Site icon Jake Ludington

Memeorandum and Fake Relevance

I screwed up. As Gabe points out in the comments, Memeorandum did feature the Scoble post about his quitting Memeorandum on Sunday. I searched for it on their site and didn’t see it, which is probably in part because there’s no real search feature. Still I should have done a better job of tracking the link down before I complained.
As a result, I’m changing the title of this post from Memeorandum and Fake Transparency and rethinking some of what I said, because Fake Relevance hits closer to my point. Scoble speaks fairly highly of Memeorandum’s ability to dirve traffic, so I’ll assume that it does. The Alexa ranking (for all the flaws in that benchmark) certainly suggests Memeorandum gets tons of traffic. Where that traffic goes is anyone’s guess.
I say fake relevance for the same reasons I made my original post. At the time of the first writing, the top story on TailRank.com was the post made by Robert Scoble about taking a break from Memorandum.
At the time I mistakenly thought it wasn’t on Memeorandum. Gabe pointed me in the right direction, but I’m failing to see how Memeorandum accurately tracks the discussion because there are only 4 posts discussing the story. As of the current date stamp on this post, TailRank now shows 32 different sites linking to the Scoble post, which doesn’t even include this post. Further analysis might reveal more links. Heck, even del.icio.us finds 5 people who found it bookmark worthy.
Curiously, the topic shows up nowhere on tech.memeorandum.com even though similar topics frequently bubble to the top on both services. While I’m sure Memeorandum is currently reeling from losing their biggest cheerleader for a week, I don’t think filtering the conversation to avoid negative comments is the way to deal with it. The top story on Memeorandum as I write this is certainly more interesting, with coverage of the proposed merger between BellSouth and ATT, however, I find it hard to believe Scoble doesn’t rank anywhere in the list considering he frequently finds himself in the top 10 stories.
As Gabe states in the comments, he makes no claims of transparency in relation to Memeorandum, so my accusation in that regard is certainly unfair. At the same time, it would be interesting to know what metrics are used in determining what gets included in Memeorandum’s listings because updating quickly is not the best determinant of useful information.
I personally find the stories on TailRank consistently more suited to my own reading tastes than what appears on Memeorandum, particularly because Memeorandum skews toward featuring the same bloggers over-and-over. At the same time, I think Robert may be taking this to the extreme. TailRank is my litmus test for what’s going on in the blogs, my feed list serves the purpose of discovering things I won’t see everywhere else. Memeorandum could easily serve the same purpose, assuming they aren’t filtering their echo chamber of any potential negative reference to Memeorandum. Like most of Web 2.0, the transparency seems to getting a little opaque. although it’s hard to find breaking news when there’s only a few channels for getting it to the front page.

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