Have you ever seen one of those people who spends so long studying a group, they begin to believe they’re part of the group? If not, you can now: Technorati has launched a new design/mission/layout, and it looks like the once-awesome blog search engine has been assimilated. As they put it:
While we’ll still track and link to the top blogs, posts, and tags, the unique content written by hundreds of bloggers will complement what the rest of the world is saying. In addition to this, each of our channel editors will be writing a daily column called Blog Focus, in which the top story of the day is told through the eyes of the blogosphere’s varied and eclectic authors.
That’s right: now instead of just following and measuring blogs, Technorati’s now going to be writing them, too. As they announced last month, they’re taking applications for writers for “blog reviews, news, tag page articles and commentary on any of these subjects, or most anything else interesting and well-written,” though there’s no mention of payment (aside from “the more you contribute, the more you’ll get back”). However, this probably isn’t because they’re strapped for cash—they just raised another $2M in venture capital. CEO Richard Jalichandra says this last round of funding should get them and their blog ad network to profitability.
Other changes in this redesign include changes to the Top 100, probably the most popular feature on Technorati. Says TechCrunch:
Until today, the top 100 blogs were determined based on unique links from other blogs during the previous six months. The top list was fairly static. Now they are focusing much more on recent data within the last month and giving blogs an authority rank between 1 – 1,000. Scoring factors include posting frequency, context, linking behavior and “other inputs.” The result, says the company, is a lot more volatility in the lists as blogs surge up and down.
Yeah. Translation: people thought the Top 100 was impossible to break into and not current enough.
Other changes include the capability to publish your content directly on Technorati, and the layout of the Technorati Topics pages, including the content published on Technorati.
Technorati had two redesigns in 2007, but since then they haven’t made any drastic changes as they declined in popularity and relevance (unless you count jumping on the Twitter bandwagon.) Mostly they’ve focused on creating an ad network in the interim.
What do you think? Is this change enough to save them from oblivion? Or are they a useful tool, despite losing out on the hype cycle?