#15 Explore Technorati and learn how tags work with blog posts
So now that you’ve been blogging for awhile, you might be wondering just how big the blogosphere is. Well, according to Technorati, the leading search tool and authority for blogs, …”there are over 175,000 new blogs (that’s just blogs) every day. Bloggers update their blogs regularly to the tune of over 1.6 million posts per day, or over 18 updates a second.” There are over 112 million blogs currently being tracked by Technorati.
Yes, these numbers are astounding, but as you’ve already seen for yourselves, blogging is easy enough that these publishing tools are being taken advantage of by almost every industry, including libraries.
So, how to we optimize our access to and attempt some kind of control over our personal experience of the blogosphere? One way is the above-mentioned Technorati.
TECHNORATI AS A BLOGSOPHERE NEWS TOOL:
Technorati lets you know what’s going on in the blogosphere. When you visit the Front Page you’re looking at a news aggregator that uses blogging behavior on news sites to determine headline news. Technorati calls the system which runs the site the Percolator. It looks at linking and attention patterns of posts, who wrote them, who’s linking to them, the rate of their popularity growth, and many other factors. They use this information to determine what’s hot now and what’s gaining attention.
The site is organized by tabs for topical channels: front page, business, entertainment, lifestyle, politics, sports, and technology. By looking at the different tabs, you can see what blog posts and mainstream media stories are getting the greatest attention from bloggers in each topical area.
You’ll notice that blogs and mainstream media are separated. Blog headlines are on the left; mainstream media is on the right. Below each headline is a cluster of blogs that have linked to and discussed the story.
The news aggregator helps you see what bloggers and journalists are talking about, right now, all over the world.
Technorati is also a visual record of what the blogosphere is looking at. Today in Photos shows popular news via the photos and images included in those news items. You will find a link to Today in Photos on every page.
Finally, you will see Blogger Central, a resource page for bloggers. Highlights include the Main tab which shows blog posts about blogging and top blog tags. You’ll find a Top 100 Blog tab. The Popular tab shows top blogs, top searches, and a series of tabs that show what videos (YouTube), movies (IMDB), news (new links to news sites), music (Amazon), games (Amazon), DVDs (Amazon), and books (Amazon), people are blogging about, determined by links they place in their blogs to the item in the websites in parentheses. By clicking on the Watchlist tab you are given instructions to keep track of your favorite searches and the URLs you’re interested in without having to retype them.
TECHNORATI AS A SEARCH TOOL:
Technorati is a real-time search engine that can be used to search blog posts. Because blog posts are constantly being updated, Technorati allows you to retrieve posts that have been created moments before.
When you type a term into the search box, you will be rewarded with results from blog posts, blogs, photos, and videos that include the term or have been tagged with the term. Using the Advanced Search option allows you to do a Keyword Search to blog posts which contain your word or phrase, a URL Search to see the blogs that link to it and what they say, or a Tag Search to see posts, photos, and links on that subjects.
TECHNORATI AS A SOCIAL NETWORKING TOOL:
So how does a person get their blog listed as part of the blogosphere and how can you tag your posts with keywords to make them more findable through a Technorati search? In many cases, your blog is already included. If it’s not, and you want to join the party and have your blog officially listed on Technorati, you’ll need to claim your blog yourself. Then, when you tag your blog and your posts, Technorati will pick up these tags when it spiders (or web crawls) your site.
In claiming your blog you can include a photo, and add a description and tags. You can see who links to your blog and what they say and who’s added your blog to their favorites.
As you might imagine, claiming your blog involves setting up (yet another) account. Having an account allows you to take advantage of a couple of other features. The watchlist mentioned above requires an account. Technorati also has a Favorites feature. You can add your favorite blogs and tag them. You can see all of your blogs and view their posts by their freshness. Since all Technorati favorites are public, you can share your favorites by sharing the URL of your favorites page. And of course, your favorites page has an RSS feed!
- Tutorial: How to Search Technorati to Find Blogs
- Take a look at Technorati’s front page and look around at the Headlines, Rising Posts and Stories, and Today in Photos. Play with the tag cloud.
- Click through the different tabs to see how the site works and what’s interesting in the blogosphere.
- Try doing a search for something you’re interested in. Take a look at the results in the different tabs. Try the same search in Google and in Google Blog Search.
- Look at the Advanced Search options and try the different search options. For the URL search, type in the web address of your blog and see what comes up.
- Create a blog post about your discoveries on this site.