// Internet Duct Tape

Technorati Favoritism – Trading Favours

Posted in Building a Community, Technology, Technorati by engtech on April 19, 2007

Technorati has long had a “favorite blog” feature where users can mark their favorite blogs and be able to browse recent entries from their favorites (like a poor man’s RSS). They also have a Technorati Top 100 Most Favorited Blogs which gets a lot less attention then the Technorati Rank. Six months ago it took only 60 favorites to become a Top 100 blog, now it is still a lowly 125 favorites. There are only seven blogs with over 700 favorites on all of Technorati. This is a feature that never became popular.

But now it is getting a lot more attention with link exchange programs like the one proposed by Dosh Dosh. He wants to get into the Technorati Top 10 most favorited and track if there are any real benefits in increased traffic. His blog focuses on traffic building so this is a very valuable experiment to get some real numbers on whether or not Technorati is worth all the fuss. I’m proud of being in the Technorati Top 2000, but I feel it is more work than it is worth.

So I’m contributing to his experiment in my own meager way. If you add my blog to your Technorati Favorites then I’ll reciprocate and I will add you to my favs. Over the next two weeks I plan on creating an application called Technorati Favorite Your Fans that will automatically go through your Technorati account and favorite anyone who has favorited you to make this entire process of reciprocal linking easier / less painful.

UPDATE 07/04/26: The program is done!

But Isn’t this Cheating the System?

If you stop and think about it the entire “Technorati favorite blogs” is a way for Technorati to cheat/game their users. It is an artificial system to generate links and attention back to Technorati (like the Technorati Rank number, but even less relevant). What’s interesting is that people are only seeing traffic from these link exchanges *because* of the link exchange – being on the Technorati Top 100 most favorited blogs seems to be good for less than 5 hits on average a day.

Users contribute links and time to Technorati to promote the favorites feature for little or no return on their investment. Even showing up as a top result for one of the top 10 Technorati search results seems to bring less than 10 hits per day for Andy Beard. (I saw similar results — although it looks like their new WTF feature is worth paying attention to as a way to increase traffic.)

Technorati wants people to use the favorites feature and has even gone so far as to create tools so that you can instantly favorite all of your RSS feeds. Dosh Dosh’s Technorati Experiment is responsible for at least 300 more people paying attention to the underused Technorati Favorites feature. It is good for Technorati.

3 Ways Technorati Can Fix “Favorite Blogs”

Any time you create a Top List it creates incentive for people to game the system. This is human nature, and the same reason why you have to be careful when you base employee performance on a metric [1].

  • Get rid of the Top 100 Favorited Blogs.
  • Add a Recommended Blogs feature that suggests blogs to users in the form of “if you like X you’ll also like Y” based on who favorites what blogs.
  • Highlight a user’s favorite blogs in Technorati search results.
    • NOTE: they already let you search *only* within your favorites which is a pretty nifty feature and a very easy way to create a custom blog search engine.

Add to Technorati Favorites

Footnotes

[1] Some classic examples of how metrics get abused:

  • Programming where performance is measured by bugs closed leads programmers to checking in code that doesn’t work the first time.
  • Support desks where performance is measured by how short the call was leads to employees saying *anything* to get the customer off the line, even if it doesn’t solve their problems.

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42 Responses

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  1. Lola said, on April 19, 2007 at 9:09 pm

    Great post. As I browsed Technorati and saw how few times (most) blogs were added as Favorites, I also wondered about the efficacy of this feature. I will add you to Favorites for the experiment (although I think I already did for the Technorati workaround you provided for WordPress), but I like your blog anyway so adding you isn’t too painful.

  2. Maki :: Dosh Dosh said, on April 19, 2007 at 9:55 pm

    “Unfortunately, the part of Dosh Dosh’s Technorati Experiment where you have to link back to all of the blogs you favorited is likely to get slapped down because it affects Technorati Rank ”

    Engtech, there’s absolutely no requirement to link back to all the blogs you favorited. The only optional requirement is a link between myself and the blog that is participating.

    E.G. The blogger links to me so his readers know there’s an exchange going on at Dosh Dosh and I’ll link back to him so that readers know there’s a similar exchange going on at his blog. There’s no other interlinking involved with other bloggers.

    I’ve noticed that some of the bloggers have been linking to everyone, but there’s really no need to do so and I didn’t mention that in my post as well :)

  3. profkienstra said, on April 19, 2007 at 10:30 pm

    done :)

  4. engtech said, on April 19, 2007 at 10:30 pm

    Thanks for the clarification Maki, I’ll update that part.

    I think I got confused when I started reading other people’s blogs on the subject — some made it sound like you had to link back or else.

  5. [...] //Engtech – Engtech Six months ago it took only 60 favorites to become a Top 100 blog, now it is still a [...]

  6. engtech said, on April 19, 2007 at 11:18 pm

    I dug down a bit more and found a really good use for Technorati favorites. It’s a very simple way to build up a custom search engine of your favorite blogs. By using the Technorati OPML import you can quickly search for something you know you read weeks ago but can’t remember where.

    More info: http://technorati.com/wtf/technorati-favorites/2007/04/19/technorati-favorites-what-are-they-good-for-1

  7. Elaine said, on April 19, 2007 at 11:30 pm

    Technorati is a media company, not a tech company. The only thing they do well is spin.

    We’re doing a favorite exchange at 2kbloggers, too: http://www.2kbloggers.com/favorites/admin/

  8. Andy Beard said, on April 20, 2007 at 12:52 am

    Thanks for the links

    Technorati most favorite is effectively like RSS subscriptions, it is something that almost every blog entices there users to do, and if you don’t encourage them, they probably will just browse somewhere else.

    Technorati will no doubt have MyBlogLog features soon, or integrated meme tracker based on your favorites.

  9. engtech said, on April 20, 2007 at 12:56 am

    It’s interesting how they’re trying to be all things to all people with the WTF voting system, Favorites acting as RSS / custom search.

    The amount of incoming links they’ve been able to generate from bloggers is truly astounding.

    I really wish they’d figure out how to handle multiple domains for a blog. That is their Achilles heel when it comes to Technorati rank (but ultimately not that important because rank refreshes every six months).

  10. TheShortFatKid said, on April 20, 2007 at 5:13 am

    Very interesting! I added //engtech to my favorites

  11. Maki :: Dosh Dosh said, on April 20, 2007 at 6:49 pm

    engtech,

    I just noticed that you broke in the Top 100 and are currently at #97. Just dropping a short note to say congrats! :)

  12. engtech said, on April 20, 2007 at 7:34 pm

    Yay! Looking forward to that trickle of 1 or 2 hits per week.

    :)

  13. Dawud Miracle said, on April 20, 2007 at 8:49 pm

    I’ve added you to my faves.

    Here’s my faves link

  14. timethief said, on April 21, 2007 at 1:12 am

    Your blog has been one of my favorites for a long time. This is despite the fact that I don’t fathom geek speak or tech talk. What can I say I’m a right brainer – an artist. However, with persistence and determination I return and read again and again until things become clear. And you do your part too by always providing some content that doesn’t require a technical or geeky mind to grasp.

  15. defrostindoors said, on April 22, 2007 at 12:46 am

    Have added you to my faves; as of today that gives you 144 Technorats [;)] who have favourited you.

    http://www.technorati.com/faves/defrostindoors

  16. Vin said, on April 22, 2007 at 7:19 am

    Hi,
    I’ve added you to my faves.

    Here’s my Technorati faves link :

    Add Dummies Guide to Google Blogger Beta to your Technorati Favourites

  17. [...] Anja Merret – Anja Merret  Rishiraj – Rishi ::Under the Rainbow:: – [s][e][x][y][i][n][r][e][d]  //Engtech – Engtech Mom Gadget – Gayla McCord Planet Apex – Planet Apex  Captain Picard’s Journal – Jean [...]

  18. Gavino said, on April 23, 2007 at 12:51 am

    Hi,
    I just added your blog to my favs.
    My technorati username is gavino.
    You can add my blog to your favs by clicking this link, http://technorati.com/faves/?add=http://codicenuragico.com

  19. Alan said, on April 24, 2007 at 4:05 am

    You have been favorited. :)

    http://technorati.com/faves?add=http://hackedgadgets.com

  20. Deborah said, on April 24, 2007 at 4:20 am

    Hi there,

    I’ve already added you to my favs.

    My username is fastfastlane, and link to
    add me to your Technorati Favorites here

    I like your idea to create an application to automatically favorite someone who has taken the time to do for you as well.

    All the best!

  21. RT Cunningham said, on April 24, 2007 at 6:26 pm

    I favorited your blog. Please favorite mine:

    http://technorati.com/faves?sub=addfavbtn&add=http://www.untwistedvortex.com

  22. Pam said, on April 26, 2007 at 4:34 am

    Do we have to tell you here you’ve been faved? Shouldn’t that be obvious through the software? On the other hand, how do we know you’ve reciprocated?

  23. Pam said, on April 26, 2007 at 4:34 am

    Do we have to tell you here you’ve been faved? Shouldn’t that be obvious through the software? On the other hand, how do we know you’ve reciprocated?

    (this popular kids bit was always difficult)

  24. engtech said, on April 26, 2007 at 4:50 am

    You can check your “Favorited By” tab in Technorati to see if you’re reciprocated. I went through everyone last night and favorited them all, so it should be good.

    I plan to release my software for doing it automatically by Friday.

  25. Pam said, on April 26, 2007 at 6:30 am

    Dear //eng,

    I get it! It is blog specific rather than profile specific (have to go to each blog listed in one’s profile).

    Thank you.

    Pam
    ;)

  26. engtech said, on April 27, 2007 at 7:53 am

    Here is the program that will automatically do the heavy lifting for you:

    http://engtech.wordpress.com/2007/04/27/technorati-favorite-people-who-favorite-you/

  27. hh said, on April 29, 2007 at 4:49 pm

    hi there,

    i have favourited and linked you. Awaiting yours :-)

    My technorati address is here.

    Also wrote a post on this. The url is here. So whoever favourites me or link to me, and leave a site name on my blog will get a favourite/ linkback from me too.

  28. [...] April 2007 – Engtech writes about Technorati Favoritism and has some good arguments on why reciprocal favoriting isn’t entirely about cheating [...]

  29. [...] I said in my first post on the subject, metrics like the Top 100 Lists create artificial goals and encourage negative behaviour in [...]

  30. [...] //Engtech – Engtech [...]

  31. cosmicsurfer said, on May 10, 2007 at 4:34 am

    Hello my friend, I just finished Faving your Blog.

    This my ID – ironmanxart

    http://technorati.com/faves?add=http://greglunger.com/

    I have a Technorati Favorites Exchange going on at my site too !
    I Have the “Share the Power of Technorati Favs” setup too, by Mr. Gary Lee !

    http://greglunger.com/?p=68

    This is a Great Experiment, it’z Working !!!******

    Thank you my Friend !!!******

  32. [...] //engtech [...]

  33. Technorati Link Exchange said, on May 12, 2007 at 8:29 am

    [...] Anja Merret – Anja Merret Rishiraj – Rishi ::Under the Rainbow:: – [s][e][x][y][i][n][r][e][d] //Engtech – Engtech Mom Gadget – Gayla McCord Planet Apex – Planet Apex Captain Picard’s Journal – Jean Luc [...]

  34. FitForFreedom said, on May 16, 2007 at 6:41 pm

    Technorati Favorites Exchange

    You may have heard of some blogs doing the fave me and I fave you game on Technorati.com.
    What is behind this. They all try to get on technorati´s most favorited list. This list simply shows which blogs are being marked as a personal favorite by other…

  35. [...] April 2007 – Engtech writes about Technorati Favoritism and has some good arguments on why reciprocal favoriting isn’t entirely about cheating [...]

  36. tharsos said, on May 18, 2007 at 1:38 pm

    Hi. I faved you! My Technorati user name is tharsos. You can favorite me by clicking here. I also started a Technorati exchange and linked to your post from my blog:
    http://earn-money-on-the-web.blogspot.com/2007/05/blog-advice-technorati-favorites-and.html
    If you have a place in your post for a list of other Technorati exchanges feel free to include my link as well:) Thanks!

  37. marriedmelody said, on May 21, 2007 at 5:23 pm

    Hello! I just added your blog to my favorites. My Technorati user name is marriedmelody. You can favorite me by clicking here. I also started Technorati Favorites and Link Exchange and linked to your post from my blog:
    http://making-money-through-internet.blogspot.com/2007/05/blog-advice-technorati-favorites-and.html. Please feel free to add me to your list of Technorati Link Exchange participants.

  38. Andreo said, on June 06, 2007 at 10:53 pm

    Hi.
    I’ve just added you to my Faves.

    My Technorati username:
    askripko

    My blog:

    http://iphone-forum.blogspot.com

    Add to Technorati Favorites

    Thanks…

  39. [...] I said in my first post on the subject, metrics like the Top 100 Lists create artificial goals and encourage negative behaviour in [...]

  40. Alex Vorn said, on July 30, 2007 at 2:54 am

    Just added you like favorite, add me too:

    http://technorati.com/faves/?add=http://techgadgetblog.blogspot.com

    My blog name: Tech Gadget Blog
    My Blog Url: http://techgadgetblog.blogspot.com/
    The best!

  41. Brandon said, on September 07, 2007 at 3:13 pm

    Thanks so much! You have been officially favorited!
    You can find the DesignCrack Technorati Favorites (Link Here)
    And You can Find My Link Exchange (Here)


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