Why Not Rename To TechCrunchMeme?

    March 27, 2008
    WebProNews Staff

Ready, set, bloviate. So, at the top of TechMeme’s Leaderboard, which ranks the publications according to their presence on the aggregation site, it shows TechCrunch as the go-to blog for all things tech or, assumedly, tech-business related.

TechCrunch, presumably on the credible weight of Michael Arrington, accounts for seven percent of the topics sprouting up on TechMeme, a number that, at a glance, would seem low on any given day. That seven percent trumps information from CNET, The New York Times, and Reuters, which is way down at number twelve, which tells you how site-creator Gabe Rivera feels about Reuters.

TechMeme's Leaderboard

Robert Scoble has a lengthy video explanation of how TechMeme works, how to game it, and how TechCrunch will appear at the top even without anybody linking to it. If you have 36 minutes, give it a shot. At the beginning of the first video (yes, the first video, because he’s interrupted by a crying baby, something nobody’s going to fault him for), Scoble "reverse engineers" TechMeme to find that Rivera has weighted Arrington’s blog disproportionately because Arrington is the go-to guy in Silicon Valley.

And that makes TechCrunch, according to Scoble and maybe Rivera, a more credible source than the aforementioned news heavyweights, and yes, dear readers, more than even WebProNews, which at one time was sixty-something, a little above where the Washington Post is now, but has since fallen to 83, relegated to the company of comScore, but still beating the crap out of Fortune, ZDNet, and USA Today.

But we shouldn’t focus on who is above whom; all that compare-and-dispair stuff is unhealthy. WebProNews nor I need all that external validation anyway, we’ll just go on strolling through the soft fields hedging our delusions of grandeur and be happy with what Whitney Houston once referred to as The Greatest Love Of All. It’ll have to do until Bobby shows up with the pipe.

This isn’t a slam at TechCrunch, either, which is a good source of insider-y information, so good that the New York Times’ TechMeme-alternative, Blogrunner, gives it its due among the papers of record as well, despite how often those Silicon Valley rumors turn out to be cry-wolf look-at-me parties. Now if only Blogrunner could be faster and a bit more inclusive (there’s a lot more human editing going on at Blogrunner than TechMeme), there might be a better site for keeping up with the real-time explosive conversations peppering the blogosphere at any given moment, and we wouldn’t have to look at TechMeme and sigh, "Duncan Riley again?"

Not that it’s always a bad thing. It was kind of fun on March 14th, at least.

But today’s snapshot just seemed silly, even if not uncommon. Today Mike Butcher at TechCrunchUK gets top-billing for reporting British newspaper The Guardian had hired Yahoo developer Matt McAlister. In a related story, Matt McAlister blogs about his new gig at The Guardian. Just below that topic, Riley relates news of Chris Pirillo’s new community CMS project. Discussion of the topic can be found at Pirillo’s blog, where he also talks about his new community CMS project.

Kind of reminiscent of the time Fred Wilson "lit a fire" and Arrington got to tell everyone about it.

Far be it from anybody to tell Rivera how he should weight the sources that appear on his site. That’s up to him and according to whatever contract he’s worked out with Arrington*. But it does seem kind of crappy some of these bloggers don’t get to tell their own stories because TechCrunch has a louder microphone.  
*That was said in jest. We have no evidence of backroom (or living room) dealings.