Now, let's be clear, I like Techmeme too, and use it all the time. However ... I'm a little bothered by the completely uncritical reaction. Part of the discussion could use some deeper examination. As in:
Q. Why do sources get dropped? Do they fail to post new material? Fail to keep being cited?
Fail to keep being cited. Every day Techmeme performs a bit of a reset, usually around 3am Eastern, where it doesn't update for about an hour as it repeats the source discovery. So every day it tries to find the best few thousand sources. A blog can make the list one day but not the next.
Q. Is Techmeme too elite with its sources?
[snip] ...For better or for worse, well-read bloggers tend to have better access to interesting news, and also tend to exercise the talent that helped establish them in the first place. I'm rather unapologetic that there are lots of less established writers who will never show up on Techmeme.
OK, as a statement of fact, this is what it is - Techmeme "serves the A-list", as I think of it. It looks to the Big Heads, sees what they're talking about (or what a group of Medium Heads is talking about), and figures that what the high attention sources are devoting attention to, is a good bet to get attention. Algorithmically, I can't fault that. However ... it does have an echo-chamber effect. And if the Big Heads are disinclined, to, say, cite women, or less established writers, but instead to link-love each other - Techmeme will merrily reflect that.
Do I have a solution? No. I'll be unapologetic about that. But I suppose someone should point out that Techmeme almost explicitly, as a design goal, with good reason, reflects exactly the social hierarchy that evangelists tell us doesn't exist online. And I think those critics who feel it's part of the exclusionary process do have a very valid point.
[Disclaimer: I met Gabe once at a conference, I liked him personally. But, as he knows, the oligarchical structure of the bogosphere has long been an issue for me]
[Update - There are competitors - Megite seems to have a broader view]By Seth Finkelstein | posted in cyberblather | on January 17, 2007 11:42 PM (Infothought permalink)