Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Does Anyone But Me Miss Technorati’s RSS Feeds for Specific Tags?

I’ve subscribed to Technorati’s tag-based RSS 2.0 feeds for more than a year. Tag-based feeds provided me links to new posts tagged LINQ, Entity Framework, LINQ to XML, Azure, Cloud Computing and the like. These links often are in addition to those from blogs with feeds to which I subscribe.

On about 1:30 AM on 12/17/2008, IE 8 Beta 2’s feed reader suddenly started returning error messages for popular tag feeds, such as those for LINQ:

Firefox 3.0.4 returned the infamous “Doh! The Technorati Monster escaped again” page.

RSS Bandit displayed this IE error message:

The following tags were not closed: rss, channel. Error processing resource 'http://feeds.technorati.com/tag/LINQ'.

Here’s Fiddler2’s capture of a current request for recent LINQ posts:

GET /tag/LINQ HTTP/1.1
Accept: */*
A-IM: feed
Accept-Language: en-us
User-Agent: Windows-RSS-Platform/2.0 (MSIE 8.0; Windows NT 6.0)
UA-CPU: x86
Accept-Encoding: gzip, deflate
Connection: Keep-Alive
Host: feeds.technorati.com
Pragma: no-cache
Cookie: tvisitor=66.123.163.242.1229281145878383; TECHNORATI_MEMBER=497505af64ce1835caa9fa1ece590cb7; __qca=492dc786-a1a11-5e3a1-d9b67; __utma=39112614.974384128884774300.1229550691.1230230604.1230305278.9; __utmz=39112614.1230230604.8.5.utmcsr=oakleafblog.blogspot.com|utmccn=(referral)|utmcmd=referral|utmcct=/; s_vi=[CS]v1|494FD9BB00003618-A0208390000043A[CE]; VWCUK200=L122208/Q22273_3696_1056_122208_1_033109_94744x91717x122208x1x1

and following is the malformed response with XML formatting added:

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Date: Tue, 30 Dec 2008 20:29:33 GMT
Server: Apache
Cache-Control: max-age=1800
Expires: Tue, 30 Dec 2008 20:59:33 GMT
Content-Type: application/rss+xml
Vary: Accept-Encoding,User-Agent
Content-Length: 529

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<rss version="2.0" xmlns:tapi="
http://api.technorati.com/dtd/tapi-002.xml">
  <channel>
    <title></title>
    <link></link>
    <description></description>
    <pubDate>Tue, 30 Dec 2008 12:29:34 -0800</pubDate>
    <generator>Technorati v1.0</generator>
    <image>
      <url>
http://static.technorati.com/pix/logos/logo_sm.gif</url>
      <title>Technorati logo</title>
      <link></link>
    </image>
    <webMaster>support@technorati.com (Technorati Support)</webMaster>
    <docs>
http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss</docs>
    <ttl>60</ttl>

It’s not surprising that all three feed readers returned error messages, but the different response to Firefox requests is strange. Some requests from IE 8 B2 and RSS Bandit, such as for SQL Data Services tags (GET /tag/SQL+Data+Services HTTP/1.1) return the “Technorati Monster” page.

Technorati Won’t Acknowledge the Problem or Respond to Requests to Fix It

I’ve sent numerous messages to support@technorati.com which Technorati ignores. They don’t acknowledge the messages nor do they respond to them, whether sent by email or Twitter.

Technorati Stopped Indexing the OakLeaf Blog 12 Days Ago and No Longer Resumes Indexing When Requested

Starting in early September 2008, Technorati periodically stops indexing the OakLeaf Systems blog. Manual pings don’t solve the problem. In the past, they have resumed indexing this blog for brief periods after I send an email to support, but then stop indexing after a few days.

Scott Watermarsysk replied to my Twitter complaint about Technorati’s earlier failure to index the OakLeaf Systems Blog:

Now they haven’t indexed the blog in 12 days despite several requests, which they won’t acknowledge:

Here’s a reverse chronological list of my posts about earlier problems with Technorati:

It appears to me as if Scott is right: No one has told Technorati that they’re dead.

What’s worse is that it appears to me that I’m the only one who cares. Searches for Technorati in Google’s Blogger Help Group doesn’t return any indication of tag RSS problems detected.

Update 12/31/2008: Technorati Responds

Technorati indexed this blog on 12/30/2008. Tag feeds aren’t up. I’ll update this post when and if they appear.

Technorati Tags: ,

4 comments:

Brent Ozar said...

I know you'll hate to hear this, but it works for me. :-D The pinging part, not the RSS feeds. They pinged my blogs about 20 minutes ago.

--rj said...

@Brent,

The issue isn't that Technorati doesn't ping blogs in general; they just don't ping mine.

Ian Kallen said...

The feed issues are getting worked on now. And it looks like your last post (the one after this one, http://oakleafblog.blogspot.com/2008/12/breaking-adonet-issues-with-net-35-sp1.html) was indexed promptly so hopefully the issues are working themselves out.

I'll be posting about some of the changes to our crawlers sometime in the next week or so. The short form answer is that we've been rolling out a new crawling platform and that's had some glitches. The long form response ... will have to wait until we're ready to post about it.

Thanks for your patience.
-Ian

--rj said...

@Ian,

Thanks for the input on the feed and crawler issues. I'll be watching for a solution to both of my problems shortly.

Happy New Year,