Recently, discussions about business models surrounding indexing the blog-o-sphere have been popping up. Much of this has been surrounding Technorati. Doc Sears has a great starting point. Wired has an article about how Technorati is becoming a "utility".
Tom Foremski kicked it all off with this account of a statement from a Technorati PR exec:
"It's all about getting the right algorithm" he said at one point, arguing that Technorati's sophisticated automated services would enable corporations to find out what is being said about them, their people, products, and to respond to bad news very quickly, by engaging bloggers in conversations.
Mr Hirshberg's pitch very much played into the fear that most corporations and their media relations teams currently wrestle with: how do you deal with millions of bloggers acting as journalists? How do you control your corporate message?
Well, Technorati is offering services that will help companies control their corporate message by identifying those blogs and their social network, that have posted around the "wrong" message. Then, I would imagine, some sort of corporate "SWAT" team could parachute in and engage those off-message bloggers.
Here is his followup.
Also.. I noticed something of interest today. Slashdot is no longer listed in the Top 100 Blogs list. It previously held one of the top spots. I asked about this in an IRC channel that is frequented by a number of Technorati people, and the response I got was that they don't consider themselves a blog, they don't ping Technorati, so they don't get listed. They had only been listed previously due to the inbound linkage from blogs Technorati indexed.
I do find this strange. Slashdot is a Weblog by any definition, aside maybe from one clouded by some type of bloggy politics. If they don't call themselves a "blog", its probably because they predated all the post-2000 blog uber alles. They seem to pay attention to the space, even if they don't adapt every practice.
I think we should be liberal with the semantics of weblogging. In this context, if it quacks like a duck, walks like a duck, and is found with other ducks.. Might as well consider it a duck. Fark makes the duck list. And Fark is more like a Platypus than a Duck. Hell, maddox's page barely touches the animal kingdom and its #11 on the Top 100 Blogs. He pings? He doesn't seem like the type to ping.. He certainly does not have anything nice to say about blogs.
1) Technorati has clearly designated itself an opt-in service. This has the side effect of walling up the blog space as its importance as a tool grows.
2) Its largely unknown how they intend to leverage their data on the blogosphere, by all appearances they seem to be chasing the business model of Moreover, only with a more narrow take of what data they are concerned with.
3) I smell the worst kind of politics.