Abject Apology

My friend and colleague Dave Sifry issues this Apologia pro Vita Sua, at least Pro Web Site Sua. Dave's Technorati is in beta, and is a very very cool item indeed: it's a constantly spidered and indexed pile of silicon goo and stray electrons that has the current live shape of the blogosphere. Think of it as a remarkable visualization of the state of a subset of human beings express in words and relationships. (Yeah, yeah, I know, the blogosphere isn't humanity: it's the part that likes to write about humanity...or their last ice cream cone.)Technorati has grown unbelievably quickly. I remember talking to Dave over a year ago when he had some agony about buying three or four servers, and was thinking about re-architecting part of the site. Then they bought dozens. The current number is undisclosed, but they just added another 60 to their farm. They list millions of blogs. They know when you're sleeping (or when your blog is quiescent), they know when you're awake (and just posted--sometimes within seconds). Their traffic has gone through the roof, an order of magnitude, in part because of their CNN coverage deal at the Democratic National Convention. It's a clear sign of when a resource becomes invaluable that people are angry when, even with no promises, it's not working the way they expect. Technorati has been in beta for a while, but they do take some money from folks who want email or RSS watchlists. Still, this reminds me of the weblogs.com brou-ha-ha a few weeks ago, which was resolved quite neatly and relatively quickly. I like that Dave Sifry can say he's sorry. That he's willing to explain what went wrong. That he's taken measures to change things. I know his technical expertise, and I know he's hired amazing people. This is a glitch, but one that will be overcome and forgotten. He's riding the Cluetrain (which is why he's willing to post an honest and straightforward accounting of the site's troubles). The Cluetrain is one long confessional filled with sympathetic listeners. I have enormous respect for Dave, and enormous confidence in him. This acknowledgment of weakness is the expression of strength.