Don Martelli is the executive editor for Technorati, an Internet search engine for blogs which also measures a blog’s authority and influence within its content category. Writers can apply to publish on Technorati original news content, opinion pieces, trending topics and breaking stories in the area of technology, entertainment, business, politics, lifestyle, videos, sports, lifestyle and women’s issues.
We asked Don a few questions over Facebook.
Q: What do you do at Technorati?
A: It's my job to work with the publisher to shape the editorial focus of the site; help develop promotional opportunities with brands; and develop and continue to hone some of the governing policies of our writer's community. From an editorial perspective, I work closely with our editorial team to edit and publish anywhere between 40-60 articles per day. I also act as the community manager for the site, helping writers learn our editorial policies, manage our content management system, provide post topic ideas, etc.
Q: Give us three tips for how to use Technorati well: (1) Go through the claim process to ensure that your blog will be ranked and cataloged on our site. (2) Be sure that you're posting topical items on your blog and linking to highly-trafficked sources to help drive up your authority. (3) Continue to check your account on Technorati to ensure that your blog remains claimed and that none of the feeds connected to the ranking have been broken by changes you’ve made to your site on the back end. From an editorial perspective, (1) write about items that are trending and are newsworthy. While you might not break news, you can always provide a unique perspective to add to the context of the overall story. (2) Participate in the community by working with other writers, help seed topic ideas and collaborate on marketing our site's content. (3) Write often.
Q: How have blogs become more important?
A: Blogs have become an individual's and a brand's way to self-publish. While this has been the case since the term “weblog” has been used, the act of blogging has changed pretty dramatically in the past 10 years. We're posting long-form, short-form, photo-only type blogs. We're connecting our content with social networks and leveraging the reach of those networks to gain exposure and link-backs. Today's media landscape forces individuals and brands to self-publish. We can no longer rely on traditional media to tell our story. Blogs and social networking sites have become our megaphone.
Q: Do you have a favorite blog – besides your own?
A: I honestly don't have a favorite blog. My interests are pretty vast—from sports, micro-brewing, politics, local news, technology, etc.—my RSS reader is a mess. I'd call it a potpourri of content. I follow traditional media blogs, independent thought leaders, mommy and daddy bloggers and blogs of brands. It's sort of my job to stay up on a variety of trends, issues and points of views, and frankly, blogs and social networking sites keep me plugged in.
Q: How has the Technorati Authority Ranking changed over time and how is Technorati adjusting it in the wake of other online authority measurements such as Klout?
A: Authority ranking really hasn't changed over time. We had to change the way authority was calculated after Klout made some changes to their algorithm earlier this year, but for the most part, it's pretty much intact. It's pretty simple: authority is a snapshot of about 30 days and tells a blogger how well their site is connected to other blogs across the web. The more highly trafficked blogs your blog is connected to, the higher authority your blog will have. However, you can't sit back and expect that number to increase on its own. You have to work at it. You have to write, and write consistently. Even then, you have to work hard at getting other bloggers to link to your content. As for changing Authority because of services like Klout, we're not. Authority is a propriety measurement point that we developed and will continue to support. It's one of the main reasons as to why people visit Technorati.
Q: How can bloggers be considered to post pieces on Technorati before they go live on their own blogs?
A: To write for Technorati, all one has to do is fill out the writer's application that's linked on the homepage. All writers must provide writing samples that are news or news opinion focused. I am the one that reviews applications and base my decision on how well the person can write; how often are they posting to their blog; the type of content they are covering; and, whether or not they are following
best practices when it comes to developing and marketing their content (i.e. no spammers).