State of the Blogosphere: Technorati Shuts Down 2000 Bloggers!
The First Successful Initiative Highlighting Ordinary Bloggers is No More!
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.
“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.
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