Monday, December 1, 2008

Memeorandum rules

My favorite aggregator gets written up in the Guardian:
Memeorandum is based on the idea of "memes" or ideas that spread across the web (along with a pun on memorandum). Someone publishes an interesting story, other people find it, discuss it, and link to it. That's how the web works. Small stories come and go quickly, while big ones generate lots of comment and dominate the page for hours.
The developer, Gabe Rivera, says it's all done in software. He provides a list of publications as "seeds," but the software still finds stories on sites he's never heard of. It's just a question of following links, and then trying to assess the contents. The algorithms are, obviously, secret.
The Guardian writer then goes on to assert that Memeorandum is better than Google News. I think that's an apples and oranges comparison. I use Memeorandum to keep up with what the blogs are saying, whereas Google News I use to search for specific stories.

The two most important features at Memeorandum are the "New Item Finder" and "Featured Posts." Keep track of those, and if you're not precisely "ahead of the curve" on the state of the blogosphere, you're certainly up-to-date.

UPDATE: Mary Katharine Ham also does some aggregating. She doesn't have an algorithm, but she does have a great smile.

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