I was wondering if you feel that the Technorati tags are worth the effort. I was frustrated tonight when I thought I'd tag my post about women in tech but the tag Technorati's site gave me was "women" and not what I was looking to be 'sorted' with. How do you deal with that?
After playing with tags for a bit, I figured a few things out about them: that you have to use them consistently to come up in the Recently Updated catgories; that you can indeed tag in categories that aren't necessarily exactly what you want but may lead some readers to your site (who might actually read you); and that tagging can help you to focus your content a bit better (kind of like adjusting the lens on binoculars).
I told Dawno that tagging with "tech" as well as "women" will get both tech and women readers to her site. Hey, I'm all for beating the bushes in two categories! Also, she could now use the "Blog Finder" to make her blog easier to find as well as create her own tags. So, if she really really wants a "women in tech" tag, she could create it *and* have it all to herself (until some other enterprising person finds it and uses it too).
So when I ran into Kevin Marks of Technorati at the cocktail party after the Symposium I said "ah ha! you're with the Evil Empire!"
"No, no," he laughed, "we're really the Rebel Alliance!" and to some degree he's right.
We got to talking about what I mentioned to Dawno about the use of tags--to use them consistently, and to create your own if necessary--and he said this was spot on. From using tags consistently and regularly, I have begun to see how, with a blog like Snarkaholic, they are quite helpful for getting readers.
That, he said, was pretty much the point of tags--to help drive traffic to blogs by putting them in categories people would want to search.
I also noted to Kevin that tagging is quite helpful for honing one's content. I do indeed think that if one wants readership, and one is not either flashing a boob, exposing one's sex life, or geeking out with gadget-talk, and one is not an "insider" or "authority" of any kind, or isn't co-opting a people's medium to start her own media empire (yes, Huffington, I mean you) one has to have an intention or clear focus to one's blog. (one could also socialize like crazy, although that's another topic for later discussion)
In our conversation, I got to mention to Kevin that I spoke with Dave Sifry, that he was quite gracious and friendly, and that after the talk I had a better understanding of how big a job Technorati has in scaling the web--that there's just so much the algorithms can handle at one time and that the web has a strange, almost elastic quality to it. The blogosphere looks so vast, yet is so densly populated that it is very unweildy to scale--it expands exponentially and trying to count and categorize all of it to meet the needs of all the bloggers out there is something akin to the labor of Sisyphus.
Which he also agreed! it was nice to hear that my observations of the whole thing are in concert with what Kevin sees thru working with the stuff.
While I get a bit pissy when I don't show up Technorati's Recently Updated in a timely manner, I do indeed realize that no system right now is either perfect enough nor strong enough to handle the massive amount of content that is out there. It's nothing personal but rather something mathematical.
After my 2 drink minimum and far too much excellent sushi, I bid Kevin adieu and headded back to my hotel.
And then, when I read my email, Dawno sent me this piece by Daniel Terdimanabout tagging. Ah, the synchornicity of the universe!
tagging Blogging Blog Blogs search engine technorati