Blog » A Skeptic's View of Technorati and Zimbio

A Skeptic's View of Technorati and Zimbio

Since signing up to both Technorati and Zimbio yesterday, my skepticism has not decreased regarding how helpful these sites are likely to be for promoting new blogs. Both operate in very different manners, but neither appears to give much space for new blogs. Let us have a look at both sites, what they offer, and what the issues are.


TechnoratiThis site is the closest to a combined directory and seach-engine that I have seen so far. Users can sign up an submit their blogs. Each blog has a ranking and "authority" value. The authority value is based upon interest/links from other users. This is a very effective way of finding the most influential blogs. 

The ranking system is also the greatest obstacle for newcomers. It appears that Technorati does not have a "New Blogs" section in which newly submitted blogs can be showcased. This means that the only way for other Technorati users to find a new blog is via the search engine. However, by default, the search engine only displays blogs with "some authority." As a new blog has no authority yet, it will not be shown. Users have to specifically request zero authority listings to be included, something that most are unlikely to do. Thus, a new blog really needs help from friends registered on Technorati (hint, the button to add this blog to your Technorati favourites is in the left side-bar).


ZimbioZimbio operates on a somewhat different principle. It has a large set of Wikizines in which users can post articles taken from their blog. A link back to the blog is provided. This scheme provides a small opportunity for new blogs to be seen within their chosen Wikizines. However, given that the entire blog post is published on Zimbio, there is little incentive to follow the link back to the original copy on ones blog. This makes Zimbio the true benefactor of the work that you put in to your blog. Added to this, I encountered several Wikizines that were set up like private magazines for promoting an individual or company. This does defeat the whole concept. 

Common Issues

In both cases, this blog is buried deep within clutter. The most popular topics (i.e., those that make the front page) are topics such as: celebrity gossip, entertainment, sports, fashion and product review. Blogs with more technical content - and by technical, I do not include reviewing tech. gadgets - have a much lower profile.Zimbio does not even list Technology on it's main navigation bar; one has to click on the "more" button in order to see that category. To a certain extent, this is to be expected, since the number of technical oriented people in the world is much ess than those interested in pop-culture. However, it looks like very few technically minded people may hardly even be using these sites. In short, the target audience may simply not exist at these sites.

All in all, adding a link to this website in my signature on several on-line forums produced a much more immediate response. Adding links to a signature is a very low key method of advertising a website's existence. Nevertheless it brought an almost instant response; within a few hours the first few visitors followed those links. One reason for this is that these online forums (or fora, if you prefer) revolve around communities that have a common interest in a particular niche. Thus, even if the signature does little to attempt to grab people's attention, it is placed on a website that is frequented by the target audience. 

The Experiment Continues

Having said all of this, it is still too early to dismiss Technorati and Zimbio just yet. This blog has been signed up on both for less than 24 hours. I have since added to the experiment. does not simply add a blog to their directory; they have a review process. This could be a serious advantage for those blogs that are approve. This process is likely to reduce clutter, and the initial ranking is based on the editor's review instead of starting with a ranking of zero.


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