TechMeme still Rulez!

[Following is this is a revision of a post I did over at – the Silicon Valley social networking and tech education group] . 

For bloggers, Gabe Rivera’s TechMeme has become a top technology watering hole, ranking and finding great blog posts and tracking the discussions that form around them.

Fred Wilson, a New York Venture Capitalist and great blogger, is lamenting the good old days when he thinks TechMeme had more of the stuff he wants to read – more of the old guard tech bloggers and fewer popular newspaper articles.

Unlike Fred, I’m happy with what I see as a diversification of the early TechMeme post universe. I’ve never been comfortable with the idea that the “old guard” does all the best blogging, and TechMeme does a great job of unearthing new voices for me.    Frankly, I’d like to see even more new voices.   As I’ve noted here before we need a blogging revolution (hmmm – I guess I’m too lazy to lead it?!   I was supposed to get Scoble a list of “great new voices” and have not done that yet, though it’s on “The List”).     My criticism of TechMeme is more along the lines that by design it will become too focused on the insider rumor mill rather than the most significant technology news stories.    But I appreciate the fact that you want “most significant story” to be defined by objective processes rather than a handful of editors.  TechMeme is doing a great job of that so far.

In general I find I prefer the new fresh voices to the old ones.  Fred wrote that he likes new voices too but appears to be tired of TechMeme’s increasing number of legacy media stories about tech issues.  I agree the old schoolf folks often miss the big picture, but they are driving much of the national debate on these issues so I want their take as well as the insiders angle from well-connected bloggers.    I also appreciate that legacy media folks check their spelling, usage, and their facts – a point that should not be lost on many bloggers including this one.    (But the spell checking takes an extra 30 seconds …. I have no time for THAT inconvenience!)

Thanks to TechMeme I find a lot quickly, and I also have the site doing some of the human filtering for me because I know Gabe won’t run lousy blogs.   Are people writing specifically to TechMeme to get links there, as Fred notes?   Sure they are, but this just creates the challenge we get with all news media – a sort of echo chamber where all the insiders are talking about the same stuff.   That challenge is not really TechMeme’s fault – the solution for that is more good bloggers which will diversify the conversations even more and get people talking about things and linking to things they had not though about before.  

[groaning] after I wrote the post above, TechMeme managed to have one of it’s dumbest top stories in some time – a clear indication of how insulated our silly tech community can become from real world issues. 

Google “like” Phone Pictures. Bug labs modular phone to run Android SDK

Update: The headlines are misleading.   This phone is not by Google, but will be able to run “Android”, the Googley operating sytem from the Open Handset Alliance.   This is an important development but different from a true phone from Google.     

There are reports that a Google Phone or gPhone will be out shortly.   Here are some pictures. There is not much buzz about this yet so I’m not clear about the source of these rumors, but it makes sense to me that Google will put something out much earlier than the “middle of 2008” we’ve seen in a lot of reports.

Based on the early pix I’m not sure this device is going to win any design awards – looks more like a geek design than the stylish iPhone design that has helped make Apple the clear “smartphone to beat” and brought them such success in this market.    However on balance I think that *cost* will be the key.     If the gPhone can come in under $100 and do all the neat things promised by Android and the Open Handset Alliance, I think it’ll be so broadly adopted as to be an unstoppable mobile force.