One of the questions I’ve been asked by a number of people since joining Feedster is “Are Technorati and Feedster competitors?” (or “Is there a difference between Feedster and Technorati?” or something along those lines). I was going to write up something to explain my take, but it looks like Dave Sifry over at Technorati has been seeing the same kinds of questions and decided to answer publicly. So I’m just going to build off Dave’s statements, in particular the part about:

So please, continue to use the fine services from Feedster and PubSub! And please continue to try out and use Technorati watchlists as well. May a thousand flowers bloom.

People ask questions about the two companies being competitors because there is a lot of overlap in what we do, we provide a lot of the same kinds of features. There are differences, but in general they tend to be rather esoteric and mostly of interest to the geeks. Currently the most major differences are in terms of outlook. I’ve personally thought of Technorati as building a new thing called a “conversation engine”, used to track conversations happening online. Whereas Feedster is a news search engine. Check out the Technorati about page and the Feedster overview page. To me there’s an obvious difference there, a difference in focus at the very least.

Maybe you don’t see it. Or maybe you think it doesn’t really matter. “What difference does an outlook make if the features are the same?” one might ask (and they have). The important point to remember here is that we’re at the start of a very new and rapidly expanding market. It might look like Technorati and Feedster (and PubSub**) are currently crowded into a small area, but that area is getting larger and larger every day. As the market as a whole grows the conceptual differences between Technorati and Feedster will turn into concrete differences in functionality. We still might end up competing in some areas, but there will be plenty of pie to go around. So my overall answer is no, I don’t consider Technorati a competitor. We’re both working toward the same goal of growing the use of blogging and related technologies, working to make sure that readers and writers have what’s necessary to keep the growth going. It’s too early to know what the board will look like once the growth stops accelerating. Yes, that’s right, I said “stops accelerating”. It was intentional.

** about PubSub - I say Technorati and Feedster, but PubSub really should be included in this as well. One major difference is that I think PubSub is already pretty well differentiated. I used Technorati because it was Dave’s note that kicked off the response, and because most of the people I’ve spoken to ask directly about Technorati. Personally I use all three to track the topics I’m interested in.