Techmeme. It's the site that catches you up when you get behind, lets you know what happened while you slept, and tracks the buzz (and yes, the echoes, too) of the tech blogosphere. Other competitors exist, but no one - not even Google - seems to be able to compete.Love it or hate it, but there's no arguing that the go-to aggregator for finding the top tech news of the day all on one page is none other than the news portal
So why even bother covering yet another Techmeme wannabe? Because competition is important. Techmeme may do a great job, but innovation can still be found elsewhere.
So who's the new contender? It's a site called TechNews.AM, "your morning dose of tech news." Given that tag line, it's clear they know just who their target demographic is: the geeks who start their day, coffee in hand, browsing through the latest stories from across the blogosphere.
Before you get too judgmental about the site's shortcomings, take note of their other tag line: "SSSH, NOT EVEN IN ALPHA YET." In other words, what we see now may not be the final product. Your complaints and feature requests could still be resolved by the time it goes gold.
The first thing you'll notice about the site is that its structure is very different from that of Techmeme. Instead of headlines and "echoing" links, each article is its own headline and standalone post. The posts are sorted into two main columns: "Popular Today," which seems to look back on the past 24 hours, and "Upcoming," which features the breaking stories, all of which are time-stamped for freshness. In a sidebar, the popular stories and topics (tags) of the week are featured as well.
The thing that's most appealing about TechNews.AM's layout, though, is the sub-categories across the top which feature tech blogosphere niches like gadgets, marketing, mobile, search engines, social media, UX, web development, startups, jobs, management, and opinion. This is a pretty accurate reflection of precisely the kinds of categories we already have set up in Google Reader, so it looks like TechNews.AM could almost function as an alternative to RSS, at least for the more casual news consumer if not for the pro bloggers hunting for stories. It's also going to appeal to people who are generally only interested in tracking one or two niches, as each sub-page tracks the headlines, the popular tags, and the most read stories of the day and the week.
More of an Aggregator than Memetracker
Beyond that, there isn't much more to this news portal just yet. It's clear that it currently functions more as an aggregator than a memetracker, so Techmeme may have nothing to worry about. The sources for the news at TechNews.AM also seem limited to the top blogs you would expect and the site doesn't appear capable of highlighting the serendipitous B-List and C-List blogs that occasionally break news on Techmeme.
TechNews.AM is powered by memeriver, a social media strategy and web development agency that also runs a similar site called queensspeech. That "sister site," if you will, features gay news, views, and opinion and may hint towards where TechNews.AM is headed in terms of features and structure. (Note: queensspeech may be NSFW depending, as language is uncensored).
As it stands now, we don't see TechNews.AM killing Techmeme by any means, but we like its clean layout and sub-categories for tracking niche tech news. That said, we're not sure if it will become a daily read of ours unless they add in more sources.