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State of the Blogosphere: Technorati Shuts Down 2000 Bloggers!

The First Successful Initiative Highlighting Ordinary Bloggers is No More!

Say NO to A-Listers!2000 Bloggers was a cool project that had been welcomed with open arms by the blogosphere (or so it seemed). In all my years of blogging I have never seen the ’sphere so connected, (or so excited) and I had the good fortune to make a lot of new friends thanks to this brilliant blogroll created by Tino Buntic.

But apparently 2000 Bloggers was a little too successful for its own good and all was not as warm and fuzzy as it seemed. Unfortunately it also caught the attention of certain elitists who didn’t like the idea of ordinary bloggers getting so much attention because after all, they don’t really deserve it do they.

So Technorati decided to pick up the ball and push its weight around, shutting down 2000 Bloggers allegedly because of complaints like this:

“There’s a crazy meme going on which has the potential of turning Technorati ranks upside-down. Now, that may sometimes be good, giving fresh views more visibility, like Seth Godin or Steve Rubel’s recent initiatives. The new 2000 Bloggers craze is nothing comparable though: it’s random, viral, and has to potential to turn links, the glue of the blogosphere completely meaningless.”

Yeah right. As if less than 2000 bloggers is really going to make all that much difference amongst the millions of blog users out there. Unless of course he is really talking about the top 100 Elite blogs. Hmm, I think I’m on to something here.

Apparently the primary whistle blower was Jeremiah Owyang who had the nerve to call it a “mass pyramid linking structure“. Others went so far as to call it a “link farm“.

Unbelievable. Then I suppose we should be banning all blogrolls (or putting a size limit on them) because we don’t want to be artificially inflating someone’s pagerank now do we. Because in effect that’s what 2000 Bloggers is (or was) - a dynamic blogroll. Or even better, perhaps we should ban any technology that might enable ordinary bloggers to rise up from the ashes of obscurity where they belong.

Give me a break. Jeremiah calls himself a “Web Strategist” but I think this is one strategy that is going to backfire on him. To his credit he later added “I encourage him to put the 2000 bloggers page back up, and then bloggers could link to that page, without having to spawn it and replicate it all over the blogosphere.

But I guess that’s too little too late now because after he tipped off technorati they decided to take it up another notch which was enough to intimidate Tino into disabling the page.

Technorati Lowers the Boom:

We’re listening to these concerns. In the same manner in which we decline to index blogs that don’t meet our quality criteria (AKA “splogs”), we’re loath to indulge these “chain posts” (”pain chosts”, ouch). Your voice is the most important one in the blogosphere’s distributed conversation. To dissuade chain posts from submerging your voice in their dilutative effects, we’ve updated our indexing systems on an experimental basis to filter out links of this nature. We all love photo collages of faces; we’ve had them, albeit on a smaller scale, on the Technorati site since last summer. However, “join us and use these links” memes such as 2000 Bloggers is really a disservice to rank measurement systems and thus this decision to change our indexing policies in that regard.

Interpretation:

But it seemed to me this was far more than just some party pooper raining on everyone else’s parade. I asked myself why was technorati only too happy to oblige to these naysayers? That was an easy one — 2000 Bloggers was linking ordinary blogs and posed a threat horning in on the a-listers action, that’s why.

Think about it. Theoretically it was possible that ordinary bloggers could gather enough links to give the big boys a run for their money. To their horror the blog elite soon figured it out and said oh no, we can’t be having that now can we. The fact is the blogosphere is a clique and they will do whatever it takes to keep things just the way they are thank you very much.

Was 2000 Bloggers fair? Maybe it was or maybe it wasn’t, but what in fact is fair? Is it fair that the average blogger will never be heard and relegated to obscurity? Is it fair that most of us will be poor and shackled to a mortgage or pay rent all of our life? Is it fair that only a few of us will ever rise to the top because they wrote a book or worked for Microsoft? (Rhetorical question).

The fact is 2000 Bloggers thought out-of-the-box, and if there is anything we can learn from this exercise it’s that ordinary bloggers must jump through hoops just to get noticed. In my view a technology that can connect the faceless blogosphere and help ordinary bloggers rise out of obscurity is a good thing. But that opportunity is now gone.

What a Crock! Obviously he who Owns the Algorithms Wins.

It also shows what extraordinary measures the blogging elite will take to protect their own. We know for a fact that certain a-listers are thick as thieves with technorati and it’s this sort of elitist hypocrisy that really drives me bonkers. They have no compunction to rigging the system to protect their own, but if the shoe should fit on the other foot… So tell me that the blogosphere isn’t rigged. Go ahead, I dare ya.

Of course we can play by their rules and still win. We can link and support each other and forget about the elitists. Let them talk to each other but we can still have our own conversations as well.

I suppose the bottom line for me is I’ve never been the type to stand by silently and watch the street bully beat up on the weak and unfortunate. I’ve always been the type to weigh into the fray and it’s also probably a reason why I became a professional advocate.

Just one more thing. Since they brought up the issue of irrelevance, I can’t even remember when was the last time that I got a referral from technorati. So why should I bother? Maybe it’s time to seriously consider a technorati boycott after all.

There’s nothing like a good controversy to stir things up, and this one has certainly got my juices going. This episode is unprecedented, and in case you didn’t notice I’m really disgusted. You should be too!

End of rant.

UPDATE: Tino offers his own version of events and denies allegations of “gaming” the system. He also wryly points out that Jeremiah has improved his own pagerank and inbound links for being the cause of the stink in the first place. Touché

Written February 7th, 2007 by | 22 Comments | Filed under: Miscellaneous Blog Tips , ,

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There are 22 Comments so far to “State of the Blogosphere: Technorati Shuts Down 2000 Bloggers!”

  1. Yeah, we sure do know “which a-listers are thick as thieves with Technorati” and Steve Rubel et al are leading the charge.

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  2. I wrote about my impressions of the 2000 Bloggers meme this morning. I called it, Really, What’s the Point of the 2000 Bloggers Experiment

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  3. Cory Doctorow aka Darth Vader: You must go to crush those rebels and their uppity aspirations for ranking.
    General Grievous aka Technorati: Yes, my master, those Jedi scum will be finished.

    Cut to the Star Destroyer zooming in on the rebel stronghold, “2000 Bloggers”, to strike a devastating blow…

    Meanwhile, back in the blogosphere:

    Charges that Technorati is protecting the established positions in the ranking system, like Noam Chomsky railing against capitalist old-boys-network conspiracies hatched in smoke-filled back rooms, are made. Let’s review the facts:

    Blogs move up and down the ranks all of the time. This is driven by organic linking exhibited by bloggers linking with citations and replies. Technorati didn’t read any malice into 2000 Bloggers nor respond with any. We are not penalizing nor rewarding any individual blogs, we are simply not including cut-and-paste sets of links as contributory to our rankings. I posted to be transparent about our indexing policies and our ranking system consistency, not in protection of any individual blogs; there is no smoke-filled back room.

    If you were participating in 2000 Bloggers as a way to move up the ranks, I’m sorry to disappoint you. The faces and community participation are fantastic. As far our “elitism”, please take a look on Technorati’s site. You’ll see that Technorati has ordinary bloggers ubiquitously featured (including faces) and in the search results.

    Have a nice day,
    -Ian

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  4. Cute Ian. I saw that movie too.

    With respect to your allegation of my “participating in 2000 Bloggers as a way to move up the ranks”:

    That is of course an ignorant thing to say and it only confirms your paranoia.

    So let me clarify — if you had bothered to read my blog you would have also noted that I did NOT seek to participate in it. Nor did I use it in any malicious way, and in fact I did not even participate in any “cutting and pasting” of links either.

    So I will be expecting your apology forthwith.

    But indeed the facts do speak for itself. If technorati is really as impartial as you say, then why did it feel the need to intervene at all. Who was it really hurting? That is the question that needs to be addressed.

    So dance all you want, but the question is rhetorical because we all know the answer to that one.

    Insofar as your pleas of impartiality are concerned, if technorati would get out of bed with its a-list buddies you just might win me over.

    See you at the theater bud.

    …Obi Wan Kanobi

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  5. You were too kind Bloke. That guy was just plain ignorant. If he represents the type of moron that works at technorati I might be participating in that boycott.

    BTW, for some reason blogger would not take my identity.

    …Denise Culter

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  6. hey ian, take this algorithm and shove it:

    if technorati rank = extremely buggy and biased, (as it surely is) then boycott with extreme prejudice

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  7. I knew that I would take some heat for writing this post. That was to be expected.

    It never ceases to amaze me that we can’t be passionate about a subject without bringing out the snark in some people. It shouldn’t have to be that way.

    But I am especially disappointed (and offended) that a representative of technorati could react that way. Very sad.

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  8. Heaven forbid that I should care about my Technorati rating - why
    worry when you languish at 2,626,116 or whatever…

    Not that being an entry on 2000 Bloggers did me any good anyway. I was still told that “no blogs link here yet. Actually, my question is this: When I click on “blogs that link here” I get taken to a list of 41 links. But next to the rank, it says, “no blogs link here yet”. So, I’m confused. Could you please enlighten me.

    A second question is: Do you have to “ping” manually every time. I
    know you have a blog post about “pinging”, which I will read, I just thought…as I’m here.

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  9. Hi Rory. The short answer is technorati is extremely buggy and biased in its ranking. What more can I say. ;-)

    The long answer is you will have to contact technorati support to reset your blog. But don’t hold your breath because they are also notoriously slow in responding (unless of course if they have something snarky to say :).

    Regarding pinging, it is a good idea to set up your blog to automatically notify (ping) weblogs.com. You will find that under “Settings”, “Publishing” in your Blogger dashboard.

    You can also ping technorati directly if you so desire, but it shouldn’t be necessary if you have weblogs set up properly.

    You aren’t the first person who has asked about pinging and I plan on writing a more comprehensive post in the near future.

    Hope this helps. Cheers!

    …BB (float like a butterfly, sting like a bee)

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  10. I couldn’t help but laugh when I read Kallen’s hyperbole about profiling ordinary bloggers. A-listers wouldn’t be the elite for very long without their grovelling fans now would they.

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  11. That Kallen guy is unbelievable arrogant. Who the hell granted him authority to fiddle with the filters and decide who makes it and who doesn’t? You hit the nail right on the head Bloke. This is all about them protecting their turf. I’ll never trust a technorati pagerank again.

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  12. Kallen said “we are simply not including cut-and-paste sets of links as contributory to our rankings”.

    I guess that pretty much rules out 100% of us then doesn’t it. What a dweeb.

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  13. Interesting update… I recently created a post with two links in it. One to a blof of average success, the other to one of the a-listers.

    4 days later, the link to the average blog has appeared on Technorati under “links to this post” - BUT, the link to the a-lister does NOT show up under “links to this post”.

    Hhhhhmmmmmmmmm….. something to think about!

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  14. Oh jeez.

    blof=blog

    !

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  15. “there is no smoke-filled back room.”

    Just a few nerds hunched around a monitor playing God.

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  16. “You’ll see that Technorati has ordinary bloggers ubiquitously featured (including faces) and in the search results.”

    So in other words it’s Ok for Technorati to do it but nobody else. If that isn’t being a control freak then I don’t know what is.

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  17. I like the 2000 bloggers way of presentation, but Technorati said a wise thing: it suggested implementing similar projects “on a smaller scale”!

    Five days ago I started my own mini version of the same theme.
    Hopefully, more manageable, - and FASTER:
    MyBlogLog.Mini-News.com

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  18. The problem with Technorati’s ranking system is that they ONLY look at links. They don’t read between the links or look at what the links represent. It’s obvious they haven’t put much actual thought into what the 2000 Bloggers Project is. Instead, they just called us names and ignored our links.

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  19. “Instead, they just called us names and ignored our links.”

    That’s true Elaine, but I think I got the last word on that one.

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  20. Thanks for the mention Sergiy!

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  21. Hi Blog Bloke,

    Just a little note to say I enjoyed this post, and the comments that followed.

    Keep up the great blogging!

    David

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  22. Thanks for dropping by David.

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