorati troubles

Those of you who think I'm not technically oriented are, of course, correct. But, remember: I'm a lawyer. By lawyer standards, I'm a complete techno-geek. As the saying goes, "In the Land of the Blind, the One-Eyed Man is King."

You will hear, from time to time, about lawyers who brag about using the latest technology in their practice -- how they stay current to keep up with the demands of their corporate clients -- how they couldn't live without their various gizmos (Blackberries, et al.). (And, yes, lawyers use terms like et al. in everyday speech. Especially these sorts of lawyers.)

Anyway, if you hear about such techno-lawyers, don't believe a word they say: Behind every such bragging barrister is a stressed-out assistant trying to digest the manual for whatever toy de jour the lawyer is 'using' today. And these techno-lawyers are usually employed by big firms that are buying these toys in bulk, forcing them -- despite loud protests -- on the very same lawyers that later do the bragging. (You should hear them squawk about it when they think no one will rat them out!)

I have no assistant, so I am forced to rely on my own talents and training in understanding technology. Which is to say, none at all. But every now and again I figure something out.

Or think I do.

Take these "link trains" that were making the rounds a few weeks back. A number of these went past this blog without my jumping on. I was wary. Why should I "fave" a blog I've never read -- and never even heard of? For all I knew, I could be helping to boost the Technorati rankings of the Osama bin Laden Fan Club Blog. And then the next thing you know men in nondescript dark suits and starched white shirts come to ask me questions....

OK, so I'm paranoid. So what?

But, little by little, the hamster inside my head turned the wheel and it occurred to me that this Technorati "fave" thing might be useful. By loading my Blog Links List and a few of my other regular consults into the favorites page I could see when these blogs updated and then go over and say hello. No more clicking to this one and that one and finding nothing new. I've killed hours that way... and, now that I'm back to work full-time, these are hours I need.

And then I thought, gee, this must be what this "reader" stuff is all about. And sure, I could see what's been updated since I last looked in, go to all of these blogs, maybe drop a comment, maybe not, and be efficient.

I felt positively Germanic.

I finished loading all the blogs yesterday... and then I noticed the curious omissions. Three of my favorites, all of which update nearly every day, weren't anywhere near the top of the "freshness" sort. The three blogs are Empress Bee's Muffin 53, By Ken Levine, and Suburban Turmoil. But even though I know these are updated regularly, Technorati seems to think that Bee's hasn't been updated for 248 days, Ken Levine's hasn't been updated for 541 days, and Lindsay Ferrier's has "no recent updates" at all.

I'm particularly surprised about Bee's because she has a Technorati "fave" button in her sidebar; she's signed up. So I can't understand why Technorati says Bee has an "authority" of 1 and a blog "rank" of 2,101,205. Technorati even knows that Bee has 814 "blog reactions" -- which, I'm guessing, means incoming links. If she's got that many people linking in, I'm thinking that "authority number" is way low. And the folks at Technorati have heard of Mr. Levine, too: If you click on the right button you'd find out that Mr. Levin has an "authority" of 229, a "rank" of 17,830 and 2,085 "blog reactions."

On the other hand, although I know Suburban Turmoil has a very large readership, Technorati denies knowing that Ms. Ferrier exists. So maybe she never signed up with the Technorati people. So that's one.

But OK, thought I, I'll just "ping" Technorati about each of these sites and bring them up to date... and I did... and... nothing happened.

Today on Blog-Op, Chris Lodge asks if we're 'pinging the right people.'

I'm guessing my answer would have to be "no."


Anonymous said...

Technorati is absolutely notorious for not updating Blogger blogs. Useless.

Sign up for Google Reader Curmudgeon: When you want to add a blog, you can add the feed address, the blog address or even just an approximation of it and Google will find the blog and do the rest.

Eg, just type in 'Thermal' to the add subscription box, and it will list all the likely matches with mine being at the top.

And despite what I posted on Blog-Op, it will still update faster than Technorati :-)

Anonymous said...

Oh Dear, I think I must have signed up for the Osama blog too! You made me giggle on that one.

Truthfully, I did adopt a few blogs through the Technorati faves porgram that //engtech created. When I tried to use it today, it no longer works. So, I went to his site and he has divorced Technorati, giving his good reasons. I will stick with Chris on Thermal for more common sense blogging tips instead.

Dave said...

Well, I'm depressed. I'd noticed the change in Technorati recently. Over the months I'd worked my way down from over a million to the high two K's and then stuck. This new authority thing, I'd didn't understand. Like the raw ranking, I thought the lower the better. I was happy with my 20. Now you tell me that sucks. I have to get to 229 and then still they'll treat me like Mr. Levine?

I'm going to give up on fame right now.

may said...

at least you're willing to learn and be your own assistant. me? lazy to learn anything.

Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

"I felt positively Germanic." oh curmie i just love it when you talk all lawyerly! ha ha

the last lawyer i worked for had a monitor on his desk and it wasn't plugged into anything, i had to do everything for him and then he took the credit, but he paid me really good so who was i to complain? haha

as to technorati, it has always hated me. i tried and tried, it says i am no one... so phooey on them! sigh... you'll just have to visit me the old fashioned way, and i will try to post often enough so you aren't disappointed! ha ha

smiles, bee

ps: happy memorial day weekend curmy, and take your vitamin!

Busy Mom said...

I feel quite sure you left me out of the lst of "three favorite blogs" accidentally.

Heather said...

I use bloglines for some of my favorite blogs. It has worked very well for me.

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Do what Chris it; sign with Google Reader. I have, and I have the list of new posters regularly, including Bee and you.

Linda said...

This Google Reader is a new concept to me ... however, that said, I tend to visit blogs the old-fashioned way. In other words, I go down my blogroll name by name and visit all of my faves that way. If there's no new post then I pass on to the next. So far it's working and not taking too awful long (as long as I don't add to my list which is downright impossible as I'm always finding a new blog I just love!).

I'm with you on all this technological stuff - it's more like a big "HUH??" most of the time!

Mimi Lenox said...

Thanks for bringing this to our attention. I, too, was wary of the link lovies lists but decided just this week 'what the heck' and posted the Alexa Train that Sanni tagged me with. The last time I did this, however, was with the Z-List and started reading posts here and there about how Technorati did not favor this activity and would "demote" your blog status if found participating. What?! My ranking did fluctuate for a short time after that but now I don't think it had much bearing.

What is interesting is that all-important Technorati/Alexa/Google ranking is so full of baloney - don't ya just love that legalese?? - that I've concluded it really doesn't matter what I do. They are not going to be fair about it. The bloggers who find ways to manipulate the rankings will continue to do so, which in turn, manipulates everyone else's.

Thanks for the rant opportunity.
By the time we figure this out, they will have moved on to a new ranking system.

Mimi Lenox said...

P.S. I don't understand about The Google Reader thing. Does that affect my sitemeter traffic numbers negatively?

Patry Francis said...

One thing your post made me realize: I need an assistant. Maybe I should become a lawyer?

landgirl said...

I am impressed both at your knowledge and the amount of time/energy invested in blogosphere. I am afraid that I am just a casual visitor in this world, so I'll just keep poking along and let you all whiz by me.

Mother Jones RN said...

Thanks for the information about Google Reader. I'm signing up today.


Patti said...

I guess that like landgirl I am just a casual visitor in the blogosphere.
I don't understand a lot of this.
I'm poking along myself. At least I know I'm not the only one.

susan said...

Wheee! I keep on reading, but all I hear is "wah-wah, wah-wah"... guess your techno-savy waaaaaaaaaay surpasses mine!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm glad I don't do this blogging thing for a living. And I have no idea how to ping Technorati anymore. They seem to have decided to hide that feature, for some odd reason.

I wanted to let you know that I posted your vocabulary clouds. Thanks again for participating in the "study."