Meme13 is getting knocked around a bit by people who think that it's just another scraper republishing RSS feeds, hurting the search-engine rank and traffic of the publishers who created the content. Two of those people are Tony Hung and Darren Rowse, bloggers currently featured on Meme13. Hung writes:
... Meme13 is simply pulling feeds and republishing them all.
More of the GD same -- and what's really funny (again, not in a ha ha way) is not even that Meme13 acknowledges what side of the debate its on, but that its apparently deaf to one of the bigger memes on the leaderboard that its supposedly tracking, and, one of the "bottom 13" that it wants to highlight who felt pretty vocal about the issue (me)!
I am flabbergasted, exhausted, and ... just flabbergasted.
Hung's lament was the top post on Meme13 for several hours Tuesday night. My day-old robot has already turned against its creator.
I'm mindful of these concerns, but I don't think the new service is leeching. I'm aware that "I'm helping you" is Web 2.0-speak for "I'm helping myself to your work" -- one commenter on Rowse's ProBlogger posts the rather Confucian "verbal statements of warm fuzzy intentions can mask a blatant ripoff" -- but the idea I'm pursuing here is an RSS mashup that brings new subscribers to publishers.
Sites only are featured on Meme13 for a short time -- currently around two weeks -- before they drop off and never appear again. The web site doesn't archive anything, so when Hung's Deep Jive Interests is replaced by a newer blog in around nine days, there will be nothing on Meme13 to hurt his search rank.
When I developed Meme13, I considered the idea of only making it available as a feed, because I think that's where the purpose is most clear.
I created this because I needed it. I want to sample new blogs and subscribe to the interesting ones with as little effort on my part as possible. If you see exactly what a feed contains during its trial period on Meme13, including images, full text and the feed's own ads, it makes it easier to decide if you want to subscribe.
This approach appears to be a novel application of RSS -- a rolling reader that constantly changes its list of subscribed feeds.
I'm going to hammer at this idea for a while before giving up on the concept of mashing together full feed entries. If this experiment angers more of the bloggers it's designed to benefit, you can follow their reactions by subscribing to Meme13.