Technorati Favorites – Is This Evil, Lazy or Just Smart?

I have just been casually observing what has been happening with a few memes, and one of those is what is happening with Technorati Favorites.
It is one thing exchanging favorites with people, that creates some interesting OPML data that can be used for all finds of things, but it is a lot of hard work updating lists with all the people who post comments etc.

DoshDosh has a fair number of Technorati favorites, currently just over 440

Now in Technorati they provide an OPML file of your favorites

Here is mine for instance

http://feeds.technorati.com/faves/AndyBeard?format=opml

Hmm Maki’s would be

http://feeds.technorati.com/faves/kawaiikuma?format=opml

OPML Can Be Imported Into Your Own Technorati Favorites

Hattip to Douglas Karr for this, also via Engtech even though I am subscribed, but I am sure he didn’t think of my evil/lazy/smart intentions. I knew about it, but reading his post clicked some brain cells back into position.

So anyway first stop was to download DoshDosh’s OPML, then import it into my Technorati Favorites.

Here is a quite interesting statistic, of the 400+ favorites I added from Maki, only 46 were already in my favorites.

356 Blogs were new additions, and 26 Technorati told me were not blogs, though they obviously were.

But I already had 276 blogs in my favorites to start with – that isn’t bloggers, but actual blogs. With some people I kindly added multiple blogs to my favorites.

I am not sure whether the maths above works out, but I now have 647 Technorati Favorites.

OPML (Right Click and Save to your HD)

Click This Link To Import To Technorati

Not everyone will hear about this much faster method, so make sure you share this with your readers. I really want to save people lots of time in checking their Technorati Favorites all the time.
Also not everyone will reciprocate a Favorite – that is one of the reasons I have added an RSS feed of my favorites in the sidebar. People get picked up as the occasional link from me, and come visiting, and sometimes add me back – not always but it certainly helps.
There are lots of RSS plugins and widgets, I know they also work well on Blogspot.

It is not something I suggest everyone includes on a professional blog.

Once you get lots of favorites, it is hard work managing them, so this solution for those interested is much much faster.

It is quite possible I have missed a few people out, so make sure you favorite me, and I will post a new list in one week’s time.

Also make sure you subscribe so you can get the update when published.

There is a purpose to this, I needed an OPML file of like minded people to do some additional testing of Blogrovr. An OPML of around 200 sites just wasn’t enough, and I wanted interesting sites on varied topics, not just the search and internet marketing feeds I have in my feedreader.

You can also give Blogrovr a try using my OPML file.

One Problem I Noted

Certainly not everyone who has exchanged favorites with DoshDosh linked through to the original, post, or lots of people are not being indexed correctly by Technorati.

The list below is updated every 30 minutes, and shows the most recent 100 people who linked through to DoshDosh as far as Google are concerned. Technorati did show a lot more, but even then it was certainly 200 – 300 people short, depending on how many duplicate listings were in Technorati.

If you are not in the list below, check how your blog pings are configured, or you may have to start manually pinging using a service like Pingomatic.

!inlineRSS:doshdosh

Memes do help people build up links, but the best way to build up links is to write quality content that other people will link to… like this.

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Comments

  1. says

    Thanks for the tip, Andy!

    The whole Technorati favoritee experiment has actually split into two: One which was the massive reciprocal favoriting over at my post and the other was a link train (started by Gary Lee) which included both favoriting and links.

    Things were complicated when most participants on my post started interlinking to other blogs, exactly the same way I did it on my blog… in some way everyone got some link love.

    On the other hand, a large amount of the link train participants (100 perhaps?) didn’t link back to Dosh Dosh so that the list you’ve put up doesn’t include them as well.

    Automation saves time but I don’t like it because it seems so detached from interaction. The other bloggers could just import the OPML and likewise be done with it. They don’t even need to visit the blogs they favorite (let alone link to it), which is wierd to me.

    I prefer if they actually visit or take a look at the blog, which might encourage them to subscribe or become regular readers. Some of the bloggers who visited my blog for the exchange have linked to my other articles just because they were prominently featured in the sidebar. I’m also sure the jump in RSS subscribers isn’t a coincidence as well.

    I actually think most of the participants on my list are enjoying themselves tremendously.. it’s probably the first time on their blogs that they are getting an influx of daily visitors while that one particular exchange post is chalking up large amounts of comments. It’s all very exciting for them.. according to the enthusiastic emails I’ve been getting from so many.

    Don’t get me wrong. OPML is all nice and such but its kinda cold at the same time, IMO. -)

    • says

      Ah well, the people who didn’t link to your post didn’t get a link to me.

      It is a little colder, but then I am also aware of how little long term effect some of these things have other than for the host blog.

      I avoid memes unless I can add some kind of message to it.

      The hidden benefit is a lot of bloggers will suddenly discover there is a file format such as OPML that they can import and export into cool things like Megite, or as I mentioned above Blogrovr, or into feed readers.
      Or export from their feed readers and import it elsewhere.

      What I might do is grab Garry’s and add it to the OPML as well.

  2. says

    I’d have to agree with Maki . . the OPML is kind of a cold way to do this fave exchange thing . . I really have found that one benefit from this exchange has been visiting brand new sites that I probably would have never found. I’ve already doubled my RSS Subscriptions, so my advice is just take your time adding people or exchanging faves with people.

    • says

      Gary you might have done, because you originated it, and I have heard the same being said by people who have also started successful memes.

      There are people who run blogs for a year with 20 subscribers.

      What they need to find are other bloggers who are discussing things similar to what they are, and to find was to subscribe to each others content.

      You might think this method is cold, but I have experienced the benefit of having 270+ favorites for me to see what a few different bloggers are talking about, rather than just what a listers are talking about.

      Meme trackers can be made among the newer blogs. One or 2 links might make a top story for an hour.

      This is creating ways that people will actually come back, even though they didn’t subscribe on the first visit.

      This is a way to generate repeat visits from those that don’t subscribe on the first visit.

      • says

        I love the idea of build-your-own-aggregators/trackers and like you said Andy, it is a rather prime opportunity for more bloggers to be aware that there is such technology out there.

        I still do however think that actual visitor traffic and interaction is most important, even though the ultimate goal (at least for me) was to break in and measure the traffic benefits of the Top 100.

        The reason why I didn’t put convenient ‘Fave this blog’ buttons next to each blog link in my post was because I wanted each person to head over and interact with the other blogger. Perhaps appreciate the site design, check out the monetization tactics, do some SEO digging, look at the sidebars, read some other posts etc. The more convenient the process, the less actual interaction is involved. It’ll merely become a technical game if you just need one or two clicks to favorite 500 bloggers.

        I guess the next step is to encourage all the bloggers to display the Favorites widget which shares posts from their favorites on their blog. I’ve been doing that since I started the experiment and honestly, it’s received a lot of click throughs from me, especially if the headlines were interesting.

        I’ll mention the Tech faves widget when I make my post on the traffic results next week and I’m sure a lot of the participating bloggers will put it up, which will be all the better for everyone involved.

        • says

          Well the Technorati widgets are a bit limited – they only show a certain number of links, and no text.

          I mainly switched from widgets to showing RSS, and that is fairly easy to do with WordPress and Blogger.

          I tend to click through from Technorati itself, or from my RSS feed when I see something interesting.

          One of the reasons people haven’t been seeing much traffic from Technorati is because lots of the people use it to search and not to browse. That is guaranteed to change in the future.

          I just imported Gary’s OPML – I am not sure whether he was fully up to date, but that was 99 entries of which 25 were new.

          One thing which often happens with viral marketing is that the people at the tail end don’t see as much benefit as the early adopters, even with lots of twists added.

          With the email marketing programs, the aim is to have as many people in the list to mail to, and only have to receive a few emails yourself, or none at all.
          Honestly that suchs for the little guy.
          There is no harm having a whole load of fresh content cycle through Technorati and people will still receive visits, especially if I can grab hold of Michael Chen over the weeken do also get a meme tracker going.

          At times I have though of Techmeme as being Tech-me-me

          As in the little guys are just meant to read it, because they won’t get in without a struggle, even if they are talking about something related.

    • says

      Hi Bob

      Because it is added as an RSS feed it shouldn’t be pinging people, thus it is a related link to your content. That is a good thing.

      All I did was pick up the links to DoshDosh on that post by RSS, which are being cached.

      The list certainly isn’t people who are guaranteed to be taking part, it is there for another purpose, because I noted a huge difference between Technorati and Google, and also another reader mentioned he wasn’t being picked up by Google.

      If someone did link through to DoshDosh, and isn’t in the list, they need to check their ping, nothing more, nothing less.

      Just look on this as one of those links you sometimes might get for an aggregator, but this one will at least have some value (though it is split up between quite a few links)

  3. says

    What we need now is an instant way of cross-linking the link train…. anyone beating 67 links on that? (http://www.foreignperspectives.com/technorati-favourites-exchange/2007/04/11/opinion.htm)

    I like the automation aspect but on the other hand if it had been available from day one, I’d not have had the chance to pick up quite a number of neat ideas from many of the participants. Or, at least, I’d have been much less likely to have done it.

    Whilst the majority of participants seem to be from the techie cum get-rich-online communities, a number of us aren’t and it’s helped to produce a lot of cross-fertilisation of ideas that might never have happened.

    Not only that, but I’ve even picked up a couple of honest to goodness relevant links!

    • says

      you might not have hit this barrier yet, but for me the hardest thing about blogging is wanting to read my reader’s blog, and not being able to cope with 500+ feeds in my feed reader.

      It is hard to relate to your audience if you can’t spend time reading their blogs, or what is relevant to them.

      Most OPML files are are built from the top down, who the A -Listers are linking to and maybe a few blogs you stumble across of find on Digg, or from blogrolls.

      I was pushing for a long time for MyBlogLog to provide an OPML file that I could export.

      What I am now going to do is ask Megite to hook into my Technorati Favorites OPML

      It is going to create a very interesting meme tracker

    • says

      Atul you are one of the people I posted that long list for, and the secondary reason for this post.

      I have no idea why, but for some reason you blog is not listed in Google Blogsearch for that particular post which seems very strange.

      Google do list some of your posts, but not all of them which seems very strange.

    • says

      I am using a wordpress plugin for it, though the one I am using seems quite complicated to set up (or it would for most people), so I am also experimenting with others before making a detailed post covering more platforms.

    • says

      All you are doing is importing an OPML file into a feed reader, just like you can also do with Google Reader or Bloglines.

      If you felt like it, you could also import Robert Scoble’s OPML as well, and have over 1000 people in your Technorati feed reader.

      Everyone on the list could also add this OPML to the feedreader they don’t use often, thus if you use GR, import to Bloglines, and if you use Blogline, import to GR.

      But that would be too evil ;)

    • says

      This works in many ways just link MyBlogLog, people “friend” you and you see their face, and are curious and favorite back. The OPML just makes it a little more efficient process.

  4. says

    Thats a great idea Andy, Nice one. Technorati are going to have to their criteria soon do you reckon favouriting on mass will alert them?

    • says

      I don’t think there is anything to worry about, and Technorati have their people doing reputation management just like all the other large web 2.0 firms, and the smaller ones do it too.

      Favorites has nothing to do with authority on Technorati, so it doesn’t affect their search results.

      Importing lots of favorites just improves the way you can use Technorati, and highlights the features.

      As an example, I have been criticising Technorati a little about their search compared to Google, but Technorati search has some real selling points, such as searching within your favorites which is much better than using a Google Custom Search Engine.

      I did a review of Lijit a while back, and they use Google CSE. Most of my content didn’t show in results.

      With Technorati search within favorites, you don’t have the problems with whether content shows up.

  5. says

    Hey Andy,

    Super cool job! That is totally awesome! I have added this page to my post in super huge fonts!

    Great job! Nice to get a chance to finally come over here and drop you a comment.

    Garry Conn

  6. says

    Hi Andy,

    I just imported your OPML file to my technorati. 526 new favortites, 39- non blogs, 46- were already in my favorites. I thought you may be interested. Fun stuff. Nice trick.

  7. says

    Well I followed your prompts and now have tons of blogs to read!

    If this scheme doesnt work I will remember your post.

    Will report back

    I for some reason have this post showing up in Technorati list of linkbacks and can’t find where I am listed…

    Strange!

    Z

    • says

      I syndicate excerpts from my favorites on the sidebar, and they get treated by Technorati as links, just like Technorati treat blogroll links.

      The difference is I only have 5 external links at any one time, so I don’t lose a lot of Google juice.

      I don’t have a blogroll, but I do help my readers with Technorati, and I even show enough of the content that it acts as a teaser and I have seen people click out on them more than from widgets recently.

    • says

      Well the plugin I currently find most versatile is http://www.iconophobia.com/

      It is a little bit complicated to understand, but can do almost anything… seriously I mean almost anything.

      As and example if MyBlogLog hadn’t switched to Yahoo servers when they did, I would have probably been able to use the same plugin to cache all my widgets and only call the host once every 30 minutes.

      It can pull in PHP code, text files, html etc etc

      It does have a few minor problems with long search strings, so you might have to put the long search URL into the configutation file, and just use a placeholder.

  8. says

    Well, Andy.. this lazy method of favoriting seems to have worked for you.. you’ve jumped up to #61 and are in no danger of being eliminated by other blogs. =)

    The Technorati widget seems to be the most universal and user-friendly way for everyone to display posts from other blogs they favorited. You’ve mentioned RSS style displays for favorites.. did you write anything previously about it?

    Maybe a short idiots guide on how to set it up for blogs on all platforms would be very useful. I could link to it next week and at least the various participants reading my blog could have the option of choosing between either the widget or a RSS style setup or whatever alternative options(besides the widget) you think will be good..

    • says

      Yes I can knock something together, at least for Blogger and WordPress.

      I did have a lot of favorites to start, I think 131, and had favorited 270+ sites

      I am still trying to think of the best name for the Megite meme.

      Fave_Train ?
      Faves

      Maybe
      A_List_of_Faves

      • says

        How about “Doshy Faves” or “the Dosh Posse/Crew”? Or something obviously a little more democratic .. :-)

  9. says

    Hi Andy, Great work! That’s what they said a good programmer is always lazy. But yet, they come out with something which saves their time and effort. For sure, there is pros and cons on some solutions. I’ve been checking my Technorati link page to check who have linked to me and that was fun coz I can bump on great article like this. I prefer to use both techniques where your technique help me to fave all participants so I will not missed any of them (I hope). And then I will slowly crawl on my technorati fave list to check out the blogs/site and comment them. Your article gives me idea where now I’m starting to find my solution to automate link back to those who have linked to my TFX page. This would be fun coz I’m using blogger.com and I think there is no such trackback/pingback solution on this platform yet. For those who knew it, please inform me. Thank you very much!

  10. says

    Wow! I’ve got to say — I had no idea that Technorati had such robust handling of OPML exports from their favorites. The clincher for me is that you can export the OPML by tag as well.

    I’ve been doing the same in del.icio.us, but using a 3rd party script to export them into OPML.

    I’m going to be playing a lot with Technorati faves this weekend. … I might be turning to the dark side on this one…

    • says

      Ok, I am firmly on the dark side on this one and am using Technorati for my OPML experiments.

      I’ve imported yours, Maki’s, Scoble’s and a couple of others to get some diversity in place.

      I’m sitting here looking at 1,881 favorites in Technorati. :-O

      In case anyones interested, the HTML file for the list of all favorites is almost 6MB. Once the page loads it seems to behave pretty well to manage tags, etc.

  11. says

    Andy, just thought you would like to know. 68 people added my blog to their favorites, that is 38 since I read this post and employed the method described. Also I gain about 6 incoming links along the way.

    • says

      Yup.. Andy’s technique does work! But Vlad, if you have the time, please do try to visit the blogs that favorite you, like check them out and say hi or something .. I’m sure they’ll appreciate it :)

      I’ve imported Andy, Gary, Garry and some other participating members’ OPML in order to make sure that I don’t miss out anyone.. I haven’t seen any great increases in my number of faves though… maybe in time to come.

  12. says

    @Maki,

    Not only do I visit them, I also am doing from time to time the same trick with their OPML file as well ;) . Works like a charm.

  13. says

    I was just wondering if there is a way to get the OPML file of those who have favorited my blog. Andy, Maki? Any ideas?

      • says

        Maki,

        Thanks. I think I may have not expressed my self clearly. The example you just gave me is the same what Andy posted here in this post and I have been using this OPML (which by the way had swollen my favorites to 1500 lol).

        What I am trying to find out if I can import a file that has every you added my blog to their favorites. For example, as of now 95 members had added my blog to their favorites. I am interested in these 95. Does it make sense?

  14. says

    I think that you have a great idea that will help connect a lot of people to other ideas. I think it is also important to get a lot more people on your favorites that just don’t focus on one topic such as making money online or internet marketing. I think if you can get an assortment of ideas then you will attract more people into your thoughts and help the growth and well-roundedness of your own site. That is what I have seen of what little knowledge I have. What do you think Andy?

  15. says

    I’m coming late to the party again, but I’ve put up a post about this on my blog. It’s a cool idea and hats off to you Andy, and Maki and everyone else who has participated.

  16. says

    hi andy, i have used yr opml…we have to admit somewhere that this exercise is majorly to get links…and not so much of content…that said, I’m also checking outmany sites the traditonal way….so it’s a mixture of both…anyway, great game..congrats t the starters and those who improve it along the way…

    i have linked to you and favourited you by the way :-)

  17. says

    hey andy,

    just faved you. not sure if you’re still returning the favor, but my username is stevespeirs if you are.

    also, funny thing happened when i imported the opml file. it said it was successful (imported 870 favorites i think), but now when i try to add someone new as a favorite it says i don’t have any…strange.

    anyway, thanks for the great tip!

    –steve

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