Our favorite three-letter acronym has been adopted by Dave Sifry as the newest feature on his blog search site, giving it a little social media flavor by allowing people to write about current topics and others to vote on the best commentary.
WTF? It's one of the more popular little collections of three letters people use to describe their bafflement at some particularly head-shaking piece of news. At Technorati, visitors have that same feeling when someone or something suddenly becomes a hot topic, but aren't sure why.
When you see a top search with an orange flame next to it, it means at least one person from the community has written their view as to why that topic is hot - right now. The community is also invited to either write their own explanation or vote on the WTFs they view as most helpful. Based on a combination of number of votes and timeliness, the top WTFs by search topic appear on the top of the results page.
But it isn't just for the hottest searches or the stuff with the biggest buzz - in fact, one of the things that I like the most about WTF is that you can write an explanation about any search or topic, and if you get the most votes, your explanation goes in at the top of the results page for that search. You can write a WTF on any topic that someone would search for, and provide information and resources to them about that topic or subject. So, you might want to write a WTF about yourself or your friends' names, or your company (or maybe even your competition!)
Technorati alum Niall Kennedy also provided some backstory on how staffers would openly wonder why a topic suddenly caught fire:
Article, Technorati, WTF
Technorati WTF is a mini-blog post aimed at a specific audience. Bloggers who used to try and summarize the top search results on their own blog and attract the attention of searchers can now add a note and possibly gain a reputation directly on the Technorati search result page. It's a OneBox-like placement for the knowledge search item best matching your query.