Social Media Weblogging

Define Noise

This is a test as well as a story. Scoble is very excited about a new service, Memeorandum, that ‘floats’ most linked stories to the top in two specific categories: technology and politics/current affairs. Contrary to some others who have been critical of the UI, I found it clean and relatively simple to comprehend.

I would tend to think of the service as something similar to Daytop 40 or Blogdex, but highlighted by topic and with a few more goodies, such as links to the other search services. Cool enough, except that Robert mentioned a couple of things in his post that got my attention:

… he doesn’t look at all of the blogs in the world (unless you hit preferences and start using the blog search services he’s linked in). Huh? How cool can that be if it doesn’t include your Uncle Joe who wrote code one time back in college?

It’s very cool, because it has very low noise. In fact, I’ve been visiting this 10 to 50 times a day for the last few months and I’ve never seen something that I would call noise or spam.

Define ‘noise’, Robert? Anyone that doesn’t rank? This does lead to an interesting new definition for the semantic web: a web of means, rather than a web of meaning.

According to Gabe, the site developer and architect, the goals are memeorandum are:

1. Recognize the web as editor: There’s this notion that blogs collectively function as news editor. No, not every last blog on Earth. Tapping the thoughts of all of humanity uniformly would predictably lead to trivial, even spammy “news”. But today there are rather large communities of knowledgeable, sophisticated commentators, (and yes) even reporters writing on the web, signaling in real time what’s worthy of wider discussion. I want memeorandum to tap this signal.

2. Rapidly uncover new sources: Sometimes breaking news is posted to a blog created just to relate that news. Sometimes the author of the most insightful analysis piece at 2PM was a relative unknown at 1PM. It happens. I want memeorandum to highlight such work, without delay.

3. Relate the conversation: Communication on the web naturally tends toward conversation. It follows from human nature plus the Internet’s immediacy. Blog posts react to news articles, essays reference editorials. And links abound. Yet most news sites do very little to relate the form of conversations unfolding in real time. Some seem to deny that a conversation is even occurring. I want memeorandum to be a clear exception.

This confirms that only certain weblogs are canvassed for links. In Robert’s post, I asked Gabe to provide a listing of the weblogs he canvasses for both politics and technology.

We’ll see if this shows up in the service. If not, either I don’t rank, or if I do, I don’t rank as a technology blog. Stay tuned…

I did show up, quite quickly. I feel all red carpety and gold starred. I also showed up, as quickly though, in the IceRocket list for Scoble’s link. Another question I had for Gabe was if he originally pulls lead stories from the canvassed weblogs, and then uses the search engines to pull additional links as they come available.

I also wonder if his bot is the one that signs itself “Mmm…. Brains….”

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