David Sifry, CEO for Technorati, the Web's leading resource for blog statistics, searching and tagging, offers up an excellent case study for transparency for companies immersed in the world of Web 2.0. After I had guessed earlier this week that Technorati was going after spam blogs and later, that the company was about to give an update to the "State of the Blogosphere" or "State of the Live Web", no less than Sifry came here to confirm that was indeed the case. He even posted a comment letting me know when it was published. Yet, rumors continued to swirl around the company, saying that Technorati was either up for sale, or that he would be leaving the CEO role. Today, he wrote on his blog that Technorati was indeed looking for a new CEO.
Earlier this week on louisgray.com, David wrote, "I'm not going anywhere, I'm very very happy at Technorati!!!", to a commentor who suggested his departure was imminent. He again today said "I have no intention of leaving," and in his version of events, says that it was he who approached the company's board with the idea to change roles. While it's not too uncommon to see early founders change roles as companies grow, it is less common to have that change initiated by the founder themselves, so its possible the board and others had been exerting pressure, but of course, I have absolutely zero insight there.
In the Web space, customers care a lot more about products, services, functionality and integration than they do the individuals pulling the levers and writing the code. Kevin Rose at Digg is a great name and icon for his company, Mena and Ben Trott do the same for Six Apart. But even as transparency in blogging increases communications and openness, the mega-egos of Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Scott McNealy and Larry Ellison who ruled tech in the 1980s and 1990s are going to be less important, I believe. Sifry, as far as I am concerned, continues to do a great job marketing and promoting the service, above marketing himself. Technorati, despite its occasional bumps is still unparalleled in its capabilities, and I've particularly enjoyed some of the new widgets they released earlier this week, which you can see on this blog, from blog reaction tallies to a button displaying Web influence.
So David, if you're still visiting and still reading, we wish you luck in the search, and hope that whichever direction the company takes, that you continue to promote great technology and innovation.
(Additional Coverage: TechCrunch and Startup Meme)