Technorati Flakiness

I’ve observed what seems to me to be a mismatch between the amount of reverence people have for Technorati and the robustness of the service. Lots of people seem to think Technorati is kind of a defacto standard way of ascribing conversations and determining blog coverage and the like. What I have seen in my work developing this Blosxom plugin to present the Technorati cosmos is that it is damn flaky. In fact, for the last few days my plugin has stopped presenting the list on my page. Sometimes it is longer, sometimes shorter. Sometimes it is full of PHP errors about not being able to connect to databases.

On Boing Boing, they have replaced their trackbacks with the Technorati mini-cosmos functionality. Even though this blog does XML-RPC pinging of Technorati everytime something changes and their bot crawls my site within a few minutes of any update, I have never shown up in the Boing Boing mini-cosmos for any story I have linked to. I think one day Technorati might reach a point where it is a utility of the internet (in the sense of the power grid – a basic service you need and assume is always there) but at this point in time, I think it is a mistake to make it too integral a part of any system’s operations. It is cool and good and all that and maybe even ready for prime time as a search engine and data accumulator. It still needs a lot of work before people can begin to solidify processes around it. Doing it today is a ticket to heartbreak.

Update: I can’t even get anything at api.technorati.com to load. I switched my plugin to point at apibeat.technorati.com and that seems to work much better. The sooner they roll in the new thing, the better to me. I have hopes that it will at least be more robust.