Two years into Techmeme: Noting some changes

So Techmeme, Gabe Rivera’s addictive aggregator, launched roughly two years ago. Boy, things were different back then. As I remember it, Gabe was crashing at Arrington’s house, TechCrunch was a way to study start-ups and Edgeio took off,and Scoble, Winer, Kos and kottke were among the fellas who ruled the blogosphere. Ross Mayfield was a huge influence.
Here we are in 2007, and Techmeme’s much more fully featured, TechCrunch is today’s CNET, and the top blogs on the lists are mostly commercial ventures with scads of writers.
This is a post about some of the changes and what I’ve noted:
1) The top 100 blogosphere seems even more male than it was in 2005. We don’t see many women in the top 100 tech links these days–and the ones who used to have great play– Shelley Powers, Halley Suitt, Mary Hodder–have dialed in way down– Halley’s blog is invite only. Shelley is still writing, but seems less linked to, and Mary is running a company–and posting less.
2) Many of the top blogs are commercial ventures–the Lifehackers, Engadgets, Read/Write Web, GigaOm–often spawned by good bloggers who saw a business opportunity in their passion.
3) Tech blogs today–especially those on TechMeme–tend to be more about breaking news stories–truly replacing CNET–and less about tech insights and reflections. Dave Winer, Fred Wilson, get some play as commentators (as do I) but the prevalence of bloggers with observations–as opposed to those playing the role of the tech press-get much less play now on TechMeme–or are just outnumbered.
4) Have the commentators become a smaller part of the tech blogosphere? Or is it that the new-driven folks, sensing the great ability to get ad dollars and audience, have stepped it up so much those other voices seem quieter by comparison?
5) And what is the balance of women’s voices on TechMeme? Does the service (which I love) reflect the best commentators and bloggers out there in the best and most diverse way? (Yes, when you love something you ask more of it–Gabe–the service rocks, so these are in the search for perfection questions…)
6) And how about that sk-rt? Anything there?

Latest Comments

  1. Gabe says:

    Hi Susan,
    I think you’re right about the breaking news shift. The problem with tech commentary: I don’t believe a news aggregator composed mainly on commentary from individual bloggers would do too well. (Though sprinkling in exceptional pieces is fine.)
    I’m not sure women are more absent in 2007. It may in fact be the opposite with female staff writers reporting much of the news on AllThingsD, GigaOm, PaidContent, CNet, ZDNet, Valleywag, Mashable, etc.

  2. deb schultz says:

    Sue – keep the perspective and insights coming – breaking news a dime a dozen, but insights are needed.

Latest Comments

Comments are closed.