Posted February 1, 2007 11:24 am by with 4 comments

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We caught a brief glimpse of Technorati’s WTF, yesterday, when Rubel captured a screenshot before the service was pulled. Today, Technorati’s David Sifry makes the official announcement about the launch.

So what exactly is WTF?

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.

What’s interesting is Technorati’s open invitation for members to submit as many WTFs as they want. If you think you have a better angle on a breaking story, go ahead and submit, and get your friends and readers to vote. You can see it in action, with a search on Technorati for “windows vista“.

I said yesterday, I’m excited about this new angle for Technorati. I spoke to Jeremiah Owyang and we agreed that Technorati has not been as valuable in recent months – too much noise. Sifry et al have recognized this and brought some “fire” to the service by bringing in popularity and voting that have helped sites, such as Digg, flourish.


  • To be honest I don’t really get it. So this is just a way to comment on tags/search phrases and if voted enough your comment ends up on that search page?

    What is the value in that? Now if we could vote on blog posts on the subject, I could see that as a value so the best posts rise to the top.

  • Good question. I guess they figured that allowing you to simply vote-up (or down) existing blog posts, would be open to more abuse? Dunno.

    Maybe they’re trying to make it a little more like Digg, you need to submit the story first.

  • I think it adds a different dynamic to Technorati, expanding it’s service. I’m kinda mad of the name they chose; I was going to use that acronym for a section of my site, but it obviously was going to stand for something else (WTF!)

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