Thursday, September 11, 2008

More Technorati Troubles

Technorati is having more problems with blog indexing and customer service than I reported in my Technorati Fails to Index OakLeaf Systems Blog Posts post of 9/2/2008. Here’s the current status:

Update 9/11/2008 2:30 PM PDT. Apparently the above post caught Technorati’s attention. The latest posts are now appearing and the Authority was updated (-2 points.)

However, there’s a 20-day gap between today’s two posts and the third on the Blogs / OakLeaf Systems page and RSS feed updates still aren’t appearing in IE 7 or IE 8 beta 2’s Feeds window.

Technorati is finally recognizing manual OakLeaf Systems pings after a lapse of more than 20 days.

Technorati still isn’t indexing all OakLeaf posts on a timely basis and has acknowledged a serious indexing problem as of September 9. Their Blogs / OakLeaf Systems page reports the last entry was Upgrading Databound Projects to Entity Framework V1 RTM Doesn’t Expose DataSource’s 1:Many Associations of 8/14/2008, three days before the first report of a search result updating problem noted below.

The last OakLeaf item in the Entity Framework tag list as of today was the preceding post.

The last OakLeaf item in the LINQ tag list was LINQ and Entity Framework Posts for 9/2/2008+. Why it doesn’t appear on the Blogs / OakLeaf Systems page and in the LINQ tag list is a mystery. The missing LINQ and Entity Framework Posts for 9/8/2008+ undoubtedly is due to the reported indexing problems.

RSS feeds for all Technorati tags that I follow now fail to update in IE 7 and IE 8 Beta 2 due to an error with a malformed document (an extra character preceding the XML declaration.) IE also refuses to add a new tag feed. (This problem started about 9/8/2008.) did not acknowledge my initial and follow-up messages about these problems.

The reply to my last two messages of yesterday to was: “RT could not load a valid user, and RT's configuration does not allow for the creation of a new user for your email.” (I.e., Technorati no longer provides technical service.)

Recent Indexing Problems: September 2008

Indexing operations took another hit, especially for Word Press and Blogger users, as reported by Janice Myint in her Delays in Indexing post of September 8:

Late last week part of our indexing system underwent a brief outage. During that time a number of blogs experienced a halt in indexing. Since then, fixes have been implemented and indexing is occurring again. However, because of the outage, a backlog has built up in our spider queues. The spider queues keep track of pings as they come in, so no pings were lost, we just have to process them.

We are catching up as quickly as we can, but in the meantime, please expect delays in indexing, particularly for those on the Blogspot and Wordpress blog platforms. We appreciate your patience as we catch up and thank you for your understanding. [Emphasis added.]

Initial Indexing Problems: August 2008

Their indexing operations began to fail in mid-August, as reported in Dorion Carroll’s Search updates not showing in results post of 8/17/2008, which when I started having serious problems with Technorati’s tracking of OakLeaf articles. Dorian said:

Technorati is experiencing a problem with our search result updating infrastructure. We continue to crawl and save data, however, post search results are stale and temporarily stuck at about 3pm Pacific Fri. Aug 15. Link results (reactions) are stuck at Thu. Aug 14.

We have identified the root cause and are actively working on the issue. We expect to have the system caught up during the evening hours.

No data is being lost, but the most recent posts and reactions are not reflected in results at the moment.


We have restored our post and tag search results. Link (reactions) results are catching up. We expect the system to be fully restored late this evening.

Fiddling with Acquisitions While Indexing Burns

Richard Jalinchandra said in his Technorati Acquires Blogcritics and Welcomes the Blogcritics Community post of 8/26/2008, in the middle of this mess:

Why did we [acquire Blogcritics]? It just made sense – as we’ve stated more times than you probably care to hear, our mission is to help bloggers and the people who read blogs. Blogcritics shares this mission, executed in their own unique way by providing a large stage for bloggers to express themselves while giving readers a great array of high quality blog content. [Emphasis added.]

Technorati currently rates a FAIL on its “mission,” and needs to put its house in order before adding more advertising real estate. As I mentioned in my earlier post on this topic:

IMO, Technorati needs to focus more energy and resource on it’s core competency as a technical blog search facilitator and ranking service. Its first priority must be to fix its indexing service.

Technorati’s second priority must be to improve the responsiveness of its technical support.