Blog search startup Technorati relaunched today with a focus on bloggers. The site now primarily aggregates news memes, with additional features like a page of the day’s most-mentioned images. But what I can’t understand is why Technorati isn’t doing more with video.
The San Francisco-based company lost its early advantage in blog search as blogs proliferated and melded into the general online media landscape. For a time, Google Blog Search beat Technorati; now, with its added time-sensitivity, plain old Google search does the trick. But as compared to the cornucopia of blog posts, video memes are central cultural touch-points. When Miss Teen South Carolina flubs, or the dramatic chipmunk turns its head, or Soulja Boy teaches us his dance, we all want to see it. We also want to be one of the first to send it to our friends and to be in the know the next day at the water cooler.
Technorati knows who’s talking about what online because that’s it’s job. How hard would it be to create a frequently updated index of the most popular and fastest-rising videos on the web? It would be a lot easier than figuring out what’s most popular in the “blogosphere,” which is no longer an identifiable insular community.
That’s not to say this Billboard-for-video idea is a slam-dunk business model. Companies offering similar charts like Vidmeter and Viral Video Chart aren’t runaway successes. And maybe I’m so excited about this because it would be especially useful to me.
Well, what has Technorati done on this front? A while back, it worked up a video meme tracker that only indexes YouTube videos. We used to check it, but after one time when the top ten was utterly dominated by videos for wrist watches — all of which had been referred by a set of spam blogs — we gave up. That index is still up, but I don’t think it’s linked from anywhere else on the site. One cool thing the redesigned Technorati is doing is including relevant video as part of its normal search results, but again every one of these seems to come from YouTube. These days, the video universe is bigger than that.