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Updated: Edelman In Deal with Technorati

Steve has provided answers to my questions in the comments section – so here goes a quick update:

Rubel reports that Edelman has a deal to "fast-track the development of localized versions of their offering in German, Korean, Italian, French and Chinese." I’m not sure what this means so a couple of questions for Steve & Co.:

  • Is Edelman paying or funding software development at Technorati? What specifically does fast-track mean? Or to use Peter’s words "support"? Is this a case of simply paying to lock-up Technorati for a period of time? Or as Stowe alludes to, is this about getting Technorati some needed cash for global expansion? Edelman is paying to accelerate Technorati’s deployment in Europe – as such the probably deserve the short exclusive they are getting.
  • What does "exclusive" mean? Does this mean the only way to get access to pre-beta Technorati in those countries is via Edelman? The success of so many Web2.0 properties – Technorati included – has been predicated on getting not particularly robust products into the market allowing people to participate. Isn’t this going to turn a public tool into a proprietary one for a period of time – is it about, at least initially, supporting the growth of the blogosphere for Edelman clients? Why not open it to everyone? Reading between the lines of Steve’s remarks it seems unlikely that Technorati could have done this as quick without Edelman’s support – so, fair game on the exclusive. Ultimately we benefit from a faster time to market on Technorati services.
  • Doesn’t this call into question Technorati’s independence and neutrality. I’m sure its just a coincidence but Steve’s favorite blogs are featured on Technorati’s home page this morning. In fairness to Steve, this is a rolling banner. Fair response from Steve. This will be an issue for Technorati going forward.

It is great that Edelman is lending its weight to such an important initiative. I’m a big fan of Richard and Steve. But fortunately they aren’t the only ones so this does seem to run counter to the notion of "participatory" and open.

While a propriety lock-in to Technorati’s international versions is a terrific coup for Edelman – and I am sure is a very profitable commercial relationship for Technorati – doesn’t it leave bloggers and other companies as deeply engaged in the blogosphere out in the cold? Steve’s comments point to this accelerating the availability of services – Edelman’s price is cold cash. Our price is that they get a bit of an exclusive for something we have to wait less for. Seems fair in the context of the commercial realities of the blogosphere.

More reading at PR Squared.

4 Responses

  1. By Steve Rubel on May 22nd, 2006 at 10:24 am

    Andy, thanks. Good questions.

    1) Yes, we are paying to fund the development of these sites. Actually, we’re paying to move the road map up since we need them.

    2) Correct. Only Edelman employees will have access to these sites. We’re basically the sole beta customer since we paid to accelerate their development.

    3) This is a question for T’Rati, but I don’t feel that way. They already work with media companies. My presence on their site pre-dated this deal.

    Overall, I don’t think it leaves bloggers in the cold because these sites don’t exist yet. If they did, then I would agree. If anything we’re paying to make sure everyone gets them soon and we’re getting a short exclusive in the process.

  2. By Amanda Chapel on May 23rd, 2006 at 6:10 am

    Simple as this: TECHNORATI IS AN INDEX! TO MIX INDEX AND AGENDA IS A BASTARDIZATION.

    Here, imagine if the Republican Party was going to sponsor a similar effort with a library group. Silly to think that their agenda would not screw up the library.

    Listen, I’ve had criticisms of Edelman mysteriously disappear from Technorati. Imagine that happening to you who have a belief contrary to Edelman. Imagine that happening to you having a view contrary to an Edelman client. Imagine that happening to one of your clients.

    The fact that there has not been outrage over this just underscores how insulated and naïve the PR Blogger Club can be. Sad.

    – Amanda Chapel

  3. By Clive Armitage on May 24th, 2006 at 7:45 am

    I think Steve’s responses are fair but to support Amanda’s view, there’s an undoubted conflict of interest going on here. Whilst Edelman may be prepared to live with that, the Technorati brand is certainly not going to benefit from the doubt that will be placed in people’s minds as to its impartiality now that it’s (part) funded by a PR agency.

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