Home Tailrank 2.0 – How Does It Compare To Techmeme?

Tailrank 2.0 – How Does It Compare To Techmeme?

Back in February I wrote a post entitled Rating the Meme
. At the time I rated Memeorandum (now known as Techmeme) as the best, but I thought Topix and Tailrank
were right up there too. Tailrank has just launched a new version, labeled – you guessed
it – Tailrank 2.0. It
has a new UI, but the main change is an overhaul of its ranking algorithms. Developer
Kevin Burton wrote:

“Tailrank now breaks stories faster, cluster them better, and generally does a better
job at finding the hottest news in the blogosphere.”

In terms of how it performs compared to market leader Techmeme, an easy way to compare
these news tracking services is to do a spot check and see which one covers the most
interesting stories. Right now (9pm PST on a Monday) Tailrank’s tech homepage is


The differences

Both sites covered similar top stories, with slightly different ranking – MySpace
predators, Edelman/Wal-Mart. And my own recent featured post, Movable Type
Enterprise 1.5 Launched
, shows up in similar places. Really not a lot of difference,
in the main stories at least. A longer analysis would uncover whose algorithms are the
best – in timeliness, relevancy, etc.

One point of difference is how many sites each tracks. Tailrank currently tracks
around 150,000 blogs and news websites. And Kevin told me they’re going to expand their
index even more in the next few weeks “and slowly grow Tailrank into a larger blog
tracking service.” Techmeme relies on a smaller set for its base index – which as Techcrunch
points out, has been an issue in the blogosphere at times.

The main immediate difference though is in the UIs and featuresets. The Tailrank UI is colorful
and the scannability has definitely improved since last time I reviewed
. Techmeme’s UI is more sparse, but easier to scan – which is what I personally
like about it.

Tailrank also has a number of nice ‘extra’ features – e.g. search, ability
to track a specific thread by RSS or IM, list of top posts from yesterday. Techmeme
doesn’t have those extras. But when it comes down to it – what Techmeme does do, it does
extremely well (i.e. track news). And that after all is the primary reason for its

So in summary I like Tailrank’s improvements. But it’s still to prove itself in terms of
its news tracking algorithms, which is what Techmeme excels at. The ‘news tracking’ space
is always interesting to watch though, so let’s see if Tailrank 2.0 performs well and so attracts bloggers as much
as Techmeme has.

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