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Monday, July 11, 2005

Technorati - Making Millions From the Work of Bloggers

Silicon Valley Watcher has an interesting post on how Technorati is trying to make a lot of money from the work of millions of bloggers. Peter Hirshberg, a very high powered marketing guy (see his bio) representing Technorati:

...talked about the current tracking services that Technorati offers, and new products coming that will offer a deeper analysis of web blogs and will assign a value of authority, and other tags. All the better to more accurately distinguish how important a blog post is, the sphere of influence of a particular blogger, and the many number of ways to slice and dice the wealth of blog data Technorati is collecting and selling.
Well, Technorati is offering services that will help companies control their corporate message by identifying those blogs and their social network, that have posted around the "wrong" message. Then, I would imagine, some sort of corporate "SWAT" team could parachute in and engage those off-message bloggers.

"You need to become involved in the conversation," Mr Hirshberg strongly advised his audience.

I was surprised by how aggressive Technorati was in its pitch because it has a very good standing within the blogging community, a community that bristles at the thought of others commercializing its work.

Of course legally and ethically there is nothing wrong with a company using public information to make millions. And I am pretty sure that Technorati advisors and Cluetrain authors Doc Searls and David Weinberger have thought about how this benefits the little guy, furthers the emergence of voice, and is additional proof that markets are conversations.

But, from a longtailer's perspective it seems like the continuation of business as usual. Just color me clueless.