I just had one of those AHA moments, when something clicked into place, and the only question is how to share the idea, because this is one that’s just begging to be shared.
So I called Scoble, to make sure I wasn’t out of my mind, and he got excited and said “You’re onto something.” Here’s the thing. I figured out why I’m bored with Meme-O-Randum, and what I really want, and why.
The seed of the idea
I noticed something the other day about how I read Meme-O-Randum. I look in the upper-right corner first, to find the new stuff. Duh. Why did it take me a few months to figure this out. The left column, the big long one, the one that Gabe thinks I’m most interested in, is actually totally boring. The stories are always the same. Maybe one or two stories enter the list every hour.
But over in my aggregator, I get hundreds of new stories every hour. Hundreds. Guess which is more interesting. By a mile. By a thousand miles. Even though the aggregator is dumb, it just shows me the new stuff in the feeds I’m subscribed to, and Meme-O-Randum is smart, it knows what’s relevant, my aggregator gives me more new thought-stimulating stuff every time I look. Meme-O-Randum hasn’t been rewarding me for my attention for quite some time. So what do I want? Read the title of this post. I want the best of both worlds.
Show me the new stuff
On Wednesday night I talked about the magic that was weblogs.com in 1999, 2000 and 2001, when the weblog world was small, and you could get a handful of new pointers and visit the newly-updated blogs, every hour, and find something interesting on many of them.
Today I want my meme-tracker to get less discriminating. I don’t want to only see the stories that most people are interested in, I want interesting stories. More offbeat stuff. And I want much more than what I’m getting.
I want the right column to move into the middle, and get rid of what’s in the left column. Once a day is enough to know what the top stories are. That’s why newspapers evolved that way because when you get a newspaper everything in it is new. It’s not suited to a news-oriented website that you might visit twelve or twenty times a day.
I’m seeing the same top stories over and over and over. That’s why (according to my theory) Scoble went back to his aggregator. That’s why the part of the blogosphere that’s paying attention to Meme-O-Randum is stagnating and flaming, because of the strange 20th-century type of ladder that the left column of Meme-O-Randum is.
Flatten it out, get less picky, turn the ladder into a river, and I bet some of the magic comes back. I’m not sure it’s right, but the only way to find out is to try it.
I didn’t explain it well enough, because I’m getting emails saying that people already have this and they don’t. Here is a list of some of the features.
1. Reverse-chronologic order. Every item gets a shot at being the top item.
2. Not grouped by which site they came from or which type of site they came from.
3. The relevance algorithm gets looser so that more items make the grade.
About the left-column, if you like it you can keep it. However, I would only go there a few times during the day, while I would look at the River of Memes many times during the day. Would all the discussion items appear in the river? Of course they would.
Have a nice day.