Thoughts on meme-tracking services

February 6, 2006

Don Dodge writes about several meme-tracking services popping up all over the internet (also see this article on TechCrunch), and what the cirtera will be for those that want to survive the shake-out in this arena.

I think it’s quite apparant that due to the flood of information that overwhelms us (I blaim the bloggers :-)), we need a good way of monitoring those things that interest us.

Services like those provided by memeorandum or technorati seem to be quite popular nowadays. But if you observe their userbase you notice that it mostly consists of
people that belong to the person2.0 profile (I’m talking about people that blog or read blogs quite often).

But what about people that aren’t that deep into the whole tech/blogosphere and simply want to stay up to date in their own little piece of the world?

Take for instance somebody that develops software for a living (somebody just like myself). To stay on top of the newest tools or techniques we need to either keep track of a lot of weblogs (my preferred way) or depend on knowledge passed on to us by our co-workers or any trade magazines. Fact is that a lot of people simply don’t have the time to read ~150 rss feeds a day.

Meme trackers could be an excellent tool for these kind of people to stay on top of the blogosphere without having to invest a lot of time in reading. But only if we happen to have meme trackers tracking this specific domain of software development (which in itself can be quite huge when looking at the vast majority of available platforms).
You can even take this a step further and combine this with social tagging to build a profile of the user in which our tracker can predict what the user might find interesting…

I’ll let you in on a little secret. For a while now I have been experimenting and building a prototype of a social tagging site doing exactly this. I talked about domain specific search engines before, imagine the disturbance this might cause with the big boys (Google, Yahoo, MSN) when a lot of these domain specific trackers slash social tagging containers slash search engines start popping up…

Update: a few minutes after posting this I read on John Batelle’s blog about Krugle (they have a blog, subscribed)… a domain specific search engine dedicated to finding code and everything related. It has begun :-)


2 Responses to “Thoughts on meme-tracking services”

  1. Waseem

    I absolutely understand your problem. I designed because I was trying to read 400 feeds a day just to pick out maybe 5 or 10 interesting, useful posts. There was no way to sort through the chaff.

    I designed into chuquet the ability to have user-specific customisation; in your case it might be coding tools, techniques and samples. Chuquet would be able to give you a summary just around your interest area.

    Now this feature isn’t live yet, because we’re redesigning it to be OPML-driven. However, your post really neatly describes the kind of problem chuquet is aiming at.

  2. waseem Says:

    Hi Laurence,

    Your site looks interesting, will definatly keep an eye on that.

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