Meme13: Finding New Bloggers in Tech

Steven Hodson writes:

I get a real kick out of it when people start pontificating on why the tech blogosphere is becoming nothing more than [a] self-fulfilling chamber filled with the dull echos of me-too posting that attach themselves like leeches to the supposed brilliant writings of the blogosphere mucky mucks.

Me too.

Meme13Every six months or so, techbloggers reach the joint realization that we're all linking to the same people having the same thoughts about the same subjects. Somebody blames Techmeme, a site that collects the most popular links, and we all link to that guy. The resulting argument shows up on Techmeme. A good time is had by all. Last time around, I said I wanted a Techmeme that pretends the most-linked tech sources don't exist, then looks at what's being linked by everybody else. The top bloggers link to each other constantly. You have to look elsewhere for up-and-coming bloggers who are still working in the sweet spot that lies between obscure and insufferable.

This morning, I'm launching a new site, Meme13, to find those bloggers.

Meme13 mashes together the last 13 sites that made their first appearance on the Techmeme Leaderboard. You can read these sites by visiting Meme13 or subscribing to its feed, which contains the latest entries from all of them.

I've been tracking the leaderboard since Feb. 4. In that time, 175 different sites have made an appearance on the top-100 list. The current Meme13 made their Techmeme debut in the past two weeks:

When a new site appears, the oldest Meme13 site drops off. So far, sites have stuck around for approximately two weeks. Over time Meme13 should get better at finding lesser-known sites as its database grows.

Meme13's an XML hack that downloads OPML data using a XOM-based Java application, stores the elements in a MySQL database and uses Planet Planet to publish the feeds as a web site and Atom feed. It's updated hourly and published automatically.

The site needs a lot of work, particularly on the interface, but I figured it was time to loose this experiment upon the world.


Fantastic concept - subbed!

... sort of a sampler of the writing of those recently getting attention on Techmeme, is that a good way to look at it...?

Nice idea Rogers, and certainly something that's needed to improve the quality of "what's new and interesting" on the web today. The results will get better when the "epoch" (4 Feb 2008) gets further and further away and a couple of 13-site cycles are completed. Six months from now should be enough to really find those genuinely new sites.

If Techmeme has a archive, have you considered scraping out sites from there to back-fill a list of sites that have already appeared on TechMeme. Or if you have contact with Gabe Riviera - ask him. That will mature the results quicker.

The republishing of other people's feeds is a little controversial. I guess when you are happy the algorithm is working fine, how about just showing a summary of items on the HTML view, with the full posts in the RSS feed.

What you've done here is create a dynamically updated OPML reading list, and the selection is done in a fascinating manner. The OPML reading list in itself is a nice source of data - thanks for making that, in particular, available.

hehe good info here, thanks it was a really impressive read. keep up the good work.

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