For my fourth "thing" I decided to explore Technorati, which is a type of vertical search engine.  Vertical search engines search the Internet for results from a specific market or sector.  For example, I learned there are vertical search engines to search for cheap airfare (Farecast), health information (Kosmix), and to locate podcasts (Podzinger).  Technorati is touted to be the leading search engine for tracking blogs.

If you want people to be able to find your blog when they do a search on a keyword or tag using Technorati, you have to first "claim" your blog.  In order to "claim" your blog, you have to create a Technorati account.  There is a "JOIN" link on the Technorati home page.  You can add a description and keyword tags to your blog's listing to make it easier for people to find it using the Technorati search feature.  I did not explore this process myself, because for the time being, I am not interested in building a readership for my blog.  I created this blog for my current Foundations of Library and Information Science class and for the moment, I consider it a learning tool for the class and I am content to share it with my instructor and classmates (and a few favorite family members who actually seem interested in what I'm learning in school!).

Technorati appears to be a good tool for those wanting to increase the number of people who read their blog.  Technorati ranks top blogs based on their "authority" number.  A blog's "authority" number is the number of blogs in the Technorati index that link to a blog's website in the last six months.  The Technorati homepage includes links to top blogs in many catagories such as sports, politics, or entertainment. 

I used several search engines to search for information and reviews on Technorati and I ran across several recent reviews and posts from users who indicate there are some major problems with Technorati, primarily non-existent customer support.

The primary way I can think of that libraries can use Technorati is an a reference tool that can be provided to patrons as an online resource for locating subject matter the patron may be looking for.  Libraries that want to increase readership of a blog they maintain might also find a use for having a Technorati account and "claiming" their website.  Although I think the latter use might require more time and resources than most libraries would want to commit.  


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