Technorati CEO sees opportunity in the changing Web

In an interview, Technorati CEO Richard Jalichandra talks about executive upheaval, expansion plans, and the future of the company

IDGNS: Will Technorati seek more funding?

Jalichandra: There are some things we want to do to expand for which we might seek additional funds, but the great thing about where the business is today is we're sitting on a very large audience that allows us to monetize, so we're starting to see fairly significant increases in revenue, so that will also help fund some of the growth and expansion.

IDGNS: Technorati remains independent and privately held. Will it be sold to a larger company?

Jalichandra: My plan is always to build a great business, and those things usually take care of themselves when you build a great business. That's been my experience and what I intend to do now. You build a great company and either you're a great independent or somebody else finds a nice fit for you.

IDGNS: What are some key goals for Technorati in the coming year?

Jalichandra: The high-level objectives are to continue to provide a great user experience, and that's both search and discovery. On the business side, the objectives are simply stated: to build a monetization infrastructure to grow the business from the revenue side.

IDGNS: You carry Google ads. Do you sell your own ads as well?

Jalichandra: We do have our own sales force, and they're doing fantastically well. We recently hired a new VP of sales and a new VP of business development, and they're really working on building up that revenue machinery.

IDGNS: What is your international presence?

Jalichandra: We have a joint venture with Technorati Japan, and that's the only dedicated country-specific site. But in the blogosphere, language doesn't have a lot of barriers. We've counted close to 30 languages that appear regularly in the index. So while we don't have a very big international focus, by the sheer nature of the blogosphere we're an international company.

IDGNS: Any plans to expand your international presence?

Jalichandra: Absolutely. The blogosphere knows no borders so eventually we'll get there, but we're still a 30-person startup.

IDGNS: A lot of the content in social networks is trapped in those sites. Does Technorati feel it is getting locked out of indexing the content on those very popular sites?

Jalichandra: It's not a concern right now. There's enough people writing content specifically on blogs as opposed to their MySpace or Facebook page. Typically what you find with MySpace and Facebook is that there isn't a lot of serious blogging. People are just making one or two sentence proclamations and not writing [in-depth] about a subject matter.

IDGNS: Do you have any plans to increase the social applications or features within Technorati?

Jalichandra: People have Technorati profiles today, and registered users always check out who is linking to them, so that's one way that a lot of bloggers use Technorati today. In the future, we're looking certainly at anything we can do to improve the user experience or the community aspects of it.

IDGNS: Do you consider social-news sites like Digg and Slashdot competitors?

Jalichandra: What people do on Technorati is different from what they do on Digg. Digg is a more participatory news experience, whereas a lot of people that come to Technorati are looking to just follow a conversation happening on the blogosphere about a topic. I have a feeling that, like me, people use both Digg and Technorati for slightly different things.

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Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
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