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Technorati Hates Me

Every day, five or six thousand social-networking, blogosphere-trotting, long-tailing web sites are created.  All of them with a really great, new idea that combines RSS with AJAX and plans to stay in Beta forever.  Out of all of those, a few are really cool and useful - and Technorati is definitely one of them. Does Technorati like me?Technorati tracks blogs and the discussions, reactions, and responses that bounce from blog to blog via the simple mechanism of who is linking to who.  It also collects tags and allows you to search the mass of blogs for posts that might be relevant to your query.  Bloggers can "claim" their own blog and use some surprisingly fun tools to see who is talking about them.  Some people have even been abandoning the whole trackback system in favor of Technorati. And apparently, Technorati hates me. Now, Technorati hasn't outright said it hated me (or us, since this is a group blog), but it won't let us claim Unsought Input.  Every time we try to make the claim, we get this:
There was a problem claiming your blog. Please try again in a few minutes. You can also go to Technorati Help for help claiming your blog.
Trying again is of no use, whether we wait a few minutes or a few weeks.  Using the customer service form to send an email has been fruitless as well.  Each time an acknowledgment email is promptly returned, but no answer--even when we send them a reminder with our ticket number. For a while I thought I knew the problem - some of our authors had claimed their author archive pages as their own blogs.  This doesn't really work, though, since virtually no one links to our author pages and posts on Unsought Input don't fall under the same URL pattern.  After we cleared out those old claims, I had a small glimmer of hope - but alas, we still cannot complete the claim. I know they are busy.  I know that it is a free service (though to tell the truth I would be willing to pay a reasonable price, like I have with StumbleUpon and, it really is a cool service).  But at this point I feel like a freshman in high school with no date for the winter formal: Technorati does not like me But why doesn't Technorati like us?  There was a post about some technical difficulties on the Technorati blog last month, but judging by the example at, it turned out to be more about indexing times than problems with claims. I've seen the same issue mentioned on other blogs like Bark Bark Woof Woof, and a few commenters have mentioned the possibility that Unsought Input has been identified as spam.  I hope the latter is the case, because it has become clear recently that if a powerful gateway site like Google thinks you are spam, you are in big trouble. ... To be fair, this post is a bit tongue-in-cheek.   The folks at Technorati are remarkably accessible, and many of them have blogs of their own (or even make their email addresses available to the public).  I just haven't worked up the gumption to pester them more directly.  I would much rather go through the support page, I know they are busy.

Four ways to avoid web boredom

There is no reason to ever be bored on the Internet.

When I was young, I would get bored at school. I once had a teacher who hated the words “bored,� “boring,� and “boredom,� insisting there was no reason for any of us to say them – we either needed to think up ways to make the situation a little more interesting, or try taking interest in what we were supposed to be doing.

Maybe she had a point, but now it doesn't matter. The Internet has made boredom obsolete. There are enough web pages and enough people making new pages every day that even if we limit ourselves to the subset that is actually interesting, we will never see it all.

But, you protest, you have Firefox and a DSL connection and you still get bored? Below are four things guaranteed to make boredom obsolete.

  1. StumbleUpon.  StumbleUpon is a toolbar for Firefox (and now IE) that lets you channel surf the web.  You click the Stumble button, it brings you to a web site, and you give it a thumbs-up or thumbs-down.  Based on what other people like and dislike, it will send you to sites you should like.  Warning:  it is addictive.  (
  2. Wikipedia.  Between articles featured on the main page, looking up things I've heard about but don't have any background in, and going to random pages, I can waste hours on Wikipedia.  The "what links here" link can be a lot of fun (if you are a nerd).   (
  3. Digg, Reddit, and similar sites.  I find Digg to be better for geeky tech stuff, funny videos, cool flash games, political outrage, and nerdy fanboyism.  Reddit seems to be populated by a more discerning crowd, with more articles explaining things, news stories from mainstream media, geeky tech stuff and political outrage.  (  (
  4. A billion blogs writing about all sorts of stuff.  Specifically, I use the Blogpulse Conversation Tracker  and Technorati to find what people are blogging about.  It never ends. ( (

Honorable Mention: Google Scholar. When I was an undergrad, I would go the the basement of the library where they kept the journals looking to photocopy a few articles for a paper, and end up spending hours down there. There is nothing quite like paging through a bound volume of Nature—even if you can't understand much past the abstracts, research is so damn interesting!

Google Scholar is the thing I wish I had all through college. It makes finding academic literature actually easy and convenient. Why doesn't it make my list? Because far too often you are only able to read the citation and perhaps the abstract without paying $35 per article or some other ridiculous fee. If you are a college student, your school may have access to many of these research databases, but if not, you're SOL. I have no problem paying for content, but no one can afford tens of thousands for subscriptions to 20 journal publishers, and $35, or $55, or more for access to one article is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard of.

Some people think that if academic journals keep this sort of thing up, they will be replaced by blogs.  I'm not sure. Please post anything you've found to be a font of perpetual interest in the comments below. I'd love to hear what other people use, in case, you know, I get sick of any of the ones above.