Reverse Engineering TechMeme

OK, OK, since everyone has figured out that you can get on TechMeme by talking ABOUT TechMeme (even better if you attack A-list bloggers) I figured I’d just take my late night and reverse engineer TechMeme.

Two videos. Long, boring, videos that no one will watch. Well, Gabe Rivera, founder of TechMeme, will watch them. Hopefully I don’t have to run a ton of corrections in the morning. Enjoy.

Reverse Engineering Techmeme, Part I
Reverse Engineering Techmeme, Part II

Oh, and I gotta admit that TechMeme is kicking my behind. I’m reading more than 900 feeds and TechMeme usually picks stuff I would have picked to put on my link blog and does it 24 hours a day and a lot faster than I can. There are some exceptions, which I talk about on the end of part II.

I used Seesmic, Loic Le Meur’s new video service to do these. I’m playing around with that and trying to understand the difference between that and Kyte.tv and YouTube and all these newfangled video communities springing up.

In the videos I explain why TechCrunch will get to the top of TechMeme even though no one is linking to it. I also explain how to “game” TechMeme (and, how my son Milan helped me game it without me even knowing I was gaming it). I also cover how PR firms get their client’s products onto Techmeme (and how you can do the same thing).

Also, why certain things keep showing up on TechMeme over and over again.

Comments

  1. I just realised you don’t seem to get a many comments as you used to. What happened? Is that why you’re baiting Techmeme?

  2. I just realised you don’t seem to get a many comments as you used to. What happened? Is that why you’re baiting Techmeme?

  3. BenN: I am not posting interesting stuff anymore.

    But, seriously. A lot of us have noticed that.

    A few reasons.

    1. I seriously am not doing as good a quality of blogging. My best creativity is spent doing video nowadays.

    2. Twitter. Twitter is where we comment now. Lots of my friends have noticed that we don’t comment on blogs anymore we just go to Twitter.

    3. Commodification. I’m reading 903 feeds every night. In the past week that’s more than 15,000 items!!! There’s so much more great content out now than in the past that it’s spreading the audience out and people have less time to chat on a specific blog.

    4. I’m posting less. If you don’t post a lot you don’t build a community and people get distracted.

    But, would love to hear your theories on why that is?

  4. BenN: I am not posting interesting stuff anymore.

    But, seriously. A lot of us have noticed that.

    A few reasons.

    1. I seriously am not doing as good a quality of blogging. My best creativity is spent doing video nowadays.

    2. Twitter. Twitter is where we comment now. Lots of my friends have noticed that we don’t comment on blogs anymore we just go to Twitter.

    3. Commodification. I’m reading 903 feeds every night. In the past week that’s more than 15,000 items!!! There’s so much more great content out now than in the past that it’s spreading the audience out and people have less time to chat on a specific blog.

    4. I’m posting less. If you don’t post a lot you don’t build a community and people get distracted.

    But, would love to hear your theories on why that is?

  5. It’s simply quicker to post to Twitter – this comment took me at least 5 times as long as my Twitter comment to you earlier Robert.

    If only it weren’t for spam…

  6. It’s simply quicker to post to Twitter – this comment took me at least 5 times as long as my Twitter comment to you earlier Robert.

    If only it weren’t for spam…

  7. 1) Some of it is still good quality stuff, but because there are less posts, there’s less of the good quality ones as well.

    2) I’m yet to get into Twitter. And this is partially because of a previous post you made – my community of friends are somewhere else (Facebook / Messenger / The Real World) and therefore Twitter holds little attraction for me.

    3) I have about 10 feeds that I read religiously and then rely on Techmeme and Digg for the rest. It actually works really well. In a lot of cases, I still find myself visiting the original site for a feed to read the post. Maybe I’m stuck in the past, but my only use for feed readers is to tell me there’s something new at a site I read…

    4) I have no idea why you’re posting less. There are a lot of cynical answers that spring to mind but people’ll never know they’re jokes unless I put a smiley face after them. TBH, I don’t mind that yo’re posting less. It would be unfair for any of us to demand that you write more things to entertain us. Like everyone else you’ve got a family and a job and focusing on them instead of the blog isn’t a crime. Focusing on Twitter should be. :-)

  8. 1) Some of it is still good quality stuff, but because there are less posts, there’s less of the good quality ones as well.

    2) I’m yet to get into Twitter. And this is partially because of a previous post you made – my community of friends are somewhere else (Facebook / Messenger / The Real World) and therefore Twitter holds little attraction for me.

    3) I have about 10 feeds that I read religiously and then rely on Techmeme and Digg for the rest. It actually works really well. In a lot of cases, I still find myself visiting the original site for a feed to read the post. Maybe I’m stuck in the past, but my only use for feed readers is to tell me there’s something new at a site I read…

    4) I have no idea why you’re posting less. There are a lot of cynical answers that spring to mind but people’ll never know they’re jokes unless I put a smiley face after them. TBH, I don’t mind that yo’re posting less. It would be unfair for any of us to demand that you write more things to entertain us. Like everyone else you’ve got a family and a job and focusing on them instead of the blog isn’t a crime. Focusing on Twitter should be. :-)

  9. Let me sum it up in a few words instead of 40 minutes of video:

    1. Gabe puts a weight on every blog – this is why TC and ENG will always be in the top 2 slots, it’s designed this way.

    2. Those with a higher weight can get on TM without links.

    3. Stories outside the native area for a blog may not hit TM with as much force as within the native area.

    4. More weight on a blog pushes out the other smaller blog by default.

    5. Some of the large blogs rarely link out to other blogs discussing the story because doing so might move them to related instead of the lead – by leaving out the other blogger links, it allows the larger blog to push the smaller blog out, even if they are later to the story, and therefore get the “TM Credit” – you didn’t mention this but I believe this is a HUGE part of the gaming.

    6. You also fail to mention network sites and how they can game TM easily as TM considers them separate sites.

    All in all, TM is a good site and is valuable. Had Gabe not installed the leaderboard, I wonder if all this chatter the past few weeks would have even occured. I wonder who’s idea it was to create the leaderboard.

    Now go get your kid his milk LOL :) iMilk

  10. Let me sum it up in a few words instead of 40 minutes of video:

    1. Gabe puts a weight on every blog – this is why TC and ENG will always be in the top 2 slots, it’s designed this way.

    2. Those with a higher weight can get on TM without links.

    3. Stories outside the native area for a blog may not hit TM with as much force as within the native area.

    4. More weight on a blog pushes out the other smaller blog by default.

    5. Some of the large blogs rarely link out to other blogs discussing the story because doing so might move them to related instead of the lead – by leaving out the other blogger links, it allows the larger blog to push the smaller blog out, even if they are later to the story, and therefore get the “TM Credit” – you didn’t mention this but I believe this is a HUGE part of the gaming.

    6. You also fail to mention network sites and how they can game TM easily as TM considers them separate sites.

    All in all, TM is a good site and is valuable. Had Gabe not installed the leaderboard, I wonder if all this chatter the past few weeks would have even occured. I wonder who’s idea it was to create the leaderboard.

    Now go get your kid his milk LOL :) iMilk

  11. You know rob, I went to try techmeme cuz of you and guess what

    Channel 9 in techmeme?

    WTF?

    Nice try but I don’t need a M$ infested and biased source of propaganda.

    Who the hell trusts channel 9 as a source for info?

    Not even engadget, gizmodo, boing boing, digg, lolcatz, I mean, nobody!!!

    Sorry techmeme, unsubscribed!

  12. You know rob, I went to try techmeme cuz of you and guess what

    Channel 9 in techmeme?

    WTF?

    Nice try but I don’t need a M$ infested and biased source of propaganda.

    Who the hell trusts channel 9 as a source for info?

    Not even engadget, gizmodo, boing boing, digg, lolcatz, I mean, nobody!!!

    Sorry techmeme, unsubscribed!

  13. Scoble,

    Your definition of Techmeme “a news site” does not match the definition Gabe gave (in a comment last year).

    From that on, anything you say is off-topic.

    Perhaps a hint why you get less people listening to what you say.

  14. Scoble,

    Your definition of Techmeme “a news site” does not match the definition Gabe gave (in a comment last year).

    From that on, anything you say is off-topic.

    Perhaps a hint why you get less people listening to what you say.

  15. Robert – you know President Roosevelt started Fireside chats during his presidency. I would not be surprised to see these become the “White Board Side Chats” :-)

    Great stuff – thanks.

  16. Robert – you know President Roosevelt started Fireside chats during his presidency. I would not be surprised to see these become the “White Board Side Chats” :-)

    Great stuff – thanks.

  17. There’s also an accusation that Hillary has set up networks to stealthily pay bloggers for favorable stories:
    http://www.newsmax.com/newsfront/hillary_blogger/2007/10/18/41954.html

    The promise of blogging is that it would be an open, honest conversation. That’s the foundation that the blogosphere was built on. If money is truly corrupting that honesty (which was inevitable, really), then blogging won’t survive as we know it.

    This is a good example of why it was naive for people to say blogging will replace newspapers. For all their problems, at least it’s a devil we know. We don’t know if Joe Schmoe blogger is a devil or not. But we will. Bloggers on the take will eventually be outed. The blogosphere must deal with them harshly (by no longer reading them), or blogging will implode from its lack of integrity.

    So the good news is that blogging can still cleanse itself, for at least a while. All it will take is bloggers who aren’t yet corrupted exposing those who are. Then the former will rise in power and get approached to do the same underhanded things and on and on we’ll go until there is some central authority to accredit and regulate bloggers, just as lawyers have the Bar.

    Then bloggers will be professionals, just like newspaper reporters, only independent. Blogs will vastly shrink in number as most of us move to other platforms.

  18. There’s also an accusation that Hillary has set up networks to stealthily pay bloggers for favorable stories:
    http://www.newsmax.com/newsfront/hillary_blogger/2007/10/18/41954.html

    The promise of blogging is that it would be an open, honest conversation. That’s the foundation that the blogosphere was built on. If money is truly corrupting that honesty (which was inevitable, really), then blogging won’t survive as we know it.

    This is a good example of why it was naive for people to say blogging will replace newspapers. For all their problems, at least it’s a devil we know. We don’t know if Joe Schmoe blogger is a devil or not. But we will. Bloggers on the take will eventually be outed. The blogosphere must deal with them harshly (by no longer reading them), or blogging will implode from its lack of integrity.

    So the good news is that blogging can still cleanse itself, for at least a while. All it will take is bloggers who aren’t yet corrupted exposing those who are. Then the former will rise in power and get approached to do the same underhanded things and on and on we’ll go until there is some central authority to accredit and regulate bloggers, just as lawyers have the Bar.

    Then bloggers will be professionals, just like newspaper reporters, only independent. Blogs will vastly shrink in number as most of us move to other platforms.

  19. Robert,
    One thing to consider – by using video/twitter as your main means for moving ahead ‘the conversation’ you are explicitly diminishing the size of your audience. And it’s not just the chaff – the reality is people with busy jobs just don’t want much video. I am sure you have some interesting points in the TWO videos above, but would it have been that much extra effort to add a couple of bullet points to the blog post for those of us who have other things to do? I am really concerned that you have lost focus on how much free time people have to consume media, video being the *most* intensive one.

    Also, using Twitter instead of comments is also really just limited your conversation to those who find Twitter interesting and useful. Again, I am one of those who just doesn’t have that kind of time. I’m not saying I’m right or wrong or anything, but the fact remains this: the more exclusive the technology (be it by price, technology, or time consumption), the more your discussions become skewed.

    Just my $0.02.

    ps – dinner? if so, email me, since you arent using the ‘subscribe to comments’ WP plugin, and I don’t tweet.

  20. Robert,
    One thing to consider – by using video/twitter as your main means for moving ahead ‘the conversation’ you are explicitly diminishing the size of your audience. And it’s not just the chaff – the reality is people with busy jobs just don’t want much video. I am sure you have some interesting points in the TWO videos above, but would it have been that much extra effort to add a couple of bullet points to the blog post for those of us who have other things to do? I am really concerned that you have lost focus on how much free time people have to consume media, video being the *most* intensive one.

    Also, using Twitter instead of comments is also really just limited your conversation to those who find Twitter interesting and useful. Again, I am one of those who just doesn’t have that kind of time. I’m not saying I’m right or wrong or anything, but the fact remains this: the more exclusive the technology (be it by price, technology, or time consumption), the more your discussions become skewed.

    Just my $0.02.

    ps – dinner? if so, email me, since you arent using the ‘subscribe to comments’ WP plugin, and I don’t tweet.

  21. @9 I’m assuming that would be simply for home schooling and not public schools? Not sure people want their tax dollars spent on that.

  22. @9 I’m assuming that would be simply for home schooling and not public schools? Not sure people want their tax dollars spent on that.

  23. Jeremy: you’re absolutely right and someday I’m going to get you on my video show to talk about exactly this. :-)

    Seriously, I did this at 2 a.m. and figured the people who cared would watch it. Oh, and I knew someone like Allen would sumarize it and put bullets in my comments anyway.

  24. Jeremy: you’re absolutely right and someday I’m going to get you on my video show to talk about exactly this. :-)

    Seriously, I did this at 2 a.m. and figured the people who cared would watch it. Oh, and I knew someone like Allen would sumarize it and put bullets in my comments anyway.

  25. Stephane: Gabe has been changing what the definition is of TechMeme ever since he opened it. It’s now a news site. No more, no less. If you think it’s something else, I’d love to hear your definition and reasoning. “Gabe said so” isn’t good enough.

  26. Stephane: Gabe has been changing what the definition is of TechMeme ever since he opened it. It’s now a news site. No more, no less. If you think it’s something else, I’d love to hear your definition and reasoning. “Gabe said so” isn’t good enough.

  27. This is cool and I read it, but I’m wondering what it will take to get a techmeme for other popular genres. Like enviromeme or gossipmeme or petmeme, architecture-meme, etc. Gabe should license out the platform, in an extremely controlled manner of course, with a paid-up or streaming license, etc. This could be extremely nice to have.

  28. This is cool and I read it, but I’m wondering what it will take to get a techmeme for other popular genres. Like enviromeme or gossipmeme or petmeme, architecture-meme, etc. Gabe should license out the platform, in an extremely controlled manner of course, with a paid-up or streaming license, etc. This could be extremely nice to have.

  29. @17. Why would anybody want that, Preston? What’s better about Techmeme than just using Google alerts and your own RSS reader???

    Honestly, I don’t understand the value proposition of Techmeme. It seems to me that that they are just another website that swipes content to sell their own ads. But people hate those kind of sites and love Techmeme, so I must be missing something.

  30. @17. Why would anybody want that, Preston? What’s better about Techmeme than just using Google alerts and your own RSS reader???

    Honestly, I don’t understand the value proposition of Techmeme. It seems to me that that they are just another website that swipes content to sell their own ads. But people hate those kind of sites and love Techmeme, so I must be missing something.

  31. Great post, but I’d suggest summarizing it in text for those who don’t have the time to watch 2 videos. Scanning text is much faster and more useful than having video playing in the background while waiting for the message.

  32. Great post, but I’d suggest summarizing it in text for those who don’t have the time to watch 2 videos. Scanning text is much faster and more useful than having video playing in the background while waiting for the message.

  33. Everything can be reverse engineered, it’s just a matter of time before someone finds out how. The recent criticism aimed at Techmeme should help to make the service even more useful. If Techmeme is useful for you, use it. If not, don’t. It’s really that simple.

  34. Everything can be reverse engineered, it’s just a matter of time before someone finds out how. The recent criticism aimed at Techmeme should help to make the service even more useful. If Techmeme is useful for you, use it. If not, don’t. It’s really that simple.

  35. Cool thanks, they will be used at the university level, private college. But you know when you are teaching marketing and building social networks, the videos like these are gold, they will have a great influence on students. Thank you

  36. Cool thanks, they will be used at the university level, private college. But you know when you are teaching marketing and building social networks, the videos like these are gold, they will have a great influence on students. Thank you

  37. Great post and video Robert. I hope Gabe responds. Matt Cutts and I were talking about TechMeme’s ranking system in San Jose and I think it’s time to open a big discussion about this since so many of us rely on it for tech insight and news. Totally agree that it is not “gamed” like Todd suggested, but probably is “gamed” the way you suggest in the video – by the infamous tech schmooze factor.

  38. Great post and video Robert. I hope Gabe responds. Matt Cutts and I were talking about TechMeme’s ranking system in San Jose and I think it’s time to open a big discussion about this since so many of us rely on it for tech insight and news. Totally agree that it is not “gamed” like Todd suggested, but probably is “gamed” the way you suggest in the video – by the infamous tech schmooze factor.

  39. @9 Dawn is absolutely right. The difference between blogging and newspapers and traditional media is that most bloggers are accountable to no one. They can write what they want, publish what they want, and if they want to sell themselves out for better “rankings” and visibility, nothing stops them. They can’t be fired (unless they are “blogging” for a traditional media outlet, in which case that’s just a different name for “editorial”). So, if the goal of bloggers is to make into the “A-List” club, they’ll use whatever means necessary. And with the campaign talking full swing in a few months, expect more candidates to employ Hillary’s tactics. In the tech world, if bloggers can find a way to get noticed (even if it’s payola) they will. Everyone has price. And that doesn’t always mean money.

  40. @9 Dawn is absolutely right. The difference between blogging and newspapers and traditional media is that most bloggers are accountable to no one. They can write what they want, publish what they want, and if they want to sell themselves out for better “rankings” and visibility, nothing stops them. They can’t be fired (unless they are “blogging” for a traditional media outlet, in which case that’s just a different name for “editorial”). So, if the goal of bloggers is to make into the “A-List” club, they’ll use whatever means necessary. And with the campaign talking full swing in a few months, expect more candidates to employ Hillary’s tactics. In the tech world, if bloggers can find a way to get noticed (even if it’s payola) they will. Everyone has price. And that doesn’t always mean money.

  41. I love reverse engineering reports! They’re very entertaining, and I learn a great deal from them too.

    Joe: my response: Robert’s noticed many non obvious things, and has “reverse-engineered” better than anyone else I’ve yet encountered. He’s right about a lot, but he’s quite wrong about…a lot. Which part is he right about? Excellent question! :-)

    Techmeme’s clearly a news site. I’d love to be pointed to something I’ve written stating that it’s not a news site!

  42. I love reverse engineering reports! They’re very entertaining, and I learn a great deal from them too.

    Joe: my response: Robert’s noticed many non obvious things, and has “reverse-engineered” better than anyone else I’ve yet encountered. He’s right about a lot, but he’s quite wrong about…a lot. Which part is he right about? Excellent question! :-)

    Techmeme’s clearly a news site. I’d love to be pointed to something I’ve written stating that it’s not a news site!

  43. Do you have any original content at all, Gabe? It doesn’t look like it to me. I don’t see how that’s a news site.

    Allen’s definition of news aggregator is better, I think.

  44. Do you have any original content at all, Gabe? It doesn’t look like it to me. I don’t see how that’s a news site.

    Allen’s definition of news aggregator is better, I think.

  45. Here’s my POV on your decline and drop in comments count.

    1. You used to cover many subjects and provide access to many software companies and people that I couldn’t talk to without you or someone like you being there.
    2. You became a Facebook zealot and everything was about Facebook for months. You covered little else. You appeared to be more of an evangelist for Facebook and objectively looking at the marketplace.
    3. You then dropped Facebook and moved on to twitter. Again evangelizing Twitter on a constant basis and dropping your coverage of software and technology companies.
    4. Last and this is more of a feeling, but I think you were consumed by your own celebrity status. You thought that people would keep tuning in when quality and variety dropped.

    I don’t know that this is accurate for anyone else. But this is what I saw and why I went from reading your blog daily to maybe once a week if I catch something interesting on Techmeme.

    Thanks for the good insight and access you provided in the past.

  46. Here’s my POV on your decline and drop in comments count.

    1. You used to cover many subjects and provide access to many software companies and people that I couldn’t talk to without you or someone like you being there.
    2. You became a Facebook zealot and everything was about Facebook for months. You covered little else. You appeared to be more of an evangelist for Facebook and objectively looking at the marketplace.
    3. You then dropped Facebook and moved on to twitter. Again evangelizing Twitter on a constant basis and dropping your coverage of software and technology companies.
    4. Last and this is more of a feeling, but I think you were consumed by your own celebrity status. You thought that people would keep tuning in when quality and variety dropped.

    I don’t know that this is accurate for anyone else. But this is what I saw and why I went from reading your blog daily to maybe once a week if I catch something interesting on Techmeme.

    Thanks for the good insight and access you provided in the past.

  47. […] Techmeme Does Digg Published October 22nd, 2007 RobertScoble , Techmeme , aggregation , digg , memeorandum , networked news , news , rss I suspect Scoble will be vindicated on video. I think we’ll all take another step out into the world and publish not just our written words but also out likenesses, speaking words. I like Scoble videos, although I tend to agree with this comment’s sentiments. […]

  48. Robert Scoble on Reverse Engineering TechMeme

    OK, OK, since everyone has figured out that you can get on TechMeme by talking ABOUT TechMeme (even better if you attack A-list bloggers) I figured I’d just take my late night and reverse engineer TechMeme.

  49. Dawn: the front page of my local newspaper includes news from other newspapers and from Associated Press.

    TechMeme +is+ a news site because it aggregates/judges/displays news better than any other site on the Internet.

  50. Dawn: the front page of my local newspaper includes news from other newspapers and from Associated Press.

    TechMeme +is+ a news site because it aggregates/judges/displays news better than any other site on the Internet.

  51. Good points Robert, though I say this with a touch of sour grapes.

    Considering I did a similar analysis of Techmeme, with many of the same points no less than 10 days ago but, alas, no Techmeme love for me.

    I suppose it just goes to show that our theory of how Techmeme works is more valid than not.

  52. Good points Robert, though I say this with a touch of sour grapes.

    Considering I did a similar analysis of Techmeme, with many of the same points no less than 10 days ago but, alas, no Techmeme love for me.

    I suppose it just goes to show that our theory of how Techmeme works is more valid than not.

  53. Michael: I have +not+ dropped Facebook.

    I also was into Twitter BEFORE I got into Facebook.

    Facebook is arguably THE biggest story in the tech industry since Google. So, the fact that I spent so much time on it for so long should tell you something.

    I always knew that people would drop me if I stopped focusing on my blog. I made an explicit decision to do just that and it’s paid off big time for me. I have a video show now which gets about a million downloads a month and has a sponsor that’s profitable for me. I also have, in that time that my blog’s quality gone down, become the #1 Google Reader user in the world (according to the Google Reader team) and that, too, is getting me a new following. I have the only real alternative to TechMeme in my link blog.

    And there’s a lot more to come.

    I just talked with an executive at Facebook and he said he’s noticed the same thing: he’s spending more and more time over on Twitter having conversations there.

    As to celebrity status: if I ever bought that hype, I’m sorry. It’s not worth anything. What is worth it? Having a great conversation with smart people. I had one today and I’m looking forward to having another one tomorrow. All the rest of this stuff is crap and you can quote me on that.

  54. Michael: I have +not+ dropped Facebook.

    I also was into Twitter BEFORE I got into Facebook.

    Facebook is arguably THE biggest story in the tech industry since Google. So, the fact that I spent so much time on it for so long should tell you something.

    I always knew that people would drop me if I stopped focusing on my blog. I made an explicit decision to do just that and it’s paid off big time for me. I have a video show now which gets about a million downloads a month and has a sponsor that’s profitable for me. I also have, in that time that my blog’s quality gone down, become the #1 Google Reader user in the world (according to the Google Reader team) and that, too, is getting me a new following. I have the only real alternative to TechMeme in my link blog.

    And there’s a lot more to come.

    I just talked with an executive at Facebook and he said he’s noticed the same thing: he’s spending more and more time over on Twitter having conversations there.

    As to celebrity status: if I ever bought that hype, I’m sorry. It’s not worth anything. What is worth it? Having a great conversation with smart people. I had one today and I’m looking forward to having another one tomorrow. All the rest of this stuff is crap and you can quote me on that.

  55. Steve: you have PayPerPost ads on your blog. Automatic deletion from anyone, or any algorithm, who considers authority and credibility ranking. Sorry.

    Also, your headline isn’t confident.

    Also, you didn’t use video to explain your points.

    Also, you haven’t spent four years reading thousands of feeds. Far less credibility in the system about things regarding feed reading.

    Like I said in the video, it isn’t a fair system. Or maybe it is! :-)

  56. Steve: you have PayPerPost ads on your blog. Automatic deletion from anyone, or any algorithm, who considers authority and credibility ranking. Sorry.

    Also, your headline isn’t confident.

    Also, you didn’t use video to explain your points.

    Also, you haven’t spent four years reading thousands of feeds. Far less credibility in the system about things regarding feed reading.

    Like I said in the video, it isn’t a fair system. Or maybe it is! :-)

  57. This is a more defensive sort of response than I was expecting. No matter, it’s likely you misunderstood what I was saying and decided it was some kind of veiled attack. Either way, to the points.

    1. Adbrite is running PPP ads on my site? Interestingly enough that doesn’t bother me. Not that I use PPP, but I also am not against it. I would go in and manually delete those ads, but considering the semi-arbitrary nature of how they are placed, you might as well be balking at Adsense (which I think also runs PPP ads every now and then, darn that Google).

    Also, not a really fair way to argue — is it? Setting up a Straw Man and then trying to tear down my credibility? Dirty pool.

    2. It was a post written as a response to someone asking about how Techmeme might work (not as Techmeme bait). It was based almost exclusively on anecdotal evidence (much like your claims). Confidence should be reserved for something a little more solid than anecdote, non?

    3. Exactly, I said similar -points-. I didn’t say the medium was similar.

    4. Robert, that is an assertion based on nothing. I read a terribly large number of blogs, feeds, etc…

    5. Why do I feel a touch of hostility?

  58. This is a more defensive sort of response than I was expecting. No matter, it’s likely you misunderstood what I was saying and decided it was some kind of veiled attack. Either way, to the points.

    1. Adbrite is running PPP ads on my site? Interestingly enough that doesn’t bother me. Not that I use PPP, but I also am not against it. I would go in and manually delete those ads, but considering the semi-arbitrary nature of how they are placed, you might as well be balking at Adsense (which I think also runs PPP ads every now and then, darn that Google).

    Also, not a really fair way to argue — is it? Setting up a Straw Man and then trying to tear down my credibility? Dirty pool.

    2. It was a post written as a response to someone asking about how Techmeme might work (not as Techmeme bait). It was based almost exclusively on anecdotal evidence (much like your claims). Confidence should be reserved for something a little more solid than anecdote, non?

    3. Exactly, I said similar -points-. I didn’t say the medium was similar.

    4. Robert, that is an assertion based on nothing. I read a terribly large number of blogs, feeds, etc…

    5. Why do I feel a touch of hostility?

  59. if they want to sell themselves out for better “rankings” and visibility, nothing stops them

    I think this is one of those common notions about bloggers that is for the most part very wrong. Blogging is only lucrative for a tiny minority of bloggers and although you are right people like to be “read” and also most are not immune to the fact that blogs have indirect commercial benefits, I think the kind of blog that appear on TechMeme pretty much adhere voluntarily to a reasonable standard of journalistic integrity. The neat thing in blogging is that policing abuse and B.S. is as close as the nearest … internet.

  60. if they want to sell themselves out for better “rankings” and visibility, nothing stops them

    I think this is one of those common notions about bloggers that is for the most part very wrong. Blogging is only lucrative for a tiny minority of bloggers and although you are right people like to be “read” and also most are not immune to the fact that blogs have indirect commercial benefits, I think the kind of blog that appear on TechMeme pretty much adhere voluntarily to a reasonable standard of journalistic integrity. The neat thing in blogging is that policing abuse and B.S. is as close as the nearest … internet.

  61. Okay, but if aggregating, judging and displaying the links of others is all that’s necessary to be the best news site on the Internet, it makes me wonder why anybody would continue to be a schmuck and spend their time and money to actually go to meetings and conventions, interview people, write up articles, or draw on white boards at 2am.

    Seems to me that this system is fortifying Techmeme and the bigger sites that earn advertising revenue, and everybody else is being hosed. I don’t see how people newer to blogging can compete, even if they have better content, when Techmeme is weighting blogs.

    I thought the blogosphere was supposed to be the great equalizer, the “level playing field.” That sure didn’t last long, did it? Now instead of your local newspaper judging what (who) is newsworthy enough for your attention, there’s Techmeme.

    How is this better? How is this less elitist than the New York Times? How is this the great democratization of news?

  62. Okay, but if aggregating, judging and displaying the links of others is all that’s necessary to be the best news site on the Internet, it makes me wonder why anybody would continue to be a schmuck and spend their time and money to actually go to meetings and conventions, interview people, write up articles, or draw on white boards at 2am.

    Seems to me that this system is fortifying Techmeme and the bigger sites that earn advertising revenue, and everybody else is being hosed. I don’t see how people newer to blogging can compete, even if they have better content, when Techmeme is weighting blogs.

    I thought the blogosphere was supposed to be the great equalizer, the “level playing field.” That sure didn’t last long, did it? Now instead of your local newspaper judging what (who) is newsworthy enough for your attention, there’s Techmeme.

    How is this better? How is this less elitist than the New York Times? How is this the great democratization of news?

  63. Steve: whatever. I am seeing that I’m looking like an asshole cause I’m trying to explain how things work.

    Dawn: it’s not democratic. TechMeme just is watching who gets to the top of the attention scale.

    For a content producer sites like Stumble Upon, Digg, Reddit, Techmeme, Google News, YCombinator are good for us: they bring us highly focused traffic.

    But notice that I still read 900+ feeds. Why is that? Maybe I agree with you that TechMeme is going to have too much power if we don’t provide alternatives? Hmmm. :-)

  64. Steve: whatever. I am seeing that I’m looking like an asshole cause I’m trying to explain how things work.

    Dawn: it’s not democratic. TechMeme just is watching who gets to the top of the attention scale.

    For a content producer sites like Stumble Upon, Digg, Reddit, Techmeme, Google News, YCombinator are good for us: they bring us highly focused traffic.

    But notice that I still read 900+ feeds. Why is that? Maybe I agree with you that TechMeme is going to have too much power if we don’t provide alternatives? Hmmm. :-)

  65. After reading some of the comments, I can understand the hostility.

    Pick your battles though Robert.

    -I- was not -trying- to attack you. In fact, I was agreeing with you. No, seriously, I was. As hard to believe as that might be. There was no veiled attack, no patronizing, no bull…hockey. I really was agreeing with your assessment about how Techmeme works.

    Since it is a rare day when I agree with anything, I suppose that I can see the confusion.

    I’m not going to leave the snarky close that responses like “whatever” usually draw but come on now. Don’t get so used to attacks that you start seeing them where they don’t exist.

  66. After reading some of the comments, I can understand the hostility.

    Pick your battles though Robert.

    -I- was not -trying- to attack you. In fact, I was agreeing with you. No, seriously, I was. As hard to believe as that might be. There was no veiled attack, no patronizing, no bull…hockey. I really was agreeing with your assessment about how Techmeme works.

    Since it is a rare day when I agree with anything, I suppose that I can see the confusion.

    I’m not going to leave the snarky close that responses like “whatever” usually draw but come on now. Don’t get so used to attacks that you start seeing them where they don’t exist.

  67. I’m glad you read those feeds, Robert. I trust you to do that. And I hope you’re always on the lookout for new feeds, too.

    I don’t mean to be difficult, nor disparaging to Techmeme, for that matter. This is just something that I struggle with myself. If I point to certain cartoonists as the most popular, then it becomes a self-fulfilling circle of attention that can easily become impenetrable. That’s not fair to new artists or to readers either.

    The weighting thing does bother me, because there is already a built-in favoritism towards established players.

  68. I’m glad you read those feeds, Robert. I trust you to do that. And I hope you’re always on the lookout for new feeds, too.

    I don’t mean to be difficult, nor disparaging to Techmeme, for that matter. This is just something that I struggle with myself. If I point to certain cartoonists as the most popular, then it becomes a self-fulfilling circle of attention that can easily become impenetrable. That’s not fair to new artists or to readers either.

    The weighting thing does bother me, because there is already a built-in favoritism towards established players.

  69. I expected you to describe the basic algorithm and math. Frankly, there was little content in your videos, and they suggest you don’t understand the math.

  70. I expected you to describe the basic algorithm and math. Frankly, there was little content in your videos, and they suggest you don’t understand the math.

  71. Robert: I’d love to see these videos but the seesmic player loads up but will not play the video for me (at work). Your Podtech player works fine as well as Kyte. Is there a way you can put the videos there as well? :)

    Orville

  72. Robert: I’d love to see these videos but the seesmic player loads up but will not play the video for me (at work). Your Podtech player works fine as well as Kyte. Is there a way you can put the videos there as well? :)

    Orville

  73. @38. Surely you are not suggesting your local newspaper is a news aggregator. If so them its editor should be fired, Of course there is newsservice content I’m local newspaper . But that’s based more on economies of scale. And at the end of the day the newspaper has accountibility. Not sure where the accountibility in techneme is

  74. @38. Surely you are not suggesting your local newspaper is a news aggregator. If so them its editor should be fired, Of course there is newsservice content I’m local newspaper . But that’s based more on economies of scale. And at the end of the day the newspaper has accountibility. Not sure where the accountibility in techneme is

  75. Robert,

    I have no ill feelings for you because you’ve moved on to other things that interest you. You had asked why people thought your comment volume had decreased.

    My point was that you moved on. That’s cool! But I do miss the content you were known for before.

    Best of luck.

  76. Robert,

    I have no ill feelings for you because you’ve moved on to other things that interest you. You had asked why people thought your comment volume had decreased.

    My point was that you moved on. That’s cool! But I do miss the content you were known for before.

    Best of luck.

  77. I wonder if these comments would be here if I had written “first!” instead…

    @Dawn: “I thought the blogosphere was supposed to be the great equalizer, the “level playing field” – Er. The Internet was kinda a level playing field at the start. A bunch of people posting text and basically chatting to each other, except some people got listened to more than others. Then there were webpages, and anyone with a small amount of webspace from their ISP or geocites could host some pages, except some pages got more views than others. Blogging came along and that took it back to the start where anyone could write a blog, except some people’s blogs are read more than others. Techmeme capitalises on the blogs that are read more than the others.

    Where Techmeme then goes with blogs, Google already did with Webpages – the popular blogs/sites chose the next set of popular blogs/websites. If you’re unpopular, you’ve gotta get noticed by the big guys (or a LOT of small guys) to get popular. And I’d imagine Scoble and all of the other big guys disagreeing with this, but it’s unfortunately true.

    Anyway, once you’ve got that ‘popularity’, you’ve got to work to keep it. Scoble did for a while and has now re-prioritised, which is fine. One day, all the big guys will move on to other things, at which point there’ll be room for some different blogs to appear on Techmeme (the news aggregator site). Of course, by then blogging might have turned out to be a rather long-lasting fad…

  78. I wonder if these comments would be here if I had written “first!” instead…

    @Dawn: “I thought the blogosphere was supposed to be the great equalizer, the “level playing field” – Er. The Internet was kinda a level playing field at the start. A bunch of people posting text and basically chatting to each other, except some people got listened to more than others. Then there were webpages, and anyone with a small amount of webspace from their ISP or geocites could host some pages, except some pages got more views than others. Blogging came along and that took it back to the start where anyone could write a blog, except some people’s blogs are read more than others. Techmeme capitalises on the blogs that are read more than the others.

    Where Techmeme then goes with blogs, Google already did with Webpages – the popular blogs/sites chose the next set of popular blogs/websites. If you’re unpopular, you’ve gotta get noticed by the big guys (or a LOT of small guys) to get popular. And I’d imagine Scoble and all of the other big guys disagreeing with this, but it’s unfortunately true.

    Anyway, once you’ve got that ‘popularity’, you’ve got to work to keep it. Scoble did for a while and has now re-prioritised, which is fine. One day, all the big guys will move on to other things, at which point there’ll be room for some different blogs to appear on Techmeme (the news aggregator site). Of course, by then blogging might have turned out to be a rather long-lasting fad…

  79. Robert,
    In general, I don’t watch a lot of videos but both of your Techmeme videos were compelling. Not sure if you totally nailed the “Techmeme Secret Sauce” but you did a nice job explaining how it works. Well done.

    Mark

  80. Robert,
    In general, I don’t watch a lot of videos but both of your Techmeme videos were compelling. Not sure if you totally nailed the “Techmeme Secret Sauce” but you did a nice job explaining how it works. Well done.

    Mark

  81. @43. I’m sure most bloggers that blog for the love of it are as you describe. But I think tje mpre popular you get, the more you care about your “ranking” than your accuracy. Take TV for example. Last week they report as “fact” the alleged China/Baidu issue whocj makes it to the top of Techmeme. The story was based totally on unattributed amecdotal emails. And was disputed by anecdotal comments in the post. The author then says the story is “true” because an unnamed spokesperson from Google said they “received reports” and that was based on a link. The author made no attempt to contact Google Choms Yahoo Microsoft or Baidu. No fact checking beyond supposed private emails. Buy tjere it sat at the top of Techmeme as “news”

  82. @43. I’m sure most bloggers that blog for the love of it are as you describe. But I think tje mpre popular you get, the more you care about your “ranking” than your accuracy. Take TV for example. Last week they report as “fact” the alleged China/Baidu issue whocj makes it to the top of Techmeme. The story was based totally on unattributed amecdotal emails. And was disputed by anecdotal comments in the post. The author then says the story is “true” because an unnamed spokesperson from Google said they “received reports” and that was based on a link. The author made no attempt to contact Google Choms Yahoo Microsoft or Baidu. No fact checking beyond supposed private emails. Buy tjere it sat at the top of Techmeme as “news”