Techmeme vs. Twitter lists? (UPDATE: vs. TechCrunch list)

I love giving Gabe Rivera grief, founder of Techmeme. But I do love Techmeme. I read it every day.

But now that we have Twitter lists, I’m finding I read Techmeme differently. Why? Well, TechMeme has a Twitter account.

So, when something gets added to Techmeme it gets added to my tech news list. (By the way, refresh the list every minute or so and you’ll see just how much news this industry generates).

But something else is also on that list: 492 other news sources!

So, now you get Techmeme AND you get a large diversity of news that you can’t get on Techmeme.

Which is better? You tell me!

And I still think it’s funny that people are arguing with me that Google Reader is better than this. Um, really?

UPDATE: I see that TechCrunch is keeping a list of news sources too. Its list only has 30 news sources on it. Which do you like better? Mine or TechCrunch or TechMeme?

Published by

Robert Scoble

As Startup Liaison for Rackspace, the Open Cloud Computing Company, Scoble travels the world looking for what's happening on the bleeding edge of technology for Rackspace's startup program. He's interviewed thousands of executives and technology innovators and reports what he learns in books ("The Age of Context," a book coauthored with Forbes author Shel Israel, has been released at http://amzn.to/AgeOfContext ), YouTube, and many social media sites where he's followed by millions of people. Best place to watch me is on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/RobertScoble

Comments

  1. Techmeme is concise — plus since you can't read all tweets from the list, you'll miss many big stories. Scoble, not everyone is as crazy as you — get over it.

    I read Techmeme every day: 10 minutes, all tech news.

  2. First of all thanks for providing the lists. I'm sure those lists can be translated into a lot of work.

    Back to your question, I guess I'll still read Techmeme. Even though it is heavily composed of Apple and Google articles, it is the best place to go when it comes to tech news.

    Cheers!

  3. Loren: true. So, we have the answer: Twitter Lists are for people crazy about tech news. Techmeme is for lazy people who want all their news in 10 minutes? Heheh. Very fun!

    1. Both yours and Techcrunch’s suck. Just put Techcrunch, Engadget, NY Times Tech, Mashable, Techmeme and Readwriteweb and be done with it.

  4. You need a big list of tech sources like yours and then smaller niche tech lists as well for what you want to really focus on. I wish Twitter would show us more than 40 lists because I can't see the lists I followed early on and they were good lists. Techmeme is still useful because it shows responses to stories from blogs and a pattern to the news stream.

    By the way Robert I compiled a list of the 100 or so most listed accounts and you are #79 – better than the SUL. It is still chocked full of celebrities but some are different than those found on the lists of those with the most followers.
    http://www.bloggersblog.com/mostlistedtwitterers/

    It doesn't really matter how many lists you are on but I was curious to see what it would turn up.

  5. Twitter lists are good to track links, however it would be highly unproductive to click on links, open them in a web browser and then read them.

    Instead of that I would rather prefer to add the RSS to Google Reader, glance the headlines, read them if I like and mark all as read, no hassle and increased productivity.

    Twitter lists on the other hand are too hard to consume, and like you said you need to refresh the page every minute or so to catch up with new news the industry generates. I would rather have Google Reader auto fetch new items for me instead.

  6. Keith: tools are coming so you don't need to refresh. I'm already using a prerelease version of Seesmic Desktop that absolutely rocks. Full text feeds just don't do it anymore. They need to be gone through one at a time. Very unproductive.

  7. I can do that, but Techmeme is great at that. I'd rather have a complete list that shows news that Google News and Techmeme don't display. By the way, you can build your own lists!

  8. Robert, your list would by any way be the most complete one I guess. However for the normal users it is pretty difficult to follow any news as such from the in stream of 492 sources. Just wonder there should be a way to personalise your list to my liking and 'unlist' some of the follower. Around 400 lets say :-)

  9. Google Reader is so….(wait for it…) 2005!

    I think there is enough space for Techmeme and Twitter lists. I have two basic tech news lists. One is the core group of major tech news sources and another is Scoble's big lists.

    The only thing that is needed is a client that supports these lists…

    In fact, the only thing that is needed is a fast twitter/facebook client.

    The ones that run on Adobe air are so…slow and sluggish. Why can't someone develop a real application in Windows that doesn't need Adobe air?

  10. People are not like you, Robert. I understand you occasionally acknowledge this, but when it comes to your posts about which new technology is killing everything else and vastly superior this ritalin-free week, it seems you forget this.

    For most people, reading a feed of 500 news source in real time is entirely impractical. Looking at a nicely grouped, pretty up-to-date page full of the most popular stories really is practical. And enjoyable, and without the manic, constantly updated stream of contextless news on your Twitter Lists.

    Google Reader *is* better for me. Techmeme is better for me. And, I'd hazard, 99% of everyone else.

    You always seemed to pride yourself on being the guy who reads everything, So You Don't Have To. Your Twitter Lists don't help with this at all. You're saying everyone should do it like you do.

    Where's the value?

  11. Your lists are nice but Google Reader is better. One, I curate it myself. Two, I get the full content not just a link to a new place. Three, I spend levels of magnitude of time more than you away from the news flow, I do not need _all_ of the stories that lead up to the most recent state of the world/tech/art/etc. Four, list are nice in that i do not have to follow the noisy broadcast accounts in my twitter stream and can reserve following for people that matter.

  12. Hmmm, I agree lists can be realtime too. I use TweetDeck and am waiting for a new version from them which will integrate lists. However, I don't read full text feeds anymore. I just browse Google Reader using the list view, which only displays titles, and only read the content if I find the title interesting.

    It's pretty similar to the tech news lists on twitter, you will only click on the link if you like the accompanying text. You wouldn't click on it if there was just a link right?

    The only difference here is that, in order for you to read the content, you have to first read the tweet, then click on the link, wait for the webpage to load, which takes a good 8-10 seconds on many sites. In addition to that, you have tons of ad distractions, so all in all I find it unproductive this way.

    Agreed Google Reader is a bit slow while starting up, but remember that it is pulling tons of data so that you can easily read it at your own leisure without have to bother about slow loading websites.

    When I decide to read something in Reader, it takes a microsecond to load the entire content, now I wouldn't call that unproductive at all.

  13. Robert.

    Robert, Robert, Robert.

    Darling Robert.

    Let me be so very clear, and I think I speak for many of us who are “arguing” with you about Google Reader and Twitter and so on.

    You are a power user. We celebrate this about you.

    You sometimes troll obnoxiously, even on your own blog. This, we do not celebrate so much.

    That aside, Google Reader is for RSS feeds. And Twitter is for tweets. And yes, we all get, and have gotten for some time, that many RSS feeds are being turned into tweets. So when we can, we often get our RSS feeds as tweets. And that's all fine and good.

    But many of us do enjoy the functionality of newsreaders like Google Reader to share and comment and note and star with tags because we are not concerned with reading 1,000+ subscriptions, which I believe you claim to try to do. These posts of yours on this subject, therefore, these rants, if you will allow them to be called such, are more about Your Life As A Power User And What You Prefer.

    In other words, I suppose that if I were trying to read 1,000 subscriptions on a regularly basis, or even 500+, I might just benefit from headline scanning in Twitter, and retweeting to my thousands of followers.

    But the rest of use our newsreader of choice and our Twitter of use in a reasonable, normal way. There is no argument between them for us, because they are so decidedly different.

  14. And, again, Twitter is changing to be “RSS lite.” Only it's a lot better and the feeds are easier to find and easier, for most people, to use than RSS. Look at my news feed. But if you are only following a handful of feeds and it works for you, wonderful. It just isn't working for me anymore.

  15. A complete list like your tech-news-brands is great, as long as it also has persistence and searchability for the items over time. That's been the problem with Tweetdeck & Seesmic so far, that they have been compromised on both counts.

    FriendFeed solved it for the most part, but the integration with Twitter was less than elegant. As long as Twitter doesn't offer the RSS or similar feed off of each list page (to pipe them into FF or similar), or Tweetdeck and Seesmic create a mass-storage/archiving option, the Lists will be compromised as described above.

    And as long as that is the case, surfacing a la Techmeme will work better for people that can't/don't want to spend the amount of time monitoring that you do, Robert.

  16. I find the combination nice. Using twitter lists, google reader and other curated sites like Techmeme. In a huge twitter list like yours you get tons of information and its impossible to keep up with it at all times, but its nice to digg into when you got the time at hand, and you will most certainly find some gems overseen by other people. But whats great with sites or smaller lists that curate the stream for you is that its easier to keep up with the pace of the information.

  17. I wouldn't say that Twitter feeds are easier to find. I personally mainly follow interesting blogs on which I stumble upon while surfing. Usually these blogs are about some certain topic and I've found them through google. Now, I haven't been looking much but I think that – at least for now – Google doesn't do results like “This twitter feed might contain information that relates to your problem/topic”.

    I also have to admit that I'm not such a power user, I'm following maybe 30 feeds with google reader and most of the time failing even at that. But I think I'm grasping the most important news, because google reader counts the unread items – something that twitter doesn't do (ok, that wouldn't suit so well to twitter either).

    On a side note, I still haven't found working, usable twitter client for Win7. I'm hoping Tweetdeck/AIR people would get their problems sorted out.

  18. That's cool! What I really would like to have, and I know Scoble will hate that, is to have a Google Reader-like interface to browse the lists. I'm getting tired from opening multiple tabs just to try to figure out which list is more interesting at one point.

  19. Twitter > RSS for skimming hundreds of news sources on a sporadic basis.

    RSS > Twitter for following specific feeds to ensure you at least see the title of every post.

    For most feeds, Twitter will suffice. I don't need to see every Scoble post. For some feeds, though, I want at least the option to see the back catalogue.

    Oh, one more thing: ARCHIVAL SEARCH, not just realtime search. Try going through old tweets to find that post you sort of remember from two weeks ago that mentioned that cool thing.

    Twitter = worthless. In Google Reader, though, or any RSS reader (even a Friendfeed room), you'll have it in seconds.

  20. I would say if you want to stay updated with tech content then follow Google Reader. That probably is the best.

  21. Nice Explanation on Techmeme Vs Twitter lists. I don't know exactly about them. I learnt very valuable information from this article.

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  23. FriendFeed solved it for the most part, but the integration with Twitter was less than elegant. As long as Twitter doesn't offer the RSS or similar feed off of each list page (to pipe them into FF or similar), or Tweetdeck and Seesmic create a mass-storage/archiving option, the Lists will be compromised as described above.

  24. FriendFeed solved it for the most part, but the integration with Twitter was less than elegant. As long as Twitter doesn't offer the RSS or similar feed off of each list page (to pipe them into FF or similar), or Tweetdeck and Seesmic create a mass-storage/archiving option, the Lists will be compromised as described above.