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Monday, July 11, 2005

Technorati Goes All Corporate On Us?

SVW did a piece on Technorati's contribution to the blogosphere and it's efforts to monetize the data on the millions of blogs it monitors. Here are some excerpts from the SVW piece.

Last Friday I was on a panel with Sam Whitmore, of the popular Media Survey, and Peter Hirshberg, a very high powered marketing guy (see his bio) representing Technorati, a well known web site that is very highly regarded by the blogging community because of its early focus on the blogging phenomena...

...Technorati has done an enormous amount of work in supporting the early blogging communities, and it has been a strong evangelist for bloggers everywhere through its promotion of blogs and bloggers. And through its close watch on blogs, it has helped the blogging community understand itself, and how it is evolving...

...What surprised me was how aggressively Mr Hirshberg was pitching Technorati's expensive blog tracking services to this audience of agency and corporate communications professionals.

That's kind of surprising to me as well. The fact that he's using the panel to pitch Technorati and the fact that he's trying to get these companies to use it's RSS feeds to monitor their services. I think it's something that should definitely be done but I'm surprised he tried to pitch it [if that is actually the case]. Because if/when the merits of RSS are fully discovered from a corporate PR perspective, the corporations will come running. No need to lead them by the hand to the dinner table. Right now it's still a bit of a high school party and innocent and fun, but when the big guns come they're gonna bust up the party and turn fun Bobby into sober Bobby... nobody likes sober Bobby.

Tom goes on to talk about how he was delighted to see exactly how the corporate world is going to be sold on the blogosphere. Personally, I could care less about selling the corporate world on the blogosphere. As long as large corporations are well, large, they'll be slow to adopt until the latest technology wave peaks and they can utilize their size to gain an advantage in the market. This is how things have always been done and how things will continue to be done in high technology.

Large corporations benefit from the research & development of smaller companies who have become established players in their area of expertise. If they can't replicate the technology fast enough they'll make an attempt to buy out the little guy. If that fails then they'll try to force the little guy to sell or they'll build their own version of the technology. Either way, the large corps are going to enter a market when there is money to be made and there's nothing that can be done to stop them.

I come from the small expert side of things. I'd rather invest my time and energy in a new / evolving market than have to tweak every aspect of marketing, R&D, product mgmt., etc... in order to become a player long after the 7th inning. I like being on the front side of technology curves because that's where the fun is. That's where you'll meet the kooky experts that always end up speaking at the conferences and make you ask yourself, why on earth is that person on the panel. Then you realize they founded xml or started a search engine or build voip. Long before the technology becomes a business, it was a hobby. When it's a hobby it's much easier for it to become a passion, that passion is what's at the heart of some of our great technology brands... like Apple and Google and eBay and Skype. Companies formed after that fun period in a new area of technology don't have the same spark. Just look at Gateway [computers] and Miva [formerly FindWhat] and Overstock and Vonage. The imitators just aren't the same, they came in after it was cool and only have a market advantage as their reason for existence. Now don't get me wrong, I know Google came about a good bit after search had been introduced but they made it really hot and that's something that makes a great brand.

So let's hold off on selling Technorati to the corporate types for a while. Plus, once that happens we're going to experience even slower search times.

By Jason Dowdell at 12:07 PM | Comments (0)

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