Yesterday when I wrote the Top 10 Web 2.0 Losers I figured it would ruffle some feathers and bring the loyalists out, but I wasn’t quite sure for which sites. No matter how much we might think people hate a site or application there always seem to be fans around waiting to defend it and this certainly was the case with Bloglines and Technorati. When these sites were brought up the arguments for why they should not be on the list were well-thought out and made me reflect a bit more on my decision to place them on the list.
Bloglines has always been the leader in its field, but due to the lack of innovation their marketshare continues to dwindle and it doesn’t seem that any change is on the horizon.
More than a couple of people had a problem with this statement, including Mark Fletcher, creator of Bloglines. I suppose lack of innovation really only hurts you when the competition capitalizes on it. For as long as I can remember Bloglines has been the #1 feed referrer for this site. The top 5 looks like this:
- Bloglines 31%
- Firefox Live Bookmarks 24% (very surprising to me)
- NewsGator Online 10%
- Netvibes 7%
- Rojo 6%
With almost a third of the readers is there any reason for Bloglines to continue to innovate? When that number is steadily going down I think there is. Innovation in this since does not have to be tagging or article ranking. It can relate to minor touches such as the UI and fixing the little things that seem to bother people.
Look at Apple and it’s iPod dominance. It could easily be argued that there is absolutely no reason for Apple to continue to improve the iPod due to their market dominance and with such a simple interface all people want to do is pick up the player and play music. However, that hasn’t stopped them from pushing the device to its limits which has only kept its marketshare high.
Bloglines is fortunate that they are in a space where there are a lot of crappy options that seem to fight over the same ten people while only a few are really gaining ground. However, better interfaces are coming out and sure you don’t need to cram every feature known to man in such a simple application, but there are features that would improve the service. Bloglines has been around long enough where expecting a couple overhauls shouldn’t come as a surprise to them.
The argument here seems to be that Technorati continues to grow so why would I put them on the list? They do great things and I use the service daily (when it’s available), but do you think those ads are going to sustain a company with a number of employees and a service that tracks over 50 millions site? Three rounds of funding and there really is still no end in site and the general public could care less if a site is a blog or an encyclopedia. They just want to go to a place and do a search on their interests and find sites that talk about it and they have that in Google and Yahoo.
Do they have it in real-time? It isn’t that far off to be honest with you. The technology is far from perfect with missing links and inaccurate statistics. I could be completely wrong about Technorati and over the years if they succeed I will be very happy for them, but I honestly don’t see that happening. Eventually someone will buy them out and hopefully the price makes all interested parties happy.
For now I will just remain skeptical.
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