A bug with TechMeme…

Here’s something that’s bugging me about TechMeme today. Philippe Mottaz has a report that Wikipedia is running out of cash. Nick Carr linked to it. SEO Blackhat linked to Nick and Philippe’s report. Duncan Riley linked to SEO Blackhat’s report.

So, why is Duncan’s report the #2 thing on TechMeme right now and why isn’t Philippe’s report (he was the only one of the group above to do actual real reporting from the LIFT speech this week) on TechMeme? To me, that’s a bug.

UPDATE: Gabe says that Philippe’s post was linked to yesterday. Look at the comments below. But why wasn’t Bruno’s post linked to either time? His stuff is better than anything else I’ve seen and was original reporting on what happened at LIFT (he was on the floor). So was Stephanie. Her report isn’t linked to either.

87 thoughts on “A bug with TechMeme…

  1. @TDavid

    It really depends on the nature of the content which you are creating. The Clickbank item is news that affects 100,000+ affiliate marketers, but also hints as it should have done in the past that the ftc letter is much more important to affiliate networks than most top bloggers gave credit. Almost everyone without exception used it as an attack on PPP.
    Affiliates are breaking the some of the Clickbank rules several months after the change they made on bonuses because there wasn’t any coverage.
    I can’t confirm how long the disclosure rules have been in place.

    @Robert – it takes Google 5 days to recognise linking after they have cached a site, so whatever improvements meme trackers offer over that is a good thing, even if it means people will have to make one extra click to get to the original source.

  2. @TDavid

    It really depends on the nature of the content which you are creating. The Clickbank item is news that affects 100,000+ affiliate marketers, but also hints as it should have done in the past that the ftc letter is much more important to affiliate networks than most top bloggers gave credit. Almost everyone without exception used it as an attack on PPP.
    Affiliates are breaking the some of the Clickbank rules several months after the change they made on bonuses because there wasn’t any coverage.
    I can’t confirm how long the disclosure rules have been in place.

    @Robert – it takes Google 5 days to recognise linking after they have cached a site, so whatever improvements meme trackers offer over that is a good thing, even if it means people will have to make one extra click to get to the original source.

  3. I don’t know if anyone has noticed but Robert, the last two links in your post point to the same blog. Am I right in thinking you meant to link to two different blogs?

  4. I don’t know if anyone has noticed but Robert, the last two links in your post point to the same blog. Am I right in thinking you meant to link to two different blogs?

  5. Duncan: TechMeme doesn’t just put the most-linked to article up there — I’ve seen hundreds of examples of when things are on top that aren’t the most linked to article. Gabe has written hundreds of algorithms to try to pick the right article to display. And what caught my eye about your article is that you were linking to something else, and that something else wasn’t included as a link, even underneath your link. Again, I did NOT say you didn’t deserve to be on TechMeme. Look at my postings again. You’re taking this too personally and thinking I’m attacking YOU. That’s a bug in YOUR thinking. What I was saying is the cluster would have been better to include the things YOU LINKED TO!!!

    But, again, you tried to make this about you. Hint: it’s not.

    And why haven’t I done this before? Because it’s something that has gotten my interest only recently. You won’t be the last I use as an example of an algorithm picking something that doesn’t make sense or is incomplete. In fact, it’s even worse this morning because there are people on TechMeme (who weren’t at the speech) who now are saying that Wikipedia will shut down, when on analysis of what actually was said on stage wasn’t close to that.

    I have no idea what you’re talking about regarding my so-called friends.

  6. Duncan: TechMeme doesn’t just put the most-linked to article up there — I’ve seen hundreds of examples of when things are on top that aren’t the most linked to article. Gabe has written hundreds of algorithms to try to pick the right article to display. And what caught my eye about your article is that you were linking to something else, and that something else wasn’t included as a link, even underneath your link. Again, I did NOT say you didn’t deserve to be on TechMeme. Look at my postings again. You’re taking this too personally and thinking I’m attacking YOU. That’s a bug in YOUR thinking. What I was saying is the cluster would have been better to include the things YOU LINKED TO!!!

    But, again, you tried to make this about you. Hint: it’s not.

    And why haven’t I done this before? Because it’s something that has gotten my interest only recently. You won’t be the last I use as an example of an algorithm picking something that doesn’t make sense or is incomplete. In fact, it’s even worse this morning because there are people on TechMeme (who weren’t at the speech) who now are saying that Wikipedia will shut down, when on analysis of what actually was said on stage wasn’t close to that.

    I have no idea what you’re talking about regarding my so-called friends.

  7. Techmeme tracks the most links into a post Robert, 901am at the time (not earlier I’d note) had those links, it got there because it disseminated the story to more people. Whether you like it, or as the case is you don’t, that’s how a meme tracker works, it tracks a meme by tracking incoming links. It’s not a bug, it’s the measure of what it actually is. As for taking this personally, you take all criticism about your activities personally, so if I take this personally I’m learning from the master. You could have singled out any leading blog over the last couple of years on this, you didn’t, and given your choice of one particular friend I’m not really surprised you’re targeting me, of course the gutless wonder wouldn’t have the balls to do it himself, knives in the back are much more easier after all, and attack by proxy makes sense. :-)

  8. Techmeme tracks the most links into a post Robert, 901am at the time (not earlier I’d note) had those links, it got there because it disseminated the story to more people. Whether you like it, or as the case is you don’t, that’s how a meme tracker works, it tracks a meme by tracking incoming links. It’s not a bug, it’s the measure of what it actually is. As for taking this personally, you take all criticism about your activities personally, so if I take this personally I’m learning from the master. You could have singled out any leading blog over the last couple of years on this, you didn’t, and given your choice of one particular friend I’m not really surprised you’re targeting me, of course the gutless wonder wouldn’t have the balls to do it himself, knives in the back are much more easier after all, and attack by proxy makes sense. :-)

  9. >is it fair some google searches yield Digg articles as a top link instead of the source?

    That is a great argument. I believe that Scoble never complains that:) I like it.

  10. >is it fair some google searches yield Digg articles as a top link instead of the source?

    That is a great argument. I believe that Scoble never complains that:) I like it.

  11. Yep it’s the weekend. Scoble is it fair some google searches yield Digg articles as a top link instead of the source?

    I understand your position, but the reality is software cannot naturally determine the quality of an article, so heuristics like number of links or chronology are employed. And if you were bring back the conversation starter, do you disregard all the previous conversations?

    If you kept previous conversations, Techmeme would sort of suck. Due to delayed feedback, Apple would own a chunk of Techmeme real estate for a week whenever they announced something big.

  12. Yep it’s the weekend. Scoble is it fair some google searches yield Digg articles as a top link instead of the source?

    I understand your position, but the reality is software cannot naturally determine the quality of an article, so heuristics like number of links or chronology are employed. And if you were bring back the conversation starter, do you disregard all the previous conversations?

    If you kept previous conversations, Techmeme would sort of suck. Due to delayed feedback, Apple would own a chunk of Techmeme real estate for a week whenever they announced something big.

  13. >>If you’re serious, you’ll take a look at the bigger picture as opposed to singling out me and 901am (which BTW, I don’t own, I’m simple a paid writer).

    I will, and hope you join me in looking critically at EVERYONE’s linking behavior. Including mine.

    It’s just that I’m at the LIFT conference this week and noticed this tonight because it’s a situation I’ve been following closely.

    I’ll be looking a lot closer at the linking behavior of bloggers in the future. It’s a project of mine cause I’ve noticed that people aren’t linking as often, that the meme trackers aren’t linking to the best stuff (even you must admit that Bruno’s stuff is much more detailed than anything else linked to on this story) and that many bloggers are just linking to the first thing they see (often from popular bloggers, including me) and not looking for original links, or posts from people they don’t know.

    You’re the one taking it personally. Why is that? Do you really think you deserve the link on TechMeme tonight? Is that what you’re saying here? That your article is the best on the topic tonight?

  14. >>If you’re serious, you’ll take a look at the bigger picture as opposed to singling out me and 901am (which BTW, I don’t own, I’m simple a paid writer).

    I will, and hope you join me in looking critically at EVERYONE’s linking behavior. Including mine.

    It’s just that I’m at the LIFT conference this week and noticed this tonight because it’s a situation I’ve been following closely.

    I’ll be looking a lot closer at the linking behavior of bloggers in the future. It’s a project of mine cause I’ve noticed that people aren’t linking as often, that the meme trackers aren’t linking to the best stuff (even you must admit that Bruno’s stuff is much more detailed than anything else linked to on this story) and that many bloggers are just linking to the first thing they see (often from popular bloggers, including me) and not looking for original links, or posts from people they don’t know.

    You’re the one taking it personally. Why is that? Do you really think you deserve the link on TechMeme tonight? Is that what you’re saying here? That your article is the best on the topic tonight?

  15. Duncan: again. It’s NOT about you. It’s about TechMeme. Read my post again, but this time read it slowly and try to understand what I was trying to say. If you didn’t get it the first time, maybe read the comments where I made it much clearer.

    You linked to something else. Therefore you told TechMeme something else is more important. I find it interesting that the things you linked to aren’t on top.

    Oh, there’s the “you can only complain if you have built this” meme again. Interesting, but I call BS on that.

    Again, it’s not about you. You didn’t do anything wrong. TechMeme, though, chose your post to be on top tonight, even though you weren’t an original reporter. That IS a bug.

    Or, are you trying to say that people who just editorialize about the news deserve to always be on top of TechMeme? I don’t agree there and I’ll be consistent, even when I’m the beneficiary of such linking on TechMeme.

    So, why are you so sensitive? Do you think you deserved that top link today? Are you saying you really are the most important post on this story? Really?

  16. Duncan: again. It’s NOT about you. It’s about TechMeme. Read my post again, but this time read it slowly and try to understand what I was trying to say. If you didn’t get it the first time, maybe read the comments where I made it much clearer.

    You linked to something else. Therefore you told TechMeme something else is more important. I find it interesting that the things you linked to aren’t on top.

    Oh, there’s the “you can only complain if you have built this” meme again. Interesting, but I call BS on that.

    Again, it’s not about you. You didn’t do anything wrong. TechMeme, though, chose your post to be on top tonight, even though you weren’t an original reporter. That IS a bug.

    Or, are you trying to say that people who just editorialize about the news deserve to always be on top of TechMeme? I don’t agree there and I’ll be consistent, even when I’m the beneficiary of such linking on TechMeme.

    So, why are you so sensitive? Do you think you deserved that top link today? Are you saying you really are the most important post on this story? Really?

  17. I’m while I’m at it, if this isn’t about me, why not bring up all the other sites that get links in when they’ve picked up a story from somewhere else (usually with credit). Engadget is a great example, 90% of the content at Engadget is picked up from other sites, to their credit they do give credit, but it’s Engadget that gets the links to the story in Techmeme, Digg, megite and others. Boing Boing does it, Gizmodo does it, indeed YOU do it…give me a free hour and I’ll give you a list of the top 100 blogs and at least half of them pick up stories from other sites…and they get the headlines on Techmeme and other places. It’s sad that you’ve needed to play the man not the ball in this example Robert. If you’re serious, you’ll take a look at the bigger picture as opposed to singling out me and 901am (which BTW, I don’t own, I’m simple a paid writer).

  18. I’m while I’m at it, if this isn’t about me, why not bring up all the other sites that get links in when they’ve picked up a story from somewhere else (usually with credit). Engadget is a great example, 90% of the content at Engadget is picked up from other sites, to their credit they do give credit, but it’s Engadget that gets the links to the story in Techmeme, Digg, megite and others. Boing Boing does it, Gizmodo does it, indeed YOU do it…give me a free hour and I’ll give you a list of the top 100 blogs and at least half of them pick up stories from other sites…and they get the headlines on Techmeme and other places. It’s sad that you’ve needed to play the man not the ball in this example Robert. If you’re serious, you’ll take a look at the bigger picture as opposed to singling out me and 901am (which BTW, I don’t own, I’m simple a paid writer).

  19. Scoble,
    lets see, I’m in trouble because people linked to my post? WTF? And what, I’m also in trouble because unlike a whole pile of A-list bloggers (I’m not saying I’m in this ground BTW…nor am I pointing the finger at you..although your credting skills have a fair bit to be desired) I actually *CREDITED* in full the reference path from which I found the story? If I’m guilty of anything it’s giving the story a wider audience, that’s why they linked back to the post at 901am, it was an audience that otherwise may not have seen it. So what EXACTLY are you saying? that I shouldn’t have bought up the story? what, I’m not allowed to report of these things because my last name isn’t Scoble? Again, full reference path and links in the post not only to Philippe Mottaz but to the blog I found the story at, SEO Black Hat. Difference audience…enabling a discussion. Techmeme tracking links in, 901am has a wider audience, hence it go the links because that’s where people read it…but not to take away from Phillippe or Quadszilla for that matter, because they deserved credit (and got it from me) as well. Go a try to start a meme tracker Robert, then lecture Gabe on what should and shouldn’t be done, I actually have before, it’s no easy task.

  20. Scoble,
    lets see, I’m in trouble because people linked to my post? WTF? And what, I’m also in trouble because unlike a whole pile of A-list bloggers (I’m not saying I’m in this ground BTW…nor am I pointing the finger at you..although your credting skills have a fair bit to be desired) I actually *CREDITED* in full the reference path from which I found the story? If I’m guilty of anything it’s giving the story a wider audience, that’s why they linked back to the post at 901am, it was an audience that otherwise may not have seen it. So what EXACTLY are you saying? that I shouldn’t have bought up the story? what, I’m not allowed to report of these things because my last name isn’t Scoble? Again, full reference path and links in the post not only to Philippe Mottaz but to the blog I found the story at, SEO Black Hat. Difference audience…enabling a discussion. Techmeme tracking links in, 901am has a wider audience, hence it go the links because that’s where people read it…but not to take away from Phillippe or Quadszilla for that matter, because they deserved credit (and got it from me) as well. Go a try to start a meme tracker Robert, then lecture Gabe on what should and shouldn’t be done, I actually have before, it’s no easy task.

  21. “Sometimes I feel it is best not to write original stories in great detail, and just write Top 10 lists to get Diggs.”

    I hope you don’t seriously think that, Andy, and are just letting off steam. Good content will always be found sooner or later. Look at how much old stuff is being brought out at digg and other similar sites.

    People tend to want instant gratification too much in the world. Excellence will be noticed sooner or later. Hopefully not too late.

  22. “Sometimes I feel it is best not to write original stories in great detail, and just write Top 10 lists to get Diggs.”

    I hope you don’t seriously think that, Andy, and are just letting off steam. Good content will always be found sooner or later. Look at how much old stuff is being brought out at digg and other similar sites.

    People tend to want instant gratification too much in the world. Excellence will be noticed sooner or later. Hopefully not too late.

  23. William I was just about to point out that Megite generally give a much broader view, plus they have very good custom memes.

    Personally I though my story about coComment / Technorati deserved more eyeballs though I am thankful to Mashable to pick it up as it is quite significant (though many dont realise how significant)

    Also Clickbank now require disclosure – much bigger than paid post companies requiring disclosure, but again, I didn’t get any eyeballs.

    Sometimes I feel it is best not to write original stories in great detail, and just write Top 10 lists to get Diggs.

  24. William I was just about to point out that Megite generally give a much broader view, plus they have very good custom memes.

    Personally I though my story about coComment / Technorati deserved more eyeballs though I am thankful to Mashable to pick it up as it is quite significant (though many dont realise how significant)

    Also Clickbank now require disclosure – much bigger than paid post companies requiring disclosure, but again, I didn’t get any eyeballs.

    Sometimes I feel it is best not to write original stories in great detail, and just write Top 10 lists to get Diggs.

  25. To me this came of as way more of a rant againts Techmeme and not Duncan. I think he was just calling out attention to the fact that he didn’t do any original reporting (something most of us typically engage in) yet was ranked higher than those who were actually there. Great post, glad to see you bring our attention to it.

  26. To me this came of as way more of a rant againts Techmeme and not Duncan. I think he was just calling out attention to the fact that he didn’t do any original reporting (something most of us typically engage in) yet was ranked higher than those who were actually there. Great post, glad to see you bring our attention to it.

  27. My goodness, can’t you people stop seeing conspiracies?

    I too mailed Gabe some time ago because one of my articles was beneath another persons article – to which I did not link and especially would not want that connection to be made through that.

    I see the problem of how to bubble up the newer articles withoug loosing the older ones, but other than Roberts example, this is a combination of the two – bubbeling up of a newer one and showed linking beneath that (this is how most of us read that!) without a real connection nor relevance.

    No, I do not claim to have the solution but I do not need to like the current system just because I have no better.

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