August 22nd, 2005

Thank you!

A lot of people worked very hard to make Bar Camp happen, and i want to say thanks. I had an interesting and stimulating weekend. Thanks for proving that a conference can be pulled together in a week and become a huge success.

This is not a Real Blog?

In one of the conversations i stumbled into at the post-BarCamp on Sunday night, a guy from Technorati mentioned that a LiveJournal "isn't a Real Blog". I was taken aback. I mean, it's not that i don't think of LJ that way sometimes too, but to hear it from someone who's trying to build the leading blog search engine is a bit startling.

Apparently Technorati doesn't index LiveJournals and TypePad blogs as well as other blogs because they don't automatically ping Technorati when you update your blog. (I smirked when he said, "Ping is easy!") I thought this meant that it didn't index such blogs as frequently. According to him, though, it means Technorati doesn't index blogs at all unless you send pings. "It's Six Apart's fault," he said.

Well, yes and no. Sure, Six Apart should get their act together and implement automatic pinging. But there's something wrong about an attitude of "It's that other company's fault." It doesn't seem like a smart way to build a successful company. If your mission is to provide the best solution, do what you have to do. Has Technorati tried working with the folks at Six Apart? Have they offered to help build pings into LiveJournal? LJ is open source, after all. And if LJ or TypePad doesn't ping, there's still a lot they could do. How about scanning the feed of latest entries? How about polling the journals that are updated or linked most often? All of these techniques could make Technorati Search a better product, not just for LJ but for all the blogs out there.

Anyway, what to make of the persistent idea that LiveJournals aren't "real blogs"? Is this a barrier we should try to break down? Where does it come from?
  • LiveJournal lets you post a stream of entries, like other blogging software.
  • LiveJournal shows you the most recent ones in reverse chronological order, like other blogging software.
  • Most other blogging packages send pings and/or trackbacks. LiveJournal does neither.
  • LiveJournal has friend lists. Most other blogging packages don't.
  • LiveJournals don't usually have blogrolls, though many other blogs do.
  • LiveJournal lets you write private entries. Most other blogging packages don't.
  • LiveJournal provides threaded discussions on each post. Most other blogging packages don't.
Is it the technology that makes LiveJournal different, or is it just about the community of people that tend to use LiveJournal instead of other blogging software?