TechMeme not going for most linked blogs anymore

This is going to come across like I’m an arrogant bbbbaahhhhhsssssttttttaaaarrrrrdddddd. But, it needs to be pointed out.

TechMeme (which started out as a blog news engine) has totally switched its focus away from blogs. I’m tracking the Plaxo news. I was among the first two sites out with news about Plaxo’s new 3.0 platform. I have the only videos. Posted two of them. I have one of the first real reviews. Google’s blog search shows I have the most inbound links. Om Malik, who posted a story about Plaxo two hours after I did, even linked to me.

Yet the top article right now? One by the Register which doesn’t even have comments and doesn’t link out and doesn’t have screen captures (like other articles do) and doesn’t have video and doesn’t even have any real news.

The Register has zero inbound links, Om’s article has six, and mine has 12.

Gabe has turned TechMeme into a Google News instead of something that looks at blogs.

Both Google’s blog search and technorati show zero inbound links for the Register’s article. Why is it #1? Because TechMeme just turned “pro.”

And competitor TailRank is no better. It doesn’t have ANY article on Plaxo on its home page and when I clicked on the second page of Tech TailRank gave me an error.

Sigh.

What’s worse is Google’s Reader is having problems this morning so I can’t even get the news I want there. Sigh.

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84 thoughts on “TechMeme not going for most linked blogs anymore

  1. I have been saying it for months. Glad that you finally realize it. Techmeme sucks and should never be mentioned again by a person who has done his homework first.

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  2. I have been saying it for months. Glad that you finally realize it. Techmeme sucks and should never be mentioned again by a person who has done his homework first.

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  3. Like you I’ve noticed that Techmeme’s quality of links have gotten considerably worse over the last two months. It’s gotten to the point where I find myself goiing there much less now.

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  4. Like you I’ve noticed that Techmeme’s quality of links have gotten considerably worse over the last two months. It’s gotten to the point where I find myself goiing there much less now.

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  5. Since you’re not the only “arrogant bbbbaahhhhhsssssttttttaaaarrrrrdddddd”, I’ll note my annoyance that TechMeme picked up TechCrunch’s note of Google Reader being down, which didn’t get posted until 1 hour after I posted mine last night. And if it triggers off links as part of that discussion, it still didn’t grab mine even after I gave TC a courtesy link.

    Duncan and I traded e-mails over the issue late last night before his story, and as far as TechMeme is concerned, I wasn’t part of it. Do I want TechMeme attention? Sure. Put me in the “arrogant bbbbaahhhhhsssssttttttaaaarrrrrdddddd” camp, too.

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  6. Since you’re not the only “arrogant bbbbaahhhhhsssssttttttaaaarrrrrdddddd”, I’ll note my annoyance that TechMeme picked up TechCrunch’s note of Google Reader being down, which didn’t get posted until 1 hour after I posted mine last night. And if it triggers off links as part of that discussion, it still didn’t grab mine even after I gave TC a courtesy link.

    Duncan and I traded e-mails over the issue late last night before his story, and as far as TechMeme is concerned, I wasn’t part of it. Do I want TechMeme attention? Sure. Put me in the “arrogant bbbbaahhhhhsssssttttttaaaarrrrrdddddd” camp, too.

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  7. I also am having problmes with Google. Google used to be a reliable provider of online services.

    Google Reader has failed me twice in the last month.

    I think Google have reached a trustability/usablility tipping point and are sliding down the other side — maybe accelerating.

    (I never did have much time for Techmeme — it always seemed a less than relavent A-list blogger self referential lovefest so I don’t have a lot of sympathy for you there).

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  8. I also am having problmes with Google. Google used to be a reliable provider of online services.

    Google Reader has failed me twice in the last month.

    I think Google have reached a trustability/usablility tipping point and are sliding down the other side — maybe accelerating.

    (I never did have much time for Techmeme — it always seemed a less than relavent A-list blogger self referential lovefest so I don’t have a lot of sympathy for you there).

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  9. Check out the Grand Central news and note the link to their blog which references their new homepage – yet no mention of the buyout rumor. Something’s just broken in how the Techmeme thing works… aside from the closed nature of the system of course!

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  10. Check out the Grand Central news and note the link to their blog which references their new homepage – yet no mention of the buyout rumor. Something’s just broken in how the Techmeme thing works… aside from the closed nature of the system of course!

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  11. Techmeme is still extremely useful for me in discovering relevant news and commentary.

    That’s despite the Web20 goldrush and emphasis among many writers on ad revenue…. 😉

    (Instead of ranking results according to the availability of open-commenting or outbound links at each source, I’d really dig it if we could weed out all the content-free bumps from ad-laden sites, but we beggars can’t be choosy.)

    For those seeking higher traffic, perhaps mentioning Paris, Justin or Rosie in every post could bring you some cross-traffic from WeSmirch.com…?

    jd

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  12. Techmeme is still extremely useful for me in discovering relevant news and commentary.

    That’s despite the Web20 goldrush and emphasis among many writers on ad revenue…. 😉

    (Instead of ranking results according to the availability of open-commenting or outbound links at each source, I’d really dig it if we could weed out all the content-free bumps from ad-laden sites, but we beggars can’t be choosy.)

    For those seeking higher traffic, perhaps mentioning Paris, Justin or Rosie in every post could bring you some cross-traffic from WeSmirch.com…?

    jd

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  13. Robert, this is essentially your post from 6/6 but with “Plaxo” in place of “Sun blade servers”. So I’d like to refer you to my earlier response. 🙂

    BTW, I’m quite pleased with the direction Techmeme is headed. In fact, the nature of this post and the ensuing comments very much reinforces that.

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  14. Robert, this is essentially your post from 6/6 but with “Plaxo” in place of “Sun blade servers”. So I’d like to refer you to my earlier response. 🙂

    BTW, I’m quite pleased with the direction Techmeme is headed. In fact, the nature of this post and the ensuing comments very much reinforces that.

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  15. Gabe: translation you want to compete with Google and Yahoo news pages. Cool. I’ll keep reading it now that I know that but it isn’t a blog tracker anymore. But, the Register? Damn, you’re sinking low.

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  16. Gabe: translation you want to compete with Google and Yahoo news pages. Cool. I’ll keep reading it now that I know that but it isn’t a blog tracker anymore. But, the Register? Damn, you’re sinking low.

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  17. Interesting how these comments always only come out when somebody feels not being listed ‘correctly’ instead of the time when this is not the issue …

    But this only openes up the market for something really valid in recognition. Which is what again? If small blogs blog about it? If bigger ones blog about it? If it has many links? Is read by many people?

    These are the questions we should talk about and not “buhu they linked me wrong! I was first!!!”.

    Question a for techmeme for you to check Robert – are they in the ‘feed’ for techmeme? Because otherwiese they could not have been found.

    Which of course you cant, but still.

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  18. Interesting how these comments always only come out when somebody feels not being listed ‘correctly’ instead of the time when this is not the issue …

    But this only openes up the market for something really valid in recognition. Which is what again? If small blogs blog about it? If bigger ones blog about it? If it has many links? Is read by many people?

    These are the questions we should talk about and not “buhu they linked me wrong! I was first!!!”.

    Question a for techmeme for you to check Robert – are they in the ‘feed’ for techmeme? Because otherwiese they could not have been found.

    Which of course you cant, but still.

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  19. Robert: no, most Techmeme readers weren’t former Google/Yahoo News readers. (Think about it…even if you happen to be an exception.)

    Techmeme readers are people who previously scanned lots or blogs and/or Digg/Delicious/Slashdot for interesting Tech biz/product/issue/trend stories. Maybe Techmeme “competes” with those sites, but only a small minority of their readers were at risk of defecting, and their hold on those readers was tenuous to begin with.

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  20. Robert: no, most Techmeme readers weren’t former Google/Yahoo News readers. (Think about it…even if you happen to be an exception.)

    Techmeme readers are people who previously scanned lots or blogs and/or Digg/Delicious/Slashdot for interesting Tech biz/product/issue/trend stories. Maybe Techmeme “competes” with those sites, but only a small minority of their readers were at risk of defecting, and their hold on those readers was tenuous to begin with.

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  21. Gabe: right, but as you pointed out you already have all the bloggers reading you so now you need to turn “pro” to attract a new audience. That audience today is reading Yahoo News and Google News, if that.

    Most people will look at a page and see “pro news” with “brand names they know” and say “cool.”

    Me? I wanted an alternative to pro news, which is why Tech Meme was so attractive.

    That’s OK, what you just did was leave a hole in the market. I and other feed readers will fill it and we’ll increasingly leave TechMeme for other news sources. Already I’m finding that to be the case as my referers from Google Reader keep going up every week. That’s your real competition and one I’m posed to take HUGE advantage of.

    Got your Facebook application done yet? Look at my Facebook page and you won’t see TechMeme.

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  22. Gabe: right, but as you pointed out you already have all the bloggers reading you so now you need to turn “pro” to attract a new audience. That audience today is reading Yahoo News and Google News, if that.

    Most people will look at a page and see “pro news” with “brand names they know” and say “cool.”

    Me? I wanted an alternative to pro news, which is why Tech Meme was so attractive.

    That’s OK, what you just did was leave a hole in the market. I and other feed readers will fill it and we’ll increasingly leave TechMeme for other news sources. Already I’m finding that to be the case as my referers from Google Reader keep going up every week. That’s your real competition and one I’m posed to take HUGE advantage of.

    Got your Facebook application done yet? Look at my Facebook page and you won’t see TechMeme.

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  23. I think it’s hilarious that you think TechMeme is too much like/trying to be Google News, but you want it to reflect the results of Google Blog Search. Use Google Blog Search then. Problem solved.

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  24. I think it’s hilarious that you think TechMeme is too much like/trying to be Google News, but you want it to reflect the results of Google Blog Search. Use Google Blog Search then. Problem solved.

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  25. I haven’t looked deeply enough into the Techmeme thing to make any definitely comments, but I have seen a trend towards larger news outlets. Almost every tech-related NYtimes article go up there.

    But isn’t this what happens to all sites? Digg favors larger site and lots of other similar services do the same. Once you get large enough that you can send a lot of traffic to big sites, they want to get more and start to cooperate with you. The NY Times links articles to digg, facebook and newsvine- it just makes sense for everyone.

    For Techmeme to move in that direction might just make good business sense. Maybe we’ll all be reading blogmeme in a few months after the tech sector is taken over by the big guys…

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  26. I haven’t looked deeply enough into the Techmeme thing to make any definitely comments, but I have seen a trend towards larger news outlets. Almost every tech-related NYtimes article go up there.

    But isn’t this what happens to all sites? Digg favors larger site and lots of other similar services do the same. Once you get large enough that you can send a lot of traffic to big sites, they want to get more and start to cooperate with you. The NY Times links articles to digg, facebook and newsvine- it just makes sense for everyone.

    For Techmeme to move in that direction might just make good business sense. Maybe we’ll all be reading blogmeme in a few months after the tech sector is taken over by the big guys…

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  27. Tim: the problem with Google Blog search is that it doesn’t show me the hot articles that have the most inbound links. Now, if it DID then it would be killer.

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  28. Tim: the problem with Google Blog search is that it doesn’t show me the hot articles that have the most inbound links. Now, if it DID then it would be killer.

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  29. Sal: I think Gabe wants to create a service that Rupert Murdoch will be likely to buy. That requires him to get a bigger audience than just bloggers. Techmeme’s move is smart: business wise.

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  30. Sal: I think Gabe wants to create a service that Rupert Murdoch will be likely to buy. That requires him to get a bigger audience than just bloggers. Techmeme’s move is smart: business wise.

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  31. In the “I want a unicorn and a talking monkey” vein, what I *wish* Gabe might do is do an “as well as” kind of play, where blogs were still the main conduit for these stories, but that the other sources got added into the stream.

    From the consumer point of view, opening this up beyond the same people who used to read Slashdot / Digg / etc, etc, directly is probably good business, as it’ll give an ever larger slice of info.

    However, as you rightly point out, blogs are more often surfacing stories that eventually get sucked into the fanblades of mainstream media a few days later and with less impact, so I think the focus should stay weighted towards blogs.

    So in the end, I concur with Robert, and wish Gabe would make it a wider product with weight on blogs. And I want a pony.

    Btw, as a Facebook friend, I saw your twitter and felt the urge to comment. : )

    –Chris Brogan…

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  32. In the “I want a unicorn and a talking monkey” vein, what I *wish* Gabe might do is do an “as well as” kind of play, where blogs were still the main conduit for these stories, but that the other sources got added into the stream.

    From the consumer point of view, opening this up beyond the same people who used to read Slashdot / Digg / etc, etc, directly is probably good business, as it’ll give an ever larger slice of info.

    However, as you rightly point out, blogs are more often surfacing stories that eventually get sucked into the fanblades of mainstream media a few days later and with less impact, so I think the focus should stay weighted towards blogs.

    So in the end, I concur with Robert, and wish Gabe would make it a wider product with weight on blogs. And I want a pony.

    Btw, as a Facebook friend, I saw your twitter and felt the urge to comment. : )

    –Chris Brogan…

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  33. Robert

    Part of the problem is that some sites refuse to link to the original sources. I keep adding to my list of sites daily that I refuse to give link love to because they hardly ever link to the source material.

    I have regulated techmeme to a lower priority read feed because of some of the same issues you are seeing.

    A good experiment would be to track which sites gets the original article credit and I bet you will find less than 150 sites all get the top link love. I can name 2-3 that always get top ranking even though they are hardly ever first.

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  34. Robert

    Part of the problem is that some sites refuse to link to the original sources. I keep adding to my list of sites daily that I refuse to give link love to because they hardly ever link to the source material.

    I have regulated techmeme to a lower priority read feed because of some of the same issues you are seeing.

    A good experiment would be to track which sites gets the original article credit and I bet you will find less than 150 sites all get the top link love. I can name 2-3 that always get top ranking even though they are hardly ever first.

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  35. Todd: yup, in fact, I’ve seen that TechMeme penalizes sites that link. Heck, the Register’s article didn’t even get linked to or from and yet still got on TechMeme!

    But that’s why I started my link blog so that the best articles would get exposure, not just the ones that Gabe thinks are best.

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  36. Todd: yup, in fact, I’ve seen that TechMeme penalizes sites that link. Heck, the Register’s article didn’t even get linked to or from and yet still got on TechMeme!

    But that’s why I started my link blog so that the best articles would get exposure, not just the ones that Gabe thinks are best.

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  37. Obviously, you don’t want Google Blog search… I think it’s funny you focus on TechMeme because of its success: TechMeme is no good, Google News is no good, Yahoo News is no good, Digg is no good, Google Blog search is no good… Your shared links are perfect and are going to take over the world, but in the meantime, you wish Gabe would build what you want( not what he wants), and hopefully, that site (because it is popular) would include your posts.

    Okay. Do we need to keep hearing that Gabe Rivera is not Robert Scoble? That Scoble does not run TechMeme? That’s all you’re saying. The majority disagees with you. If you can do better, than do it. Prove the majority wrong.

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  38. Obviously, you don’t want Google Blog search… I think it’s funny you focus on TechMeme because of its success: TechMeme is no good, Google News is no good, Yahoo News is no good, Digg is no good, Google Blog search is no good… Your shared links are perfect and are going to take over the world, but in the meantime, you wish Gabe would build what you want( not what he wants), and hopefully, that site (because it is popular) would include your posts.

    Okay. Do we need to keep hearing that Gabe Rivera is not Robert Scoble? That Scoble does not run TechMeme? That’s all you’re saying. The majority disagees with you. If you can do better, than do it. Prove the majority wrong.

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  39. I am a huge fan of automation and run a company based largely on that very premise. At the same time, I see real value in human editing. I would love to see sites like TechMeme and Digg have an “editor’s version” or something similar that would take advantage of all the AI and user voting and such, but would layer on the human judgment.

    This would have the benefit of reducing the domination of either site by one story/topic, as well as to ensure that the sources linked to provide the best representation of the ongoing discussion.

    For me, TechMeme serves a great purpose in identifying the most important TOPICS each day, not necessarily the best POSTS/STORIES.

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  40. I am a huge fan of automation and run a company based largely on that very premise. At the same time, I see real value in human editing. I would love to see sites like TechMeme and Digg have an “editor’s version” or something similar that would take advantage of all the AI and user voting and such, but would layer on the human judgment.

    This would have the benefit of reducing the domination of either site by one story/topic, as well as to ensure that the sources linked to provide the best representation of the ongoing discussion.

    For me, TechMeme serves a great purpose in identifying the most important TOPICS each day, not necessarily the best POSTS/STORIES.

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  41. “MikeJones: this isn’t about A listers. If the A listers aren’t getting linked to, imagine how the Z listers are going to get on TechMeme.”

    Most Z-Lister write for their readers and themselves, not because they are trying to get listed at the top of TechMeme.

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  42. “MikeJones: this isn’t about A listers. If the A listers aren’t getting linked to, imagine how the Z listers are going to get on TechMeme.”

    Most Z-Lister write for their readers and themselves, not because they are trying to get listed at the top of TechMeme.

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  43. Hey……

    What error did you get… I’ll check our logs. Shouldn’t have happened. I think we’re not picking up the Plaxo thing because we’re in the middle of a BIG upgrade right now. A lot more hardware… stay tuned 🙂

    Kevin

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  44. Hey……

    What error did you get… I’ll check our logs. Shouldn’t have happened. I think we’re not picking up the Plaxo thing because we’re in the middle of a BIG upgrade right now. A lot more hardware… stay tuned 🙂

    Kevin

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  45. This “Z lister” liked Techmeme the way it was. Now sometimes it did get a bit ridiculous as every blog went after that one top story; ie… iPhone, and whatever the big topic of the day is.

    I liked the way it worked. I have noticed some changes there so call me the same — “arrogant bbbbaahhhhhsssssttttttaaaarrrrrdddddd”

    Rex

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  46. This “Z lister” liked Techmeme the way it was. Now sometimes it did get a bit ridiculous as every blog went after that one top story; ie… iPhone, and whatever the big topic of the day is.

    I liked the way it worked. I have noticed some changes there so call me the same — “arrogant bbbbaahhhhhsssssttttttaaaarrrrrdddddd”

    Rex

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  47. Congratulations Robert. Looks like you created more interest about Plaxo.

    Unique blog….

    I’ll be back for more…..keep up the good work…..:)

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  48. Congratulations Robert. Looks like you created more interest about Plaxo.

    Unique blog….

    I’ll be back for more…..keep up the good work…..:)

    Like

  49. Great videos on Plaxo, btw. I watched them this morning and they made me rethink my initial judgment of the service. I re-signed up today.

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  50. @28. Mack is spot on. Scoble, has the purpose of blogging changed? Is the point of blogging now to get links? If so, then why doesn’t every blogger pollute their posts with links?

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  51. @28. Mack is spot on. Scoble, has the purpose of blogging changed? Is the point of blogging now to get links? If so, then why doesn’t every blogger pollute their posts with links?

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  52. Interesting all those links and not a single link to the original press release, what a sham, err I mean shame.

    Go out on a limb tell me what you really think about Plaxo … otherwise it’s just another “hey look what I saw on the internets today” post.

    Regarding your issue w/ Techmeme, Techmeme is becoming increasingly irrelevant for me. If I wanted to get my tech news from Reuters, NYTimes, LATimes, Cnet, CNN, BBC or some other big news outlet I’d go direct I don’t need Techmeme to do that for me. Really I expect anytime now to see pcmag links up there.

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  53. Interesting all those links and not a single link to the original press release, what a sham, err I mean shame.

    Go out on a limb tell me what you really think about Plaxo … otherwise it’s just another “hey look what I saw on the internets today” post.

    Regarding your issue w/ Techmeme, Techmeme is becoming increasingly irrelevant for me. If I wanted to get my tech news from Reuters, NYTimes, LATimes, Cnet, CNN, BBC or some other big news outlet I’d go direct I don’t need Techmeme to do that for me. Really I expect anytime now to see pcmag links up there.

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  54. LayZ: most bloggers I meet want to be heard. Some might only want to be heard by their families. In which case they should blog on Vox and hand their families a password protected blog which keeps everyone else out.

    Those of us who are writing for audiences and have chosen to do so appreciate links.

    And I certainly link to FAR more blogs than link to me on the average day.

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  55. LayZ: most bloggers I meet want to be heard. Some might only want to be heard by their families. In which case they should blog on Vox and hand their families a password protected blog which keeps everyone else out.

    Those of us who are writing for audiences and have chosen to do so appreciate links.

    And I certainly link to FAR more blogs than link to me on the average day.

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  56. “Tim: the problem with Google Blog search is that it doesn’t show me the hot articles that have the most inbound links. Now, if it DID then it would be killer.”

    Not only it’s coming, but there are better ways (i.e. not gamed by inbound links, something that even rookie SEO/spammers are taking advantage of).

    Techmeme is dead.

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  57. “Tim: the problem with Google Blog search is that it doesn’t show me the hot articles that have the most inbound links. Now, if it DID then it would be killer.”

    Not only it’s coming, but there are better ways (i.e. not gamed by inbound links, something that even rookie SEO/spammers are taking advantage of).

    Techmeme is dead.

    Like

  58. The magnetic attraction of major media sources continues and so does the impression that it drives and sustains the most attention. It sometimes does, but major media also drives a quick burnout of attention around a news story. If a story breaks on major media it has a shorter life with long-tail and A-list bloggers. They just don’t care enough about it because the major media got it. Just think about how Techmeme drove its early success. It was YOU Robert who turned me on to Techmeme before it ever went live. The basis for its success is with bloggers. In-bound links should be the top driver of Techmeme relevancy. Treat every source the same.

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  59. The magnetic attraction of major media sources continues and so does the impression that it drives and sustains the most attention. It sometimes does, but major media also drives a quick burnout of attention around a news story. If a story breaks on major media it has a shorter life with long-tail and A-list bloggers. They just don’t care enough about it because the major media got it. Just think about how Techmeme drove its early success. It was YOU Robert who turned me on to Techmeme before it ever went live. The basis for its success is with bloggers. In-bound links should be the top driver of Techmeme relevancy. Treat every source the same.

    Like

  60. Interesting – I came in late to this discussion because – well, I was busy doing other things.

    Anyway, Techmeme isn’t even indexing blogs they way they used to – don’t believe me, go look. My own blog used to be indexed every day – even within minutes of me pinging Techmeme.

    Right now they haven’t indexed me in 5 days. That’s a lot of blog posts they don” know about.

    My reader count has actually GONE UP in the last five days. Except on Techmeme – where my blog has fallen ~10K in rankings (since they stopped indexing me).

    And it’s not just my blog – almost every bog that’s in the 200+ ranking has shown huge delays in indexing – at least from my very limited and random samplings.

    So yes – Techmeme is changing. Which is fine. Just tell me what you are changing to so I an decide if you still offer me value or not.

    Gabe – what’s up? Is my blog still important enough to you for you to index, or not? If not, let me know. That’s fair enough.

    If it is, why aren’t you?

    Rob

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  61. Interesting – I came in late to this discussion because – well, I was busy doing other things.

    Anyway, Techmeme isn’t even indexing blogs they way they used to – don’t believe me, go look. My own blog used to be indexed every day – even within minutes of me pinging Techmeme.

    Right now they haven’t indexed me in 5 days. That’s a lot of blog posts they don” know about.

    My reader count has actually GONE UP in the last five days. Except on Techmeme – where my blog has fallen ~10K in rankings (since they stopped indexing me).

    And it’s not just my blog – almost every bog that’s in the 200+ ranking has shown huge delays in indexing – at least from my very limited and random samplings.

    So yes – Techmeme is changing. Which is fine. Just tell me what you are changing to so I an decide if you still offer me value or not.

    Gabe – what’s up? Is my blog still important enough to you for you to index, or not? If not, let me know. That’s fair enough.

    If it is, why aren’t you?

    Rob

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  62. MikeJones: this isn’t about A listers. If the A listers aren’t getting linked to, imagine how the Z listers are going to get on TechMeme.

    Dude, I am such a Z-lister, but I get hooked up on TechMeme from time to time when I write about something interesting and early in what passes for “the conversation.” Since getting the first scoop isn’t high on my list, I don’t have your issues, but besides a little insider gossip and self satisfied schmoozing, what does scoblizer really contribute anyway? I came hear via the arm-farting post which I thought was very apt.

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  63. MikeJones: this isn’t about A listers. If the A listers aren’t getting linked to, imagine how the Z listers are going to get on TechMeme.

    Dude, I am such a Z-lister, but I get hooked up on TechMeme from time to time when I write about something interesting and early in what passes for “the conversation.” Since getting the first scoop isn’t high on my list, I don’t have your issues, but besides a little insider gossip and self satisfied schmoozing, what does scoblizer really contribute anyway? I came hear via the arm-farting post which I thought was very apt.

    Like

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