Ben Metcalfe raised a similar question earlier today, noting that TechMeme didn’t differentiate between professional publications like the NY Times, Reuters and CNET and TechCrunch, Engadget and GigaOm. It’s not clear what the distinction is. I don’t see any of those pubs as being blogs, so I think Gabe did the right thing, just lump them all together and let god (or mashups) sort them out.
A pragmatic question for people who want to follow the TechMeme LeaderBoard — it’s clearly not practical to look at it as frequently as it could change, every 20 minutes.
So what kind of tool do we need to tell us about change? Email notification? An RSS feed for each site? I’m interested in knowing what people think.
Speaking of being #1, this blog is first on MSN for bricked iPhone. Needless to say it’s generating some traffic. :-)
There’s a lot you can do with the Flickr API, I’ve pretty much mastered it, and it may look a bit intimidating at first, but it’s well designed, and once you learn how to do one set of calls you pretty much know how to do the others. I would have relied more heavily on XML-RPC encoding for uploading pictures, but now that I’ve been uploading pictures for a couple of months, the pain of developing that glue is fading.
BTW, I’ve got glue for the OPML Editor, it should work well in Radio or Frontier. I’ve exported a snapshot of the system.verbs.apps.Flickr, for all to use. It may be included in any distribution. (To be clear, OPML Editor users don’t need this, it’s already in the update stream, just choose Update opml.root from the File menu.)
Anyway, I want to expand the Flickr/Twitter experiment, but before I do that I wanted to check with the Flickr folk because this service does a lot of polling of their RSS feeds. I suggested it might make sense to create a service that would allow a caller to find out which of the feeds its interested in have changed since the last time it checked.
They responded with a simpler feature, they implemented a Last-Modified header on the RSS feeds, so that you could skip processing if a feed you’re interested in hadn’t changed. I’ve now updated my code so it does that, and everything seems to work. You’ll find the script at Flickr.readFeed. Here’s a text listing of the script.
12PM: The TechMeme Leaderboard site is live.
Like almost everyone else, I keep track of who’s pointing to me in Technorati, a service that was created in a Thanksgiving programming binge by David Sifry, based on the output of (my own labor of love) weblogs.com.
Technorati grew to become a blog search engine, and much more, but as Mike Arrington points out on TechCrunch, their unique position has been whittled down by other blog search engines who are doing a better job technically. Not hard, since Technorati is famously unreliable.
Technorati is also famous for its top 100 list, ranking blogs according to the number of in-bound links. Scripting News started out as the #1 blog on Technorati, and occupied a top 10 slot for a long time, until they changed the algorithm to place less weight on long-term links, so Technorati’s list became a measure of recent popularity. News sites, that aren’t actually blogs (imho) became the mainstay of Technorati’s list. Today, Scripting News is solidly in the second 100 on Technorati.
Last night Mike Arrington got a scoop, as he so often does, that there’s a new list coming soon, from TechMeme, that ranks the sites based on some other measure, which is not (yet) understood in detail. Mike also has a screen shot, which teases, by showing that TechCrunch is number 1 (all those scoops make a diff) followed by Engadget and the New York Times. The Techmeme list doesn’t pretend to know what is a blog or isn’t they rate all sites regardless or race, creed or color.
But Mike’s screen shot teases, stopping at #30. What about the rest of the list? There are a hundred or more bloggers who want to know if they made the list, and if so, where they are. Brilliant marketing by Gabe, and damn you Mike. :-)
So I begged Gabe for the list, and he relented, and sent me an OPML file containing the data which I then turned into the list below. Enjoy!
4. Ars Technica
10. Wall Street Journal
11. The Register
22. Associated Press
27. Business Week
29. Business Wire
34. Rough Type
36. Scripting News
38. PR Newswire
44. PC World
45. Wired News
50. Washington Post
53. Times of London
57. Publishing 2.0
59. A VC
61. Download Squad
62. All Facebook
63. Financial Times
64. Boston Globe
66. Yodel Anecdotal
70. USA Today
71. Compete Blog
73. Apple 2.0
76. New York Post
77. Googling Google
78. iPhone Central
82. Digital Daily
85. Security Fix
90. Think Secret
94. O’Reilly Radar
100. Los Angeles Times
PS. This is a snapshot taken last night. The list is fairly volatile, according to Gabe, and will change quickly as stories move up and down the ladder at TechMeme.
PPS. The existence of this list will probably make getting stories on TechMeme even more highly valued than before, if this list is taken as gospel, as Technorati’s was, even with its flaws and skews. There was no correlation, for example, between flow and rank, a site with very high flow could have very low rank on Technorati, if it didn’t get many inbound pointers. It was just one measure, as TechMeme is just one measure.
Since the re-rollout of Office in 1996, it’s been really clear why Microsoft was so hell-bent at first owning and then suffocating the web browser, along with the web.
Tim Berners-Lee understood, before there was a Mozilla and a Netscape, he said the web was inherently a two-way medium. We struggled against the inadequacies of MSIE as a writing environment when blogging was booting up in the late 90s and early 00s. The air was mighty thin, which was no accident, Microsoft deliberately tried to keep us from breathing. Because for them, writing was not something that would be done in a web browser, if they improved their browser as a writing tool, that would be the end of Word, and with it, a big reason for using Office.
Synopsis: Microsoft wouldn’t let MSIE become a decent writing tool, because they were protecting Office.
I won’t shed a tear for Office. Good riddance, I say.
I use Google spreadsheet happily, even though it doesn’t have anywhere near the features of Excel, and is way slower. Every sacrifice I make there is something I’m giving back to the web to heal the Microsoft wound.
However, we traded one monster for another. It seems there must always be a certain amount of evil in the tech business. The Java Wars are behind us, as are the Browser Wars. No one is going to fight Google in the next war, I doubt if many will even protest.