I Remember Way Back When Technorati Rank Mattered (or Seemed To)

Disclaimer: I’m writing this as my Technorati rating plummets.

When I first started blogging, this blog was simply a personal notebook. Then, as many did, I got wrapped up in the “whole blogging thing”. It started at WebVisions 2006, when I got my first trackback from Jeremiah. I started posting notes from conference panels. Out of courtesy, I linked to the speaker’s blogs. And like magic, they linked back, saying I had some nice notes.

And I’ll admit. It was kinda cool.

I look back at some of the material I’ve posted on this blog—and specifically some of the content that generated the most trackbacks—and wonder how much value is really there. Was there a need to live-blog every SXSW panel I went to? Probably not. What would have provided the most value to the reader would have been a nice paragraph or two about each panel, not an ungodly long list of bullets that mean nothing when taken out of context. However, speakers still linked.

Of course, posting raw notes does really fill the role of the “notebook” idea I started this blog for. I know I wasn’t writing these notes and posting them just for trackbacks—I really was taking notes. But I cared a hell of a lot more about proper linkage and completeness than I should have.

Then there was the whole Google Superman thing. That did a hell of a lot for my trackbacks and Technorati ranking. But as I later wrote, the post really didn’t offer much value.

Technorati ranking basically tallies your last six months of trackbacks and whatnot. I haven’t had a Google Superman-type post in at least that long, so my stats are plummeting. And I find it pretty funny that this is happing as I feel like I’m providing more value. The flaw with single numbers like the Technorati rating is that it doesn’t really take on the whole story of someone’s personal brand. I’m blogging here less and less. I’m blogging more at the BatchBlog. I’m Twittering a hell of a lot more than I’m blogging. Get this—I’m meeting people face-to-face more. But, none of that is recorded.

I remember during the very last panel at SXSW Tara Hunt (from the crowd) talked about how she got sucked into the ratings systems and whatnot and then finally threw up her hands and decided to focus on providing good content to her readers. Her rating plummeted but she had more devoted readers and more of a focus. I tried doing the same thing and a few months later I’m feeling much better now.

2 Comments

  1. On November 18th, 2007 at 11:16 am Mark said:

    Adam,

    I’m glad you’ve made peace for yourself in terms of what being a successful blogger is for you. I struggle a bit, although never had a high technorati rank. I have an easier time looking outward and can see what could be interesting things for others to do, and a much more difficult time doing them for myself. Instead, I often resort to the blog equivalent of contemplating the lint in my navel.

    The whole culture around blogging looks at the tools and technology, and how it reflects audience behavior. Look at the discussion on the value of twitter or second life, or on the value of technorati rank. It’s easy to get sucked into that, to focus on the tools and the abstract measures of success based upon their use.

    But under all that, what are the enduring parts of the human equation, the need to be heard and understood, and validated by othhers?

    Aren’t these needs reflected in the trackbacks, the audience comments, the cross posts, or new posts inspired by your original?

  2. On November 19th, 2007 at 1:47 pm Adam Darowski said:

    They could be. Although, maybe I’m just a bad commenter myself. Many posts that mean a lot to me and stay with me for quite some time… I don’t even comment on. It’s funny how I think of blog posts every once in a while that I read like a year ago. However, I’ve contributed nothing beyond a pageview, so the inspiration is not captured.

    Not sure what all this means… just that there’s no perfect system and you should always appreciate the feedback you actually get.