Earlier this morning the Andrew Rasiej campaign sent out an email asking people to post about the candidate for public advocate on their blogs tagged with “Rasiej”. Then they were asked to run some searches over at Technorati. The results are on the front page :
The concept behind this strategy is one of pure viral marketing for the sake of free publicity. The problem with this, of course, is that corporate marketing departments will be able to follow suit and game the system to get their products on that front page. I wonder how Technorati is going to handle this one in the future.
This is an interesting experiment, though. I hope my fellow bloggers will join in with the coming John Roberts SCOTUS hearings. Let’s see how we can work with this knowledge to virally spread our opposition to Roberts using these blog and search tools to the max.
To answer the question of how Technorati is going to handle this in the future: they aren’t, at least not with a code-fix, as there really isn’t a reliable technological method for distinguishing between “real” spikes in interest in a subject and manufactured ones. Trust me on this: I’ve tried.
They will be able to handle it, however, because they are lucky enough to be tracking trends in a community, which — disjointed and fractured as it may be — actually has some vague codes of decent behavior, and when members of that community do something stupid, others will tell them so.
So let me be the first: this is a stupid idea.
Technorati provides a useful service to the blogging community — take it from me, one of their competitors. Trying to game their rankings — just like gaming my Ecosystem — does nothing but damage and distort the valuable information they provide. It’s dumb, and worse than that, it’s rude.
So don’t do it. End of public service announcement…