Memeorandum has become essential

I have been hard on Memeorandum in the past, believing that its story selection algorithm’s were too narrow, that it promoted a small subset of the Web, but just look at it. Look at it again.

Memeorandum is the only one stop shop on the Web to get exposed to both sides of the political conversation taking place. That admirable, helpful, and downright impressive. No one else does this and I am thankful I can go there each day to get a round up of what’s being discussed in the political sphere.

Sean Blanda on Remixing the News

eMedia: Remix the News: “Remix the News: what news can learn from and Pandora”: “there is no service that adequately customizes content to my tastes based on previous reading”

A good read with some important ideas. The only thing close I can think of is Google Reader’s recommendations which are based upon my clicking activity in Google Reader.

One of the commenters in Sean’s post added some thoughts about ‘intelligent serendipity’. ‘Intelligent Serendipity’ will be all important if we intend to help people get the news they need to hear, but might not be aware of it.

Some links on ‘intelligent serendipity’:

Jeff Jarvis: “Serendipity is unexpected relevance”

Chis Anderson: “What would it take to build a true “serendipity-maker”?”

Mathew Ingram: “In defence of newspapers and serendipity”

Inside “The Random Guardian”

Somewhere in here is the news experience of the future. Helping people connect with what they are interested in, and helping them connect with what they would (should?) be interested in, but just aren’t aware of it yet. Isn’t that the essence of ‘news’?

Online heroes – Ushahidi

“Africa’s Gift to Silicon Valley: How to Track a Crisis”: “a small Kenyan-born organization called Ushahidi, which has become a hero of the Haitian and Chilean earthquakes and which may have something larger to tell us about the future of humanitarianism, innovation and the nature of what we label as truth.


Ushahidi: Crowdsourcing Crisis Information (FOSS)

Developer information on their wiki

The NYTimes gets into Blog Aggregation!

TechCrunch: NYTimes Blogrunner v. TechMeme.

They are using a technique I had originally suggested while I worked at to handle the enormous legal and quality concerns – use a third party aggregator service like Blogrunner.

Bravo to the NYTimes 🙂

Emptied Bloglines account

On Friday, in a moment of either clarity…or something else… I removed all of my subscriptions from Bloglines. I had grown frustrated with my habit of checking a few times an hour for updates. I’ve mentioned before that Memeorandum is like crack. Well Bloglines is like cigarettes.

One thing I immediately miss is keeping up with my friends across the web. I feel partially disconnected. But at the same time, I’ve found myself more focused.

This isn’t an anti-RSS screed. I’m thinking there is something about Bloglines that, for me, makes it too easy to distract myself from what’s important.

So, what comes next…. hmmmmm….

Some tech/media/online community/citizen journalism bits

Google blog search launches in beta! More at Om Malik’s and at Paid Content. I have no opinion yet. Got to do some digging.

The Columbia Journalism Review was with the Times Picayune in New Orleans as it produced its powerful and amazing coverage during the course Katrina and the devestation wrought afterwards. Read their report. More at Metafilter.

Congrats to Jeff Jarvis, who will be starting a a new job heading the City University of New York’s new media program.

Roland Tanglao has a recipie to build your own Memeorandum: Drupal + Aggregator2 + Algorithms = Memeorandum.

The NYTimes planning an aggregator?

OJR: NY Times explodes wall between print, Web

At the Times, Nisenholtz has ambitions to super-charge the Web site and take it beyond the realm of newspaper sites and into the top tier of news sites online. He told me he envisioned multimedia reports going from two to three reports per day to 30 or 40 reports daily, while also building out a new aggregation service that would take on Google News.

“Google News was the fastest growing news site in the first six months of the year,” Nisenholtz said. “So we have to be as good as anyone else at doing that and meanwhile put in our own Times special sauce — which is our journalism — that will always differentiate us. If you look at those as the two pillars of our future, you can think about how we’re approaching this next phase. Weblogs are great, they’re part of the information universe, and people ought to have access to them, and we should make that access as seamless as possible.”

“filters, aggregators and producers”

The Long Tail: Brands: response:

…my point about brands becoming people rather than products or companies is specific to long tail markets. In short tail markets, such as traditional retail, I imagine that the usual brands will continue to dominate for a good long time.

Second, here’s a little more detail on the role of people as “branded filters” in the long tail: There are, as it happens, three main long tail businesses: filters, aggregators and producers. Each of those will have its own sort of brands, but those brands are all related in that they’re increasingly about real people, rather than abstract advertising messages, invented characters or slogans.