Gabe Rivera’s TechMeme is a favorite info destination for thousands of technology enthusiasts and news junkies all over the world. However Bobbie Johnson over at the Guardian has taken a mini-swipe at TechMeme, suggesting that the relative low traffic from the site shows that people are overrating TechMeme’s importance in the scheme of things technological.
Robert Scoble, in response, has a great summary of how he gets very different traffic depending on the source. Although he does not focus on the *topic*, clearly that matters a lot as well. Scoble’s blog is influential enough that it would often send more traffic to a linked site than TechMeme. I’ll have to check my own stats to be sure but I the times I’ve had links from ”A list” bloggers like Robert Scoble, Jeremy Zawodny or Matt Cutts it has sent more traffic than my frequent links at TechMeme – though I have never had a post be a “headliner” at TechMeme. In fact I don’t think Gabe’s algorithm would allow his “second tier” sites to have featured posts. My (wild) guess is that TechMeme has at least two lists of blogs/sites, and only sites and blogs on his top tier list can have the posts featured prominently – others are relegated to the comments section even if it’s a more detailed, more linked, or better post.
I think this ”small stable of premier technology sites” may be a potential defect at TechMeme that keeps the Tech echo chamber very loud but not very diverse, though Gabe may have learned that this helps keep irrelevant posts out of the mix. At SES I was talking with Matt Cutts about how the TechMeme algorithm might work, and how it might be applied to a broader set of blogs as a ranking mechanism.
Nick Carr jumped on this TechMeme traffic bashing bandwagon suggesting “juicelessness” which is a cleverly coined phrase but misleading because TechMeme clearly reaches a lot of key technology folks and that’s a juicier kind of audience in terms of advertising and influence than, say, 16 year old Diggers.
So, I’m sticking with TechMeme and redict it’ll get bigger and better.