Technorati released a redesigned search results page and member profiles tonight, including some features I’ve been wanting for a long time. You can find the official announcement on the Technorati weblog and I will share my personal thoughts and favorites below.
Personal tag cloud
Technorati now displays a personal tag cloud for each member profile! You can now glance at a blogger’s profile and get a pretty good idea about his or her most blogged about topics. Tim Appnel’s Tags.App plugin for Movable Type displays some similar tag visualizations but now anyone on any blog platform can visualize their topical focus.
New search results format
Search result excerpts are now a bit longer and meant to welcome the newbie by hiding away some of the more advanced options. Above I hovered over the magnifying glass to reveal a scoped search option for the word “soccer” from a mommy blogger. The talk bubble icon displays the number of inbound links to that blog.
I miss not being able to glance at a person’s link count on the search results page but I think there may be better ways to represent the same data to quickly communicate worthwhile information. I like the eBay stars program used to communicate a feedback rating and perhaps some similar tiny graphics could be applied to Technorati link counts but with more meaningful colors.
Keyword search charts
It’s now easy to visualize keyword use trends over the past 30 days with keyword search charts. The chart above shows the use of the word “Santa” in blog posts over the last 30 days. I’ve been using these charts to follow spikes around product announcements around the industry to see if the excitement and interest in a product remains or quickly fades. Right now I am watching the search result for “Ronaldinho,” a Brazilian who was just named best soccer player in the world for the second year in a row.
You can easily construct your own charts in various sizes using a standard URL structure:
http://technorati.com/chart/ + [keyword] + ?size= + [size]
Charts are outputted in PNG format. The size of the chart varies from a default of
s (small, or 180×150 pixels) to
xl (extra large, or 700×500 pixels). Publishing tools could easily add a Technorati chart to graph trends over time.
Enjoy! We’ve promised the Technorati ops team not to release any new features until after Christmas to keep our servers running a bit more predictably than normal.