I typically issue the State of the Blogosphere report each quarter to give a glimpse into our data and what that may tell us about the global social media phenomenon. As many of you have pointed out, it's been nearly six months since the last report. Yow!
Don't worry, it hasn't gone away, although there are some changes in store for the widely read report. More on that at the end of this post, including some nice charts, so read on...
It's been awhile since I've given you a report on the State of Technorati. Many people still think of us as the world's leading blog search company I founded nearly four years ago (yeah, we will hit our 4 year corporate anniversary in May). While that statement is still true, it is only part of our story today. Technorati is now very much a media company - one that is unlike any other you've seen to be sure, but a media company nonetheless. What we bring to the fore is social media - the ways in which people are expressing themselves across the Web each and every day, in real-time. It's informative, entertaining, vexing, touching, enervating and, every once in awhile, utterly unforgettable. It is, truly, the Live Web.
Let me begin by saying the people we serve and their behaviors on our site have shifted remarkably in recent months. In brief, we've seen phenomenal growth in the use of our tagged media pages. As the use of tags becomes more ubiquitous across all forms of social media and the publishing platforms that support them, they've become the lingua franca of the Live Web - the way in which people all over the world indicate what topics or issues are top of mind and guiding self-expression.
About nine months ago, we began to see a marked increase in the use of those tagged media pages, which back then simply included blog posts and Flickr photos using tags. So, throughout the fall and into December, we introduced a number of improvements and new features to our media pages, including the introduction of a huge range of multiple forms of user-generated content. Today, we include blog posts, photos, videos, podcasts, music, people, and events that share a common tag to give our visitors a view into who's saying what - who's doing what - across the Live Web, all in real time.
We've seen huge growth in the number of unique visitors to our site. In March, we exceeded 9 million unique visitors, which is a 141% increase in monthly visitors in a single quarter. Moreover, our quarter-over-quarter growth in page views was about 150% at the close of March (23% Growth in January, 24% Growth in February, 53% Growth in March). As I indicated a moment ago, the majority of our page views now are no longer just in real-time keyword or blog search, as would have been the case just six months ago, but also in our tagged media pages.
Nevertheless, I'm also very pleased to note that Technorati is still the most visited blog search engine according to recent reports by Hitwise:
And our Vice President of Engineering, Adam Hertz, has been hard at work leading initiatives to ensure that our results are more complete, spam-free, and delivered more quickly than any other service on the Web. We're not perfect - we're always looking to get better, but I'm heartened by the progress we've made over the last six months or so.
UPDATE: Robert Scoble has published a comparison of Technorati to Google Blog Search, and he's asking for people's experiences. In his post, he notes that "It does look like Technorati has pulled ahead again in this race. The UI on Technorati is certainly ahead of Google’s, especially with the little chart of how many mentions a term has gotten." He is also asking people to help him evaluate the two engines.
Another great point of pride for me has been the introduction of new features like WTF (which stands for Where's the Fire), that empowers users to explain why any given top search or tag is hot right now, and others the power to vote on their favorite WTFs. Since we launched WTF earlier this year, we've continued to make enhancements to the service, which I hope you've noticed, like our new email-to-a-friend option for when you want to share your favorite WTFs with friends and family (and get them to vote for you, which puts your WTF at the top of search results). Over 2,000 people have created WTFs, and they've written over 8,000 blurbs, and those numbers are growing quickly!
We've been launching widgets too - building a whole new framework for them to be scalable from the get-go, and tonight Tantek announced the first three widgets in that class: Top Searches, Top Tags, and Technorati Authority.
What has made this phenomenal growth possible, of course, is the terrific team at work here at Technorati, which has also grown remarkably. Today we are 44 people working from our offices in San Francisco and New York, there's another team of about 10 people working on our sister site Technorati Japan; this time last year we were less than half that size. Our structure has changed as well: we've been at work building a sales and marketing function to meet increasing demand from brands and advertisers around how it is they, too, can enter the global conversation. Again, this time last year, we barely had display ad units on our site, much less sales people to fill those units. This new group is hard at work introducing our solutions in New York and on the West Coast, and, as we announced earlier in the quarter, includes a new partnership with one of the world's largest advertising and marketing firms, Ogilvy.
So, finally, to the State of the Blogosphere. We're still committed to this landmark report, but, as I indicated at the beginning of this post, we've evolved it. Later this week, we'll release our new "State of the Live Web", which will include our usual State of the Blogosphere report, but will now also include additional information on areas outside of just blogs. As we continue to build out this report in coming quarters, we'll do our best to continually add new information - on video, on microformats, and more. Just as Technorati is increasingly the hub of the Live Web, our quarterly report will be as embracing of the entirely of it as our service is.
Look for our new State of the Live Web on this blog by the end of the week and let me know what you think. My hope is that it is helpful to you.
As always, our credo remains to "Be of Service" - my hope is that we're delivering on that promise better today than ever, and that this time next year it will be still more true than ever before.
UPDATE: Jay Meattle from compete.com has a very interesting post called "Technorati breaking away, leaving Google behind in the dust". There's some great data in there, here's a bit:
Technorati Tags: blogosphere, blogs, blogsearch, hitwise, liveweb, measurement, quantcast, scaling, scoble, search, search engine, solw, solw2007, sotb, sotb2007, stateoftechnorati, statistics, stats, tags, technorati