Technorati still a player…?

Image representing Technorati as depicted in C...

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Back in the day, Technorati used to be something of a player in the blogosphere… of course, this was back when blogs were nowhere near as common and the question really was “Why should I even start one?”  

Once the world started to realize the amusement-factor of blogging and commercial interests started to realize how effective they are as a marketing tool, well, then we really started to see some exciting new communities and tools crop up.  One of these was Technorati. 
I was a big proponent of being involved with Technorati in those days, but it seems that their relevance seems to have waned in favor of the nine point six billion social-networking sites and site aggregators out there.  I mean, there’s really no shortage of websites that will take your feed and combine it with countless variations of information… it’s actually pretty interesting.  Feedly is a great example of this… and I’m a big fan.  Now, granted, they don’t quite do what TR was doing – putting together content based on relevance and authority – but they haven’t done much at all for years and years.
So the question remains, is Technorati still a player?  Is it still relevant, or does it join the masses of obsolete social media concepts that had their day in the sun but have since been eclipsed by the onslaught of people doing exactly the same thing?
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When did the author become more important…

…than the work?  I was hanging out at Borders, sipping on some coffee and perusing books I have no intention of buying (and even if I did want the book, I’d just buy it on Amazon) when I noticed a strange trend.

This isn’t a new trend, mind you, it’s just something that I started noticing after years and years of simply ignoring the covers of books (it’s true, by the way, that if only books could be as cool as their cover art is, there would significantly less illiteracy in the world.)  The author’s name is, usually, significantly bigger than the title of the book.  I’m not just talking a few points of type bigger.  I’m talking about HUGE author’s name, tiny little book title.  I might chalk it up to artistic license, but it’s freakin’ everywhere.  The title of the book may as well not matter.  It is all about the author.

I suppose it makes sense, from a marketing standpoint.  You’re not really trying to sell the title of the book, not really.  I think most publishers have come to terms with the fact that there are two major demographics of book-buyers: the ones that ignore the covers and look for ‘good authors’, and the ones that think the cover art looks cool and therefore buy what is probably a horribly written book.  The title itself?  Kind of irrelevant.  So you make the author’s name hugenormous on the cover for the former, and you pay artists to come up with cool-looking artwork for the latter.  And you slap a tiny title on it, just so it fits somewhere in the Dewey decimal system once the book is relegated to the dusty halls of a public library.

I’m going to write a book and publish it.  And it’s not going to have a title.  I want to see how long I can get away with that fact before someone notices.  In fact, I’m going to go one further – I’m going to write 4 books.  Novels, probably.  I’m not going to title them.  Maybe I’ll color-code them, maybe I won’t. 

Speaking of authors, on that same trip to the bookstore I discovered that authors are terrible readers of their own material.  Makes me think that they didn’t actually come up with it, they seem so haltingly unfamiliar with their own writing.  Hm.