Monday, 19 February 2007

Technorati: new support forums

Blogosphere search engine Technorati recently started up some support forums - at the moment there are 8 separate ones. I quote:
  • Technorati General — New to all this? Find some helpful info here.
  • Best Practices — For better indexing or to get indexed in the first place.
  • Blog Claiming — Having trouble claiming your blog?
  • Indexing Your Blog — Posts not displaying in Technorati? Check here.
  • Links — Problems with your link counts or links to/from you.
  • Tags — Questions about technorati post or blog tags?
  • Account Issues — Questions about your account or account features.
  • Other — The infamous other bucket! For topics that just don't fit in the other forums
As you can see various tips and suggestions are posted there, as well as specific requests for help, and answers - some even from Technorati staff.

Now I know tons of people have had all sorts of problems with Technorati before (just search my blog and see the comments there as well as my posts!) - from not getting their blogs indexed or crawled at all, Technorati saying the blog hasn't been updated for yonks though it has, and (my personal bugbear) tags not getting picked up in their tags database or showing on their tags pages, to difficulties with trying to claim their blogs. Bloggers have also complained about poor customer service and support with no replies at all to queries or requests for help, or responses taking absolutely ages to be received.

So from a consumer viewpoint it's good that these forums are now available, and it's excellent that Technorati personnel are actually responding online to some of the questions asked, but we'll see whether they really do help. It's great that Technorati are now harnessing their customer base for support, and it's about time too, but a major issue is that a lot of the problems I've come across with Technorati in the past haven't been down to lack of user knowledge or action, but have been caused by bugs or issues at Technorati's end, behind the scenes (for one thing I've noticed at least one apparent contradiction between what Technorati told me and what they've posted on their forums, and shall raise that when I get the chance).

Extra support is now available, so do use it! Let's hope that these forums help to free up Technorati staff time to really iron out those issues once and for all. Indexing and searching blogs and tags is their core business, and they need to focus on getting all that to work properly and consistently.

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