Tag - technorati

8 steps to perfectly pitching bloggers

If you scroll down you’ll notice I recently added a blogroll-ish type of feature to bizhack: Autoroll. I don’t add a lot of flare to my blog because I like to keep it simple and clean and fast-loading, but I kinda wanted to this time. You would too if you got a nice email like the one I got.

So nice, in fact, that it’s an example of the perfect pitch for bloggers in 8 simple steps:

  1. Suck up (a little)

    From what I read, your blog seems to cover a lot of interesting topics around technology,marketing and corporate blogging. Your blog is quite visible (I found you in the first results of Technorati), so I guess you must receive loads of messages.

    Sucking up is always good. (By sucking up, I just mean being polite and maybe, just a little, exagerating on the positive side when commenting on someone else’s accomplishments.)

  2. Be humble

    We are just a small tech startup running a beta test for a new widget for blogs.
    As the topic of your blog fits pretty well with the type of high end blog we are looking for, it would be very interesting if you could join our AutoRoll beta test.

    No-one helps jerks or egomaniacs, so even if you’re achingly hip and working for the most blood-spatteringly cutting-edge sexy startup in the world, pretend you’re just a couple of guys in a garage fighting hard to do something cool.

  3. Simply explain the widget

    What’s all about? AutoRoll is the blog roll of your readers. It’s a widget that displays links to blogs your readers are visiting the most often.

    Nothing confusing here. Perfect. But intriguing enough to make me continue to read.

  4. Simply explain what it does

    How does it work? We trace the number of visits of each unique reader on each blog that has installed AutoRoll. The more often a reader visits a specific blog, the greater his affinity is with this blog.

    Hrm … the possibilities …

  5. Simply explain the benefits

    What are the benefits for you? First of all, you will provide your readers with a very entertaining blog roll, based on other readers with similar reading habits. Moreover, you will get highly qualified incoming traffic for your blog. Indeed, as other similar blogs display your blog on their AutoRoll, they will feed you with new readers with a strong affinity with your blog.

    Entertaining my readers is a top priority, of course (as I listen to Nirvana’s Teen Spirit). And getting fed with new readers is delicious and nutritious.

  6. Include a strong close

    It takes 1 minute to install: http://autoroll.criteo.com/

    Almost true, too yet. Impressive.

  7. And suck up just a little more

    I would be really interested in your personal feedback on this widget.
    Thanks for your help.
    Project Manager CRITEO

    OK, I like to help people out when it’s possible.

  8. Include a link to your blog


    So easy to forget this elemental element of pitching to … bloggers.

Cururu what?!? Has Technorati gone nuts?

technorati-popular.pngEither that or someone is gaming the system.

I just took this screenshot of Technorati’s popular blogs page. Somehow this blog I’ve never heard of has rocketed to the top.

And not just to the top, but to more than 5 times the number of links of the erswhile reigning heavyweight champion, Engadget.

The blog is a Japanese site, Cururu, and Technorati says that 187,670 blogs link there.

One of two three things is correct:

  1. Either Technorati’s ratings or methodology has been so lousy that it somehow didn’t noticed an amazingly popular blog for months and months and months as it rose to almost 200,000 inbound links, or …
  2. Someone is really, really, really gaming the system but good, or …
  3. Technorati’s algorithm has just gone completely farking mad

Come to think of it, I can’t really say which I think is more likely. That might be a sad commentary on Technorati’s technical prowess – or my cynical nature.

You decide.

. . .
. . .


Cururu appears to be some kind of social bookmarking site … at least as far as I can tell from this very Chinglish-y translation. The site is copyrighted by a company called NHN Japan, which seems un-bloggish. Seems to be a company that builds web communities, actually.

Perhaps (double, triple perhaps) they submitted their non-blog site as a blog. Ditto the perhaps’s but it may really have approximately 50 million inbound links.

Further elucidation, anyone?

[tags] technorati, Cururu, blogs, popularity, links, rank, john koetsier [/tags]

Kontera: creating in-text irrelevance

Checking the score on the big game? You must be looking to buy a football. Reading a review of a new movie? You must be interested in picking up a new flat-screen TV. Getting the news of a heavyweight boxer’s murder in Jamaica?

kontera.jpgYou must be interested in buying crayons for your restaurant.

You’ve run across Kontera – a contextual text-link pay-per-click network focused on “creating in-text relevance.” There’s only one problem: irrelevance.

When you focus on individual words as the unit of relevance, you generate irrelevance, as seen above. Only by focusing on the entire post, story, or page can you have a hope of generating anything but the most accidental form of relevance.

Such as an advertising network assuming that if you see the words “Don King” on a webpage, you must be interested in locating this individual.

kontera2.jpgPerhaps he’s a long-lost classmate. And it’ll only cost you $9.95.

. . .
. . .

Note: Kontera competitor Vibrant Media can probably be put in the same category.

[tags] kontera, advertising, PPC, adsense, adwords, john koetsier [/tags]

Technorati just dumped 2000-4000 splogs

It’s really very nice to have your Technorati ranking jump 2000 spots in a day. But there’s something odd about it too. I think Technorati is weeding their index of blogs this week, and some interesting things are popping up.

Yesterday between noon and 9:00 PM:

  1. bizhack jumped from 14,800 to 12,330
  2. twopointouch jumped from 16,500 to about 12,500
  3. Chip’s Quips jumped from 35,000 to 28,712
  4. Orbit Now! jumped from 31,000 to 25,523

In my case, the number of reported inbound links and the number of blogs reported to be linked in has not changed, although I know some new blogs have linked to bizhack in the last week. I’m asking Ian Delaney, who runs twopointouch, if the same is true for him.

(Update: it’s not – Technorat is indexing his blog just fine right now)

However, what we might have here is a major effort by Technorati to clean its index of splogs, which might account for a less-than-satisfactory job of spidering existing blogs and updating them in their index … they have failed to take note of my last 15-20 posts, in spite of my pinging them.

If the numbers that I’m seeing and that Ian are seeing are correct, it’s possible seems likely that between 2000-4000 blogs were tossed out of the index – splogs, flogs, and who knows what else.


We need more data before we can make any really firm conclusions, though. Anyone else have similar experiences?

(Update: Please continue to post your experience below!)

[tags] technorati, index, splogs, ranking, twopointouch, john koetsier [/tags]

Now I’m confused, Technorati

As I’ve been vocal about on this blog, Technorati rankings are odd. And yet, somehow, I’m moving up:

Technorati hasn’t spidered my site in 6-7 days. Hasn’t noticed my last 15-20 posts. Hasn’t updated the number of links or blogs linking to bizhack even though I know more links have been inbound.

And yet … the ranking is about 3,000 higher than a week ago. If that’s not just an illusion, the top 10,000 is not too far away.

I won’t hold my breath.

[tags] technorati, ranking, blogging, problems, john koetsier [/tags]

Calacanis: most bloggers suck

Update: see Jason Calacanis’ comment below. He was misquoted or quoted out of context, and does not believe that non-top-ranked bloggers suck. At least not automatically. (Check his comment!)

Quick question: are you in the Technorati Top 100? If not, I hate to break the news, but you suck. If it makes you feel any better, I suck too.


Well, according to Jason Calacanis’ recent keynote at Blog Business Summit, if you don’t rank high on Technorati, you suck. Simple.

”Blogging is the biggest meritocracy in the world. It’s not broken. You don’t rank? It’s because you suck. … How well you do is up to you.”

However, there is a simple way to not suck:

He said all you have to do is look at the top stories on TechMeme, say something intelligent about the story, link to the other five top bloggers talking about it, and do that for 30 days straight, then you’ll be an A-list blogger.

Do most bloggers suck?
Obviously, most bloggers are not in the Technorati 100. Some us can’t even get Technorati to index our blogs regularly (see the last updated “4 days ago” nonsense).

Do we suck?

No! Some of us talk about things that are not mainstream. Some of us just haven’t gotten the break that pushes us out of the millions and into the thousands. And most of us just don’t want to do something as silly as blogging reflexively about the top three stories on Techmeme, day after day after day.

That said, I have to be careful here. I haven’t heard the keynote myself, and am just going on what other bloggers are publishing about it.

One more caveat: it sounds like he’s saying the way to be popular is to …

  1. write well
  2. write often
  3. write on topics other people care about
  4. and comment intelligently on other people’s blogs

Fundamentally, I have no disagreement with that at all. That’s all true – as far as it goes. I don’t think doing that guarantees that you’ll hit the Technorati Top 100, but it’s all good advice and IS going to get you higher ranking, more traffic.

What I disagree with is saying that bloggers who don’t rate high suck.

. . .
. . .

Update 10:24 PM:
This post just hit the home page of Techmeme. Also available here.

[tags] calacanis, technorati, ranking, blog business summit, keynote, sucking, john koetsier [/tags]

Technorati not indexing blogs properly: blogosphere in shock

I’m almost in shock: Technorati admitted on their blog that they sometimes don’t index sites properly:

The good people at Strumpette contacted us [… ] told us that we hadn’t been processing updates from their blog for a few months, even though they’d complained about it. We looked into this more closely, and it turned out they were quite right.

This is the first time I’ve ever seen an admission from Technorati that they have issues spidering. Kevin Marks explained the problem:

If the feed is not full content, we correlate posts between the feed and the HTML of the main page, to see if there is more there (many sites have brief summary feeds, and full posts on the main page; some have the opposite).

However, until yesterday, this code had a problem with sites that appear with and without ‘www’ in front of them. For example Strumpette’s permalinks start with ‘http://www.strumpette.com’ in the feed, but we were indexing the HTML from ‘http://strumpette.com’, seeing relative permalinks from the page, and missing the correlation between the two. This bug is now fixed, and we handle this case better, so Strumpette and others will see better indexing of their posts.

Why, then does Technorati processing seem so random? This blog has had periods of a week to two weeks where Technorati stops indexing, and then spontaneously starts up again. In fact, many people have had similar experiences. Just read some of the comments on these posts:

Time and again, after I post on Technorati, pinging, searching, and problems, bloggers come forward and say: yup, that’s happened to me to. Frequently, it’s still happening to them. And it’s happening right now on this blog.

I publish full feeds, and WordPress supports both Atom and RSS – Kevin mentioned in his post that Atom was best. Here’s what I’d like to ask Kevin Marks (or anyone at Technorati):

Why are there always problems with Technorati’s pinging?

. . .
. . .

Posts discussing these issues:

[tags] technorati, problems, ping, kevin marks, strumpette, john koetsier [/tags]


With pride and joy and humility: under 15,000.


Thanks to everyone who has linked to bizhack – the last 5 who linked and tracked back are in the sidebar under the Text Link Ads non-text link image. 😉

Err … don’t let the “whoosh” title of this post deceive you. It’s been a long, hard, slow process. But very, very fun and rewarding.

[tags] technorati, 15000, bizhack, john koetsier [/tags]

Slumming 90’s style with geocities & tripod

Remember Geocities and Tripod? Remember how huge they were in the late 90’s?

I saw a blah.tripod.com address on the back of a beat-up pickup truck on the way home today – a cheap web hosting account for a small business, of course. Brought me back a decade or so, when Geocities and Tripod were the MySpace and YouTube of the day.

The funny thing is, when you go to their pages right now, they’re basically selling hosting. Only Tripod has a mini, after-thought, bottom-of-the-page listing of member sites.

Just imagine what these properties could have done if they would have had the foresight to be a Digg, a Newsvine, even a Bloglines or Technorati. If there’s anything those companies have taught us, it’s that there’s gold in the long tail.

Tripod and Geocities traffic shows just a slight downward trend over the past half a year, but that’s misleading. When the rising tide that should lift all boats is not lifting yours, you probably have a leaky hull.

How the mighty have fallen.

[tags] geocities, tripod, long tail, social, aggregator, john koetsier [/tags]

humble pie

The worst righteousness is self-righteousness. I know this from personal experience, since today, in recompense, I had to eat a wacking plateful of humble pie.

This morning I sent a fairly energetic letter to David Sifry. It wasn’t rude, but it was intense. The perceived problem? For the last 3 days, Technorati has not been indexing my content. I was not happy about it – especially since Technorati has been fixing its problems lately.

However, Technorati was not at fault
Three days ago, I added a RSS feeds link to my blog’s top-level navigation. Unfortunately, I named it simply “feeds.” When WordPress creates a page, it gives that page a URL that is exactly the same as the title of the page … unless a page already exists with that name.

Well, in WordPress, one does. But it’s not a user-created page … it’s the default location of your RSS feeds when you have full-text URLs turned on – as I do. So my new page was the exact location of WordPress’ RSS feeds. And it took precedence.

So when Technorati was trying to index my site, it did. It indexed exactly what it should have indexed: a page with nothing on it but but some subscribe to my feed information.

David Sifry to the rescue
So here David – CEO of an important corporation – gets this not-nasty but not-very-happy email. And here David goes and checks my site. Checks source on my site. Discovers the issue, which is that the place WordPress stores feeds at has been over-written by my new page. Emails me back – nicely.

I’d send you a longer message, but I’m extremely busy right now and wanted to get back to you quickly. Did you know that your feeds don’t currently point to your content?


These are the feeds that you point to in the of your blog, and since they are broken, Technorati isn’t indexing your blog.

When you fix it, please ping again, and things should work fine. For example, if you are using feedburner, then put this in your element:
< link rel=”alternate” type=”application/rss+xml” title=”RSS 2.0″ href=”http://feeds.feedburner.com/bizhack&#8221; / >

and take out the other ones. Then re-ping.

(I also had to delete the feeds page – just changing its title does not change its URL – and create it again with a new name: get fed. But Dave’s comments were the clue I needed.)

I feel about 2 inches tall. Thanks, Dave, and sorry for the trouble.

Humble pie is very much like Fisherman’s Friend – tastes awful … but it’s probably good for you.

Technorati Buzz Monitor

Looks like Technorati wants to promote its position as the arbiter of what’s what in the blogosphere. They’re releasing a newsletter, the “Buzz Monitor.”

I just got my initial introductory email:

The Buzz Monitor will be your weekly update of what’s happening on
the web, right now. We’ll pipe you headlines from the blogosphere,
photos from our members, tips and tricks for our publishers, and
guides for our users. All this delivered fresh to your inbox each
week courtesy of the world’s leading index of user-generated media.

The Buzz Monitor will arrive in html and text format, and will be
archived and available on http://www.technorati.com.

Expect the first edition of the Buzz Monitor to arrive next Friday,
and every Friday thereafter. We’ll strive to report the best of
the World Live Web every week, and we’re confident you’ll like it.

Reminds me of This Week in Rojo (TWIR) … Technorati has been great at helping bloggers understand who’s linking where (well, great at trying to do that), but it has not really been tremendously successful at helping technocrats capture the ongoing zeitgiest of the blogosphere.

Maybe this will help.

[tags] technorati, rojo, twir, buzz monitor, john koetsier [/tags]

Bloggers care enough about Technorati to want it to be better

Update: Technorati CEO Dave Sifry has responded in the comments. Thanks!

Technorati board member and venture capitalist Ryan McIntyre is the only upper echelon person associated with Technorati who has even commented on the quality of service that Technorati has NOT been providing lately.

Kudos. But why aren’t we hearing from Dave Sifry about it?

When I saw McIntyre’s post which mentions the issues, I posted the following comment on his blog:

If you’re on the board, are you able to affect the situation at all?

Technorati’s service has always had great PROMISE, but always been greatly “spotty,” as Liz Dunn quaintly referred to it.

First of all: some major effort to solve the problem with the million$ that Technorati has recently raised should be a number one priority. And secondly, some honesty and openness about the situation would be greatly appreciated.

I mean … the arbiter of the blogosphere has what, 2 posts on its blog all of last month – a horrible month, when it’s been up and down like a yo-yo? This is ridiculous: be upfront, be honest, be real.

(This is something that Dave Sifry should take to heart too … as I’ve tried and tried to bring a few issues to his attention via email, links to his blog, and comments on his blog … all without the least sign of success.)

The issue is not only being up or down, or the notorious, infamous “Technorati is experiencing a high volume of searches right now and could not complete your request,” which I’ve seen on the HOME PAGE.

It’s also data integrity as the service appears to wildly swing between mutually inconsistent datasets. Links appear and disappear with disconcerting frequency.

Some kind of information about what the company plans to do about it would be nice. How about telling bloggers the plans for ensuring that it won’t happen again? A little PR wouldn’t be out of place.

As a member of the blogosphere, I suggest that could start on the Technorati blog.

Why am I doing this? Why am I harping on this?

I care about Technorati’s service. I care about what they do. And I keep getting corroborating comments ever so often, weeks and weeks after writing various articles about Technorati’s woes.

Bloggers care about Technorati. Enough to want Technorati to be better.

[tags] technorati, Ryan McIntyre, sifry, john koetsier [/tags]

A-lister conspiracy theories and dreams of easy success

There’s an interesting conversation happening right now about the equity or insularity of the blogosphere.

(Nick Carr, Kent Newsome, Labnotes, and Chip’s Quips are covering it as well. And now, Shel Israel.)

Partly, it’s the perrennial A-lister bitch-session: why am I not in the Technorati Top 100? Partly, it’s the angst of someone who started blogging with great expectations only to find he’s talking to himself in an empty room.

In other words: why aren’t “they” listening to me? Most especially, why aren’t “they” linking to me? (“They” being the top bloggers out “there.”)

Bloggers start blogging full of piss and vinegar, ready to take on the world and win, zoom up the Technorati rankings, get links from everyone, earn $100/day from AdSense, get the (supposedly) cushy panel speaker invitations and keynotes at hotter-than-flame conferences with weird names, receive free stuff from funky companies with missing letters, eventually write the book, make a million (or ten, a million isn’t what it used to be), and ride off into the sunset. Easy, isn’t it?


This is real life
This isn’t the movies. And this isn’t the crazy-stupid-brilliant flash-in-the-pan that you hear about from time to time, and wonder why you didn’t think of.

Anything worth doing is hard. Doing anything well is hard. It takes time. It takes effort. It takes talent. It takes skill.

But sorry, that’s not enough.

The L factor
Here’s the hardest part for any of us to accept: It takes luck.

We’d have it a lot easier if there was a clear-cut algorithm for success. Do X amount of work for Y number of days with Z degree of skill, and you’ll be successful.

Sorry. I wish it was true. But it’s not.

Some weird magic happens in the world.

  • Some wacked-out left-field idea like Snakes on a Plane just comes out of nowhere and hits a home run.
  • Some odd idea like getting people to write secrets on postcards and send them to you so you can post them on a website results in a top ten blog and a successful book.
  • Some 18-year-old kid creates a piece of software that others start contributing to that turns out to be really good and amazingly popular.
  • Some slightly-shady entrepreneurs take an old idea and a lousy site and sell it for over half a billion.
  • Some crazy geniuses create the best hardware/software combination the market has ever seen and spend decades struggling to get to 5% market share.
  • Some other crazy geniuses with duct-taped glasses buy a piece of junk software, land a distribution deal with a clueless giant, and become the most profitable company in the world.

The point
It doesn’t always make sense. In fact, it usually doesn’t. Success or failure in any venture, blogging, business, or personal, is a combination of so many factors that predicting it is virtually impossible. Ask stockbrokers.

This doesn’t mean you can’t stack the deck. It doesn’t mean hard work doesn’t pay off. It doesn’t mean that skill and intelligence and tenacity don’t make you more likely to succeed.

It just means that shit happens.

Ecclesiastes says it best:

I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happen to them all.

A-lister conspiracy theories
It’s hard, sometimes. I know. You don’t get the link you think you should – the one you think you deserve. I’ve had it myself.

The reality is, the blogosphere is a big place. Lots happens. Conversations abound. Blogs proliferate. Attention is limited. Blogs shoot up, blogs tumble down. Enough churn occurs to make me believe that success is still possible.

But you are already more successful than you know. Think about it: there are now 52 million blogs. 52 million!

Let’s say your blog is ranked 39,756 (coincidentally, just like the one you’re reading right now.) How lucky are you?

Let’s break it down:

  • If you’re in the top 5 million, you’re 1 out of 10
  • If in the top 500,000, you’re 1 out of 100
  • In the top 50,000, you’re 1 out of 1000
  • just for fun, let’s continue …
  • Top 5000? 1 out of 10,000
  • Top 500? 1 out of 100,000
  • And top 50? 1 out of 1,000,000

See the point? Even being in the top 100,000 is an accomplishment! (Of course, for all of us who are serious about this blogging journey, it may not be enough. It may not satisfy.)

We have to have a sense of realism. If everyone was a star, there’d be no fans. Not all of us, as Russell Crow said in Master and Commander, become the man (blogger, woman, person) we once hoped we’d be.

Maturity is the ability to see that fact without becoming bitter.

Genius is the ability to see that fact without becoming bitter – and to continue to hope, and continue to fight against the odds – and perhaps, eventually, through blood and sweat and tears, succeed.

It’s magic. Just don’t quit the day job.