Friday, November 06, 2009

The state of Technorati - and the blogosphere in 2009

Last month Technorati relaunched itself, messed up my blogs and issued another report on the state of the blogosphere. This is my perspective on why Technorati still needs to pull its socks up

The new Technorati

Technorati was originally designed to help people find great blog content.

However the old Technorati was infested with splogs (spam blogs). So much so that a lot of us stopped using it as any sort of reference site for looking at other blogs. It badly needed sorting out - and finally they got round to doing something about it. I've absolutely no idea why it took so long.

Last month they relaunched their website. This is the launch announcement. The impact has been:
  • the site has been redesigned
  • The Technical Authority algorithm has been changed
  • a new Topical Authority ranking has been itnroduced which is limited to a specific category
  • an improved Blog Directory (they claim - I am far from persuaded)
  • the opportunity to publish articles directly on Technorati
  • very many claimed blogs have reverted to a technorati authority of 1 - no matter what their previous authority was
  • feeds have been removed and blog posts are not displayed unless a blog has been authenticated
  • any link between blogs and fans have been removed as have a whole range of features.
It is in effect a ground zero solution. They've wiped the slate clean and put us all back to square 1!

This is the beta stage known bugs and unreleased features page.

Why Technorati has messed up my blogs

I went to take a look at my account this morning for the first time in a long while. This blog had a Technorati authority of 1 and no blog feed. It used to have a very high authority and ranked in the top 30,000 blogs in the world.

I was not impressed. This post Where did all my authority go? on the Technorati blog does not help. They claim that their FAQs answer the questions - but they don't - as evidenced by the very many adverse comments on that particular post.

What I do know is that they are working their way very slowly through a zillion blogs and authenticating them. I've spotted some blogs which have been authenticated and have a new authority - such as Drawn and Urban Sketchers - which are big group blogs - but it's not so great for anybody who is near the back of the queue!

I was even less impressed when I found that it was totally impossible to edit details and get my profile to save the blog feed, an updated description and revised tags. Sure, I can enter them but they just won't save.

For Technorati to make changes to clean up their act is a good. To do so with a new site which isn't functioning properly is not so good.

The state of the blogosphere
2009

The state of the blogosphere used to be one report which was easy to link to and reference. The new improved version provides lots of mini reports and no over arching, comprehensive, "it's all in here" report and link.

So here's the link to the list of the items making up the State of the Blogosphere in 2009. They call it a feature I call it a mess. They're trying to deliver it as if it was a magazine without a magazine format!

These are the links to what look like the main items of interest. I haven't bothered to list all the various interviews with various talking heads but you can access them through the above link.
I have some reservations about the survey they did. Surveying 2,828 bloggers nationwide sugests a pro-USA focus. That said the findings are interesting


Technorati - How do you measure the success of your blog?
(see end of this post for links to the data)


So what are the main messages? In summary, this is what they're saying about blogging in 2009:
  • bloggers continue to be influential
  • attitudes held by bloggers don’t differ very much by age or gender, or even across geographies
  • responses were differentiated between different types of bloggers who are:
    • hobbyists - 72% are blogging for fun/ personal satisfaction. Of these 71% update at least weekly, while 22% update daily
    • Part-Timers - 15% supplement their income but blogging is not a full time job. Of these 75% share expertise and 72% attract new clients
    • Self-Employeds - 9% are self-employed and probably the most professional of which 10% report blogging 40 hours per week or more. 88% use Twitter
    • Pros - are increasingly influential bloggers. 4% blog full-time for an organization thought few very few spending a full 40 hours per week blogging. 69% value Pageviews as most important success metric.
    • 70% of Part-Timers, Pros, and Self-Employeds are blogging more than ever, while Hobbyists are blogging somewhat less.
Among Pros, however, the leading metric of success is the number of unique visitors. Hobbyist bloggers overwhelmingly blog about personal musings while professional and aspiring professional bloggers tend to be more topical...........
the majority of bloggers describe their blogging style as sincere, conversational or expert. Snarky and confessional are the least popular styles.
The How of Blogging
  • time spent on blogging varies widely
  • blogs which get read the most post more often than other blogs (personally I think frequency varies enormously depending on the type of blog; I can think of a question which was not asked in the survey which would have helped us understand this aspect a bit more)
  • the majority of blogs use tags and categories for their content and archive it
  • 75% syndicate a feed with the full content of their blog posts (and some of who had a few too many enounters with splogs nabbing our content do not)
  • most bloggers use free third party hosting service (such as Blogger)
  • photos are the most popular form of media used by blogs
  • 20% update their blogs using a mobile device
  • blogger use on average 5 activities to drive traffic to a blog
  • it appears that smaller blogs benefit from traffic derived from search queries using three terms or more
  • 74% of bloggers use a third party service to monitor their site traffic
  • bloggers report Google Analytics being by far the most popular stats service - although Quantcast is found on more blogs than Google Analytics (for the record I like both of them and use both of them - as well as Statcounter!)

Blogging Revenues, Brands and Blogs

  • In 2009, there's been a 68% increase in blogs with ad tags installed (Technorati speculate that this indicates an increased empasis on monetizing blogs while I think i'd argue changes in ho easy webware made it for bloggers to accept adverts also had something to do with it!)
  • hobbyists don't make money from blogs
  • most bloggers who make money do so by hosting adverts and generating invitations to speak at events (presumably as an 'expert' as evidenced by the blog)
  • 54% of part-time bloggers make money from their blogging
  • 17% of pro and self-employed bloggers derive their income from blogging
  • 89% of part-timers and self employed insist that adevrts must align with the personal values of their blog (meaning if the blog is a way of expressing one's personality and identity then all adverts need to be congruent with who you are as a person. I know that's the main issue which has always concerned me about adverts - how one can keep them tailored to who you are as well as what your blog is about)
  • the mean annual revenue from advertising - by type of blogger - will surprise quite a few people - it did me!
  • the mean profits for blogs with reported revenues is $57,369.20
  • before you get too excited you should take a look at the range of figures quoted for the expenses of professional blogging
  • different types of bloggers typically sell and manage adverts on their blogs in very different ways
When it comes to brands, 70% of bloggers are talking about them. 46% of respondents post about the brands they love (or hate), while and 38% post brand or product reviews. Part-Timers, and Self-Employed bloggers are talking about brands at a much higher rate (80%), with one in three posting reviews at least once a week.
  • those who are blogging for business purposes report an incraesed profile as a result of blogging
  • 56% of bloggers say they are now better known in their industry as a result of their blog

Twitter, Global Impact and the Future Of Blogging

  • 73% of the survey respondents used Twitter compared to just 14% in the general population. Twitter is used both to promote and to understand what people are buzzing about
  • over half syndicate their blog posts using Twitter
  • two thirds say Twitter has had no impact on their time spent blogging
  • people have a huge range of reasons why they don't have a Twitter account
  • Politics technology and business are the three areas where blogging has had the most impact in the past - and it's anticipated this will continue - particularly in relation to voices of dissent and the gloablisation of the notion of freedom of speech
  • blogging is particularly good at identifying issues which need to be addressed - within a global arena.
Importantly bloggers are clearly recognised as people who are influencing and driving activities at a global level and within the political arena - as indicated by the both the USA and Iranian presidential elections. Interestingly blogs were perceived to be at least as accurate as traditional media and sometimes much more up to date. (I've certainly seen evidence of late that initiatives started by bloggers and tweeters are now routinely providing subject matter for more traditional media)

Compare your blog stats

Day 3: The How Of Blogging: SOTB 2009 provides stats for you to compare how well your blog is doing to other blogs and the type of author. You can review your scores for unique visitors and pageviews.

Links:

5 comments:

Terry Krysak said...

Thanks so much for the info.

I logged into my account and had to re-enter a number of things in my profile which were missing. I thought that was strange.

Also noticed in my profile page that my profile image was gone, had to upload it again. I also noticed that I can only choose the United States as a location of where I am. This is bizarre, I live in Canada.

Katherine Tyrrell said...

That's exactly what I found - now log in and see if all your changes were saved.

the only thing that saved on mine was my pic - everything else had gone

I forgot to mention about the place where I lived. I agree - there's no way of saying that i live outside the USA

Laraine said...

Thanks for the summary of current issues with Technorati. Will you abandon it as a useful tool?

Katherine Tyrrell said...

I'd already abandoned it Laraine - because of the splog problem which they seemed impervious to

I guess for the future if they ignore me I'll ignore them!

I just don't understand why they wouldn't have started with the highe ranking blogs in terms of authenticating the millions they need to authenticate. It's not just me - there's lots of other people with blogs which are important in their niche and which have also been downgraded to an authority of 1

It's a quite ludicrous situation and judging by the comments I've read people's patience is beginning to wear thin by the lack of communication from TechCrunch.

Personally I think they made a big mistake in launching a new beta system which was not 'good to go' ie I detect more of an emphasis on the beta rather than the system!

Katherine Tyrrell said...

If you've got a problem try reporting it to What happened to my authority? Why don't you show any recent posts for my blog? on the "Get Satisfaction site.

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