I must say that this tool (Technorati, as well as the numerous other blog directories) certainly helps you navigate the blogosphere. Being able to search the content (by keyword, tag, author, topic) of the plethora of blogs that exist is one of the most obvious benefits. I’d be careful of the word “authority” though (yes, I’m a bit skeptical) — knowing how many others refer to or reference a particular blog, does not automatically elevate a blog from merely being a “popular” blog to being an “authoritative” one. Evaluation is still required (and necessary to really establish reliability and/or true authority). But, showing some sense of “authority” or “popularity” is certainly a great starting point for your evaluation. I’d still evaluate a blog (and its content) similarly to that of a regular web page, or any other source for that matter (e.g., Who’s the author? Are they an “authority” and do they have the right credentials? What else have they done? Are they knowledgeable and informative or merely ranting? Etc., to just name a few criteria.).
Then again, let me put on my devil’s advocate hat (I seem to do this often) . . . if the information were not “authoritative” or accurate or [you supply the adjective], beyond mere popularity, it probably wouldn’t be referred to by too many other bloggers. Hmm.
Ah, the joys of the information age.
Another benefit to your researching efforts could be an awareness of tagging. What tags are being used? Do they make sense to you? Do they increase your awareness to new ideas or concepts? Do they provide another target point for your search? Tags could definitely be valuable to your information retrieval strategies. And, they could certainly help to keep you up-to-date with the jargon and the current language being used to describe various concepts.
Technorati (and other blog directories) offers you yet another searchable source for information — some of which is good, some of which is not so good — it can help you locate experts, opinions, rants, topics of shared interest, etc. Yeah, this is a good thing, another tool in the toolbox.
Parting thoughts from my Sunday afternoon musings: “User beware?” “User be aware?” “Be a user?” “All of these?” I know my answer . . . how about you?