Even though Todd Cochrane and I technically work together under the RawVoice and Tech Podcast umbrella, it’s rare that I agree with his various positions on what is ‘right’ in the New Media world (as many listeners to the show will attest to). I do, however, agree with him somewhat on his stance with the TechMeme being somewhat broken. Somewhat.
And I don’t mean the way Steven Hodson mentioned with sites like TechCrunch or Mashable or Read/WriteWeb being paid to profile certain companies. As much as TechCrunch and others have railed against PayPerPost, if they were found guilty of paid posting, it would be the end of the Arrington Empire.
I mean the evolution of “penetration coverage” of stories that takes place in tech blogging simply because of TechMeme (yes, penetration coverage, the sort of stuff that blogging was supposed to supplant because the world was tired of that type of coverage on CNN MSNBC and Fox).
I’ve been involved in A-List blogging (over at Mashable) for about a minute now, so I’m probably not the best expert to consult on this, but I know what I see. The top blogs all cover a lot of the same stories. For the high post rate blogs, they see a story show up in the River at TechMeme, they know they gotta cover it, or look like they’re missing important news. The truth is that there’s a lot of high tech being missed because a lot of the A-List is centered around Silicon Valley and the companies around the world that function within the Silicon Valley mindset.
Companies outside that mindset (i.e. those that don’t work well within the blogging world, companies that don’t have RSS feeds, companies that don’t know to send their exclusives to TechCrunch or Mashable) arguably have only themselves to blame, but are also a real part of what is going on in developing tech, and deserve to be covered.
What is it I think about TechMeme that really bends the boundaries of what good news is? The algorithm. The human element is needed. As much as I hate to agree with Jason Calacanis (and his definition of Web 3.0), and barring a much better AI than I’ve seen implimented in anything yet, the human element applied to a much larger set of source material in terms of scanned RSS feeds than what TechMeme does would be able to provide the random element of news bubbling up organically in the web.
Robert Scoble’s shared list is a great example of this. I’m beginning to be of the opinion that all bloggers who want to impact the blogosphere positively should maintain a link blog. I love that I get a good set of niche stuff, but also the random things off niche from Robert’s list. Robert, for the massive feed munching machine that he is, is only one man. He deviates off niche occasionally, but it tends to stay around his niche. I’d like to see a Jeffr0 shared items list, an Arrington shared items list, one from my buddy Art, one from Todd… I want to see what stuff they think is cool but not quite cool enough to write a whole blog post about.
It’s all about inspiration, but the A-List, because of TechMeme, is becoming a bit too monoculture for me. Spice it up a bit. I think this is the best way to make it happen, given the technologies at hand today.
Want to be part of the Rizzn-ite army? Indoctrination instructions here.