January 31, 2007

Scoble's Right: Technorati Isn't Scaling to Beat Google

I want to root for companies like Technorati, who have introduced new features and functionality for today's interactive, social Web. Technorati, when the site is up, is one of the best for tracking the popularity of topics and conversations, or to see which bloggers are among the most frequently linked to. But for months, the site has been riddled with slowness, server timeouts during searches or peak load, and most recently, has seen outage after outage. (The above image was posted on their site tonight, during some updates.)

In the past, Technorati CEO David Sifry has been open about the scalability problems. Just this last July, he commented on a previous note I made about the slowness, saying:
    You make a great point, we've been working very hard on building out the scalability and reliability of the Technorati service... Making sure that regular users like you are getting what you need, every time, quickly, is intensly important, and I want to know if you or anyone you know is having problems, so we can address the issues immediately...

His openness and speaking directly to the blogging community is commendable. I love the personal touch. But the truth is that Technorati still isn't scaling, and as Robert Scoble has pointed out time and again, Google's Blog Search tool is getting increasingly better, closing the gap between it and the blog search pioneers, including Technorati.

Meanwhile, Steve Rubel of Micropersuasion found one likely reason Technorati isn't that focused on keeping their core search tool on top of its game. He discovered on Tuesday that Technorati is planning a Digg-like competitor called Technorati WTF, short for "Where's the Fire"? Yet, that site still isn't live, though it could be coming shortly, causing some of the recent downtime.

Just like I mentioned with YouTube recently, downtime is not an acceptable part of today's Web-driven world. If you can't deliver your core services, then why are you adding new features? Fix what is broken, and learn how to make updates without impacting the users. I haven't seen Google go down for maintenance, maybe ever. If they're up and you're down, where are the users going to go?

Previous Stories:
Silly YouTube - Where's The Redundancy?
Web 2.0 Companies Play With Error Messages