Why I Read Techmeme

I’ve been critical in the past of techmeme and I still feel that too many people are writing to/for techmeme and that it’s getting gamed. But I read techmeme every day, without fail, often two or three times a day. I also follow techmeme firehose on twitter via twitterific and that is a great experience.

There is one thing that Techmeme does that makes it a must read. The related links under the headline.

Take this CNN story yesterday about the Japanese satellite. I saw it but didn’t really want to read it. I was curious if it was a big deal or not, but didn’t think CNN would tell me that. So I didn’t click thru.

Then this morning I saw the following:


If you look at the related links under the main story, you’ll see a link that says "Fractals Of Change". That’s my friend Tom Evslin’s blog. Tom will know whether this is a big deal or not. So I immediately clicked thru and read Tom’s thoughts. It’s not a big deal.

Seeing the big news headlines of the day is important and I love watching them come through in my twitter feed. But seeing the related links and knowing when someone you trust is talking about an issue is the big deal for me in Techmeme. Others do this as well, but to my mind Gabe does it best and that’s why Techmeme is a daily read for me.

#VC & Technology

Comments (Archived):

  1. Vishal Sharma

    Techmeme is definitely come a long way and it does bring the best. And yes twitter is helping us as well.

  2. sotek

    Techmeme is the best tech news aggregator out there IMHO. I usually check the site at least twice a day – it is a part of my daily routine now. And yes – it is the “related links” feature what makes TM so special.

  3. mathewi

    I’ve had exactly the same experience, Fred — not with the satellite story, but others. That’s definitely one of the big features of Techmeme for me.

  4. Isaac Garcia

    Techmeme is a bunch of people who know each other blogging TO each other.Wilson’s post makes this evidently clear. The “About” section of Techeme reads: “At this moment, the next big story in technology may reside on a blog you’ve never heard of or a news site you don’t have time to scan.”Yet – every time I take a look at Techmeme (once a week at best) the Titles and Related Links are always the same people. Always. And Wilson’s post “that he saw a post from his friend Evslin” speaks to this. (I like Tom’ s blog too).Why do you (or anyone else) need Gabe Rivera to connect the dots for you?Techmeme would be infinitely more interesting if I could get an opinion or story that is NOT written by Scoble, Wilson, Schonfeld, Venturebeat, Jarvis, Israel, Carr or Arrington. All of these bloggers are decent writers, etc. I have nothing against any of them (you) – except maybe Arrington :). j/k All of the writers are good in their own right – and I’m not trying to take anything away from them.My point is that everyone jokes that Techmeme is a circle-jerk….this isn’t a joke. Techmeme IS a circle-jerk.Where are the “blogs you’ve never heard of?”

    1. Technology for the Masses

      Circle-jerk, that’s classic LOL I won’t use that phrase exactly but techmeme does sound like a super elitist-club. The flip side of the argument is these blogs are popular in the first place because the general public (like you and me) trust them and read them over unknown blogs. If all the readers defect to a new unknown blog, then I guess it would show up on techmeme.

    2. Robert Seidman

      I agree with Fred that the related links are nicely handled by Gabe, but I also to some extent agree wth Isaac (though without the angst re: the circle-jerkiness). Sometimes it seems like you use about 8 different services to access all the stuff that’s already in your RSS feed.I don’t have a problem with that if it’s your preference, but it seems kind of inefficent.

    3. Zach

      I disagree. On occasion, Techmeme can do great things for smaller blogs. Of course the big guys pop up all the time but that is because of the abundance of links they get. As much as I’m not a fan, when Arrington writes a story he gets 1,000 links despite the fact that he’s likely not the source…Case in point: A couple of weeks ago, my friend who runs a small tech blog posted a good scoop. I linked him, as did several big tech blogs. He found himself as the top of a Techmeme tree and his traffic increased by well over 1000% short term. Weeks later it’s still up significantly.As a part time tech-news blogger, I of course understand that you can only have so many sources that you go to for info. Every so often you find something new and stray outside your core sources for a story – whether it be 10, 50, 100 or 1000. Techmeme is no different, and I think Gabe often does a good job of tracing the line to the top every once in a while.

    4. fredwilson

      Click thru to the link to my critique of techmeme and you’ll see that I made a similar pointFred

  5. Andy Swan

    Nice post Fred. I actually have nothing to add or argue….rare 🙂

  6. RacerRick

    I love it, too.The only thing I dislike is that the RSS feed and the firehose force me to techmeme instead of to the end link. Hate the extra jump.

  7. allen

    Fred: Of the 8 links that are in your screenshot, how many did you go to?

    1. fredwilson

      Two or threeCan’t recall

  8. MikePLewis

    i agree. I use Techmeme to keep in touch with the major news items every day. It’s a better front-page than anyone else’s.Thinking back to the Calcanis quote, “The short head will be human, the fat middle social and the long tail algorithmic” I always wonder how much of it is programmed and how much of it is algorithmic.

  9. Steven Kane

    fred, i agree with your note — seems like a very simple general but bullseye embrace of professional editorial versus “the wisdom of the crowds”. which is not to say the latter has no value, it has plenty. but professional editorial judgement and professional content creation is the business of trying to separate the signal from the noise, and i, for one, am more and more desperate for that. the noise to signal ration these days is just wild, and it ain’t ever getting any better, just noisier.