Pete Cashmore doesn’t think much of the Technorati acquisition of Personal Bee [full disclosure — a former client of mine, but no longer]:
The plan, it seems, is to make Technorati more social, and allow people to be their own media curators. But in reality, that’s really a guise for a search traffic play: sites like Personal Bee are designed to gain search traffic without any effort from the creators. It’s a highly effective model. Technorati does great in search already of course. Generally, though, I think this may be seen as a case of Technorati diverging from its original purpose: it’s a really great blog search engine (the best, I think), and with a bit of tweaking to remove spam, it could be perfect.
So, Pete thinks Technorati should stick to its mainstream value — blog search — and turn away from being a social media company. I disagree. Technorati — in the long run — has no hope of competing with Google and other giants in the search space, and as blogs become more central to what is happening online, Technorati faces a likely death.
Moving toward a social media game is much more defensible, and potentially more attractive for acquisition. The Personal Bee is just one part of this effort at Technorati. The recent WTF feature was launched with the intent of getting into the Digg space. Personally, I think that Technorati should acquire Techmeme or Tailrank, and fill out a larger set of social media offerings, and gently move away from blog search.
And, oh, by the way, Technorati is doing a really abysmal job of leveraging the tag space that the blogosphere is ceding them. Of course, I am used to entrepreneurs not listening to my recommendations — it’s a daily occurrence — but still, I suggested to them almost two years ago that really popular tags could have a social space built around them. But they have fiddled, and as Cashmore correctly points out, have still not conquered the pesky technological challenges below their search service.