Fred Wilson posts on Techmeme being dominated by professionally produced blogs…
I think what's happening is techmeme is catering more and more to the professionally produced tech blogs. Whatever Gabe's algorithm does, it seems to point mostly to TechCrunch, VentureBeat, NY Times, Wall Street Journal, Gizmodo and that ilk. Nothing wrong with that. But as of this morning, the only individual bloggers I see on the leaderboard are Nick Carr, Mark Cuban, and my good friend Tom Evslin.
I’m obviously not on the Techmeme leader board and have never had a headline on Techmeme for that matter. I likely never will. But in truth that suits me just fine. All this talk about "corporations taking over Techmeme” and “Individual Bloggers being Locked Out” misses one important fact: Individual Bloggers rarely make news.
Individual Bloggers, like myself, exist to participate in the conversation not to start it. Accordingly we are not going to be the headline because the headline, by design, documents the start of the conversation.
Moreover, people know that.
This is an important point: Techmeme’s headlines are an example of good UI design. When you go to Techmeme you know “Headline = Main story, Links Below = Commentary” and that’s the way it should be. So when you take me, an individual blogger, I don’t see the harm in never having a headline to myself. Because if people want what I’m providing, commentary, they know where to look for it.
Which brings me to Scoble and my second point…
Fred Wilson, a Venture Capitalist based in New York, writes this morning that he’s obsessed with TechMeme and that he’s noticing changes in his obsession (he’s moving more toward Twitter and other places for his news). Oh, I grok that. I used to be obsessed with TechMeme too. Now I’m just an average user, checking in every day or two (I used to check this page every 10 minutes). What happened?
FriendFeed. See, in February I wasn’t following anyone on FriendFeed and no one was following me. Now I’m following more than 4,000 hand-picked people. More than 21,000 are following me there today — that’s better growth than I got in the first nine months of being on Twitter, by far.
I think Scoble is kind of hijacking Fred Wilson’s point here but it provided me with an interesting insight. The irony of the FriendFeed vs. Techmeme debate, and I’m just realizing this now, is that the people who are trumpeting FriendFeed are actually running away from discussion. They are taking refuge in a world where they only listen to those who agree with them and only visit links suggested by that group (maybe not Scoble since he subscribes to 7 gazillion people but in general)
Friendfeed is a Techmeme where only the headlines exist and the commentary comes not from the entire web but from your hand picked friends (who inevitably agree with you on almost everything). The only difference is on Friendfeed your clique gets to make their own A-List and give them the headlines.
If you think about it, FriendFeed is the living embodiment of the echo chamber.
So the truth is it’s Techmeme that actually keeps individual bloggers in the conversation. Those bloggers might not get a fancy spot on the leader board or A-List level traffic but they’re out there for people who might be interested in what they have to say. It might not seem like much but it’s a lot more than FriendFeed is offering.