Mike Arrington has another Ode to Memeorandum on Techcrunch. I’m a big fan of tech.memeorandum too and it’s changing the way I read blogs and catch up with the latest tech news. My first rave review of memeorandum was a month ago when it went live and since then I’ve met Gabe in person – and seen how dedicated he is to developing it.
Some people have commented that the UI of tech.memeorandum needs more work. Basically it’s all text and is organized by story/article. The popular and most linked-to articles have bolder and bigger headlines, so they stand out more. Relevant or related links are added below the main article – and the beauty of it is individual posts don’t need to actually link to each other for this to happen. Recency is another factor in where the article is placed. The strength of memeorandum, IMHO (and I’m slightly biased I think, having met Gabe and become friends with him) is that the algorithms are very strong and are automated.
Memeorandum is indeed probably more automated than Google News, because Google News selects all of its news sources and Gabe only selects *some* of his news sources – the rest of the sources bubble up as the conversation brews.
But back to the UI, I think it can be improved still. But the fact I now visit and reload the webpage multiple times a day – and that *I don’t* subscribe to its RSS feed – tells you that tech.memeorandum has literally become an RSS Aggregator for me. Now what would be awesome is if I could have a personalized memeorandum, where I could enter my 200+ feeds and let memeorandum sort and filter them for me. But there are other factors to consider, for example a few of my personal subscriptions (friends, family, etc) don’t link to others in my subscription list – so they wouldn’t make it onto a memeorandum-style layout. But I do think it’s worth RSS Aggregators considering clustering techniques like memeorandum’s, in order to improve the user experience when reading hundreds of feeds.
On a related topic, Fred has a great post on Reading Lists – an intriguing concept whereby people can save a list of their favourite blogs/RSS sources and distribute them to other people via OPML. Dave Winer has more details on Reading Lists, including mentioning that the Web 2.0 Workgroup will maintain one. Reading Lists is another thing that could disrupt the traditional news reading paradigm. More on that in a later post.
Finally, I came across another interesting news re-organization service on Digg today (itself a news re-organizer). It’s called Newsmap and it’s a mash-up of Google Maps and Reuters news and “displays the most recent news from Reuters news agency on the place they take place.” It’s an interesting concept, mapping news articles by place, but not fully fleshed out yet.
What all of these services have in common is that they’re remixing not only news, but the way we track and read news. It’s almost like it’s a step beyond RSS now, even though they all use RSS (or a related XML format like OPML) to organize news. Perhaps this is a sign that RSS has become a mature platform for innovation in news presentation and delivery.