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Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Definitive Techmeme Leaderboard - Proof of Voice

This list of the top 100 Techmeme sites of all time (the site itself only factors in the past 30 days) is interesting fodder for tech meme junkies.

What strikes me in particular about the list is the prevalence of people like you and me (that is, if you and me were prolific a-list bloggers). There is a professionalism to many of these writers, but that said, they don't directly represent enormous news organizations. They just cover the space independently because they set out to do so. That, ahead of anything else, should put a cork in the usual mischaracterizations of the blogosphere as just a bunch of hacks spreading rumors and not checking sources.

Among the notable independents, small fry, and chums:

  • Techcrunch at #1. (Here's where I think it tends to be a bit self-fulfilling - too much so, perhaps. Arrington was on Charlie Rose talking about Microhoo, for heaven's sake.)
  • GigaOM at #7. When Om Malik rants about the death of traditional newspapers, you'd better listen! He's walking, talking, typing proof.
  • PaidContent.org at #11. Thus helping the present post qualify as a nominee for the 2008 "Super-Duperest Self-Referentialest Infinitest Regression Awards of All Time" Award.
  • Techdirt at #10. Just proving nice guys can finish tenth, if they work hard. The result is so counterintuitive, I actually ranked #11 ahead of Mike :) by accident.
  • The Register at #14. It seems there is a market for snarky comments, even about server hardware and encryption technology. It's good to see the blogosphere hasn't lost all its immaturity.
  • Search Engine Land at #25. Somehow, these types of people have a knack for getting high up on lists of blue links. I don't know what it is. Some sort of voodoo I hear.
  • Silicon Alley Insider at #28. I've no-followed (actually, no-linked) this one until someone can prove to me that a frequently-wrong, barred-from-trading analyst is more worth reading than a monkey throwing darts into a gently-used designer wastebasket. j/k Henry.
  • Search Engine Watch Blog at #30. See #25. Everyone knows the money's in the trade show business, anyway.
  • scobleizer.wordpress.com at #39. ... and falling.
  • Radar O'Reilly, #42. Add it to your feed reader for sure.
  • blogs.barrons.com. Falls into traditional media so it's miscategorized in the present list, thought I'd mention it as "a great short." Imagine if Barrons' bottom line were affected by all of the losses they'd have to incur, betting against America. Just don't try to time the market, like I used to.
  • Dave Winer, #50. Priceless. I can't believe we get to watch for free.
  • I forgot to mention Valleywag at #33. That's because it's owned by a giant blogging conglomerate, but I'm afraid of becoming a target so here ya go.
  • I'm getting tired of hyperlinking, so Google, just play along OK, for the rest?
  • mathewingram.com, #51. Quit your day job Mathew and I guarantee a rise of at least 10 points.
  • Steve Rubel, #52. Ditto.
  • avc.com, #53. And keep in mind - he's just a vc. Very few individual VC bloggers make it on the list. While you're at it though, check out a few of the other good ones, like Paul Kedrosky's.
  • BoingBoing, #54. Kinda nichey.
  • Calacanis, #67. Shameless self-promotion only gets you to #67?
  • BattelleMedia.com, #69. For some reason this guy jumped on the Search bandwagon. Six thousand's a crowd, John.
  • Valleywag.com, #79. Needs to be de-duped. Take that in any sense of the word.
  • Kara Swisher, #89. Day job getting in the way?
  • MarketingPilgrim.com, #91. Tricky search dude with a fantastic reputation.
  • Don Dodge, #95. Who? Oh I see, it's another "he represents bags of investor dollars so I'd better read this" blog. I like the recent post advising us on the ins and outs of deciding to sell for 9 or 10 figures. Hehe. Who wouldn't read that?
  • Philipp Lenssen, #99. The best blog "about Google" manages to transcend that niche. Who says bloggers don't produce news?
On the all time leader board, check out Gabe's comments about how certain sites have been "whacked" based on his editorial decisions?

For example, he notes: "Engadget and other gadget blogs like Gizmodo and CrunchGear have been whacked recently on Techmeme by my decision to reduce the amount of gadget blog type coverage (i.e. primarily cause #3)." #3 is "more weighting of original reporting, biasing for/against certain topics."

So when you read the disingenuous "The selection and placement of stories on this page were determined automatically by a computer program." message at the bottom of Google News, recognize that all search engines today perform an editorial function while still trying to achieve massive scale. By editorial function, we mean humans are involved in weighting and inclusion decisions, not just computers. And the next gen will surely do the same.

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