What the hell do you do now? If you were awake yesterday I’m sure you heard about Technorati’s latest “feature” dubbed WTF (Where’s the fire). Has anyone found any review that is a glowing endorsement of this product? Everything I’ve read has the same tone of utter confusion as to why this was even released. To clarify what it is, let’s see what the CEO himself has to say about it.
When you see a top search with an orange flame next to it, it means at least one person from the community has written their view as to why that topic is hot – right now. The community is also invited to either write their own explanation or vote on the WTFs they view as most helpful. Based on a combination of number of votes and timeliness, the top WTFs by search topic appear on the top of the results page.
For one, anytime I ask people if they use Technorati they usually (and by usually I mean over 90% of the time) say they just use it to see who has linked back to them. Very few people use the search feature as it is because Technorati isn’t really known for their stability. So what’s the best thing you could do in this situation? If you though that improving the stability of your site (which is down as of this writing) or giving you better results was the answer you would be wrong. The correct answer is to create a social feature that allows you to control the search results of a given topic.
Considering how few people will use this (yes I’m making a bold prediction here, I know) it will be pretty easy to game this system. But is it even worth it? What benefit do you get out of WTF? What’s the ROI for your time invested? Seriously if I spend my time writing up a quality explanation as to why the blogosphere is searching for “Paris Hilton nude” what benefit do I get for making it up to the top?
And I know I’m never nice to Technorati on this site and believe me I really wish I had something positive to say about them one day, but they failed twice here so I guess you can say they actually did kill two birds with one stone. One they created something that I’m not seeing anyone says has any value and two they do a horrible job of explaining it. Let’s add to the fact it doesn’t fix the number one complaint that people have with the service and that it has a 50/50 chance of working for you.
It is great to see that they are trying to build some community features into their site, but I don’t think this was the best way to do it. The service just comes off as gimmicky. If you are sitting down and thinking about creating a competitor to Technorati and you ask the question “What don’t they do well” you will have a clear cut answer sitting right in front of you. So if you are the Technorati CEO what do you do?