technorati redux

[Apologies for another bout of meta-blogging…]

Technorati have again, it seems, given up a) on indexing this blog and b) on responding to customer support queries.

(See here for previous travails. I’m also still not the only one with this problem. Someone’s even written a poem on the topic.)

Regarding the lack of customer support response, I’m prepared to give them a bit of slack given that it’s been Thanksgiving weekend in the US.

But the erratic indexing itself remains something of a pain. One would like to have a little more faith in the reliability of tagging.

(Meanwhile over on Latin America on Screen, in the last week some posts have been indexed, but others not.)

The fact that the problem should reoccur just now is rather timely. It so happens that later today I’ll be meeting up with Brian Lamb of Abject Learning to discuss the ways in which tags might be used as part of an experiment in blogging a class I’ll be teaching next semester.

Even on a more limited scale, this semester I’ve been writing up some notes on readings connected to a class I’ve been teaching. I’d like to be able to point students to the appropriate Technorati tag so that they can access the relevant entries without having to wade through my disquisitions on Agamben or cultural studies or whatever. Their exam is coming up, so they might especially appreciate this in the next week or so.

But if we can’t trust Technorati (or can’t trust them to fix problems in good time), all this rather goes down the tubes. Brian himself notes the risks of relying on third-party applications. At the same time, I dislike more than almost anything else software made specifically for the educational market. (Exhibit A: the horror that is WebCT.)

Back to the issue at hand, it’s not at all obvious why this happens (there’s nothing on Technorati’s help pages that deals with the issue), nor therefore what can be done to prevent it. And if customer response time remains so slow, then it’s not as though it can be rectified unproblematically.

Though I can say that Ice Rocket is much, much worse.

Anyhow, I’ll update this post as and when progress is made.

[Update: rather surprisingly quick progress… now this post and the previous one seem to have been indexed, at least partially; earlier posts such as this one remain unindexed. Even so, this is definitely a step forward.]

[Update: new posts are being indexed; other ones, still on this front page, are not.]

[Update: I’ve increased the number of posts on this front page, waiting until they are indexed. No sign yet…]

[Update, a week later: Though I have still not heard anything from them or their customer service via email, Technorati have now caught up on the backlog of posts to be indexed. Normal service to be resumed…]


[A rare, I hope, instance of me meta-blogging…]

Something very odd is going on with technorati.

I’ve been a little frustrated, as over a week ago it seems they stopped indexing this page, just when I was in the middle of retrospectively adding tags to previous posts. I wrote several emails to their support, but no answer.

And I’ve been keeping essentially all my posts on the front page here until technorati spiders come and index it–even though that breaks my feed.

It’s all been a bit of a pain. Most of all, in that, in a fervor of thinking that this tag business was in fact a good thing (partly having been convinced of their worth by Brian Lamb of Abject Learning), I’d spent quite a while adding all those tags…

(I suspect that some algorithm had determined that so many new tags in such a short time meant that my blog was a spam blog; but 10 seconds looking at it should, one might have thought, have convinced a human observer otherwise…)

In further frustration, I cc-ed the last couple of my emails to David Sifry, technorati’s founder and CEO. He wrote back and said he’d look into the problem personally. Which is kind of cool, but it would be easier on him if his minions were more efficient about responding to support queries.

Now, meanwhile, for a bunch of different tags that I’ve been using it’s showing all the posts as having updated 21 hours ago. Check out mormons, say, or, most strangely of all, last100, a tag of my own creation (referring to a class I teach) that right now shows 8 empty entries, all apparently posted exactly 21 hours ago. Though others such as martin parr still don’t show up, let alone, I’m especially sad to say, posthegemony.

I have no idea what’s going on.

[Update: well, that bizarreness seems to have passed. But they still ain’t indexing this blog… Oh, and there’s still something odd with the tag last100.]

[Update: this is very close to being a story with a happy ending… The vast majority of my tags were indexed sometime overnight. Still problems with a few, however, that I have created: arrighi, indigenism, and new left review, for instance.]

[Update: and those tags are now fixed… Normal service to be resumed.]