An interesting update from TechMeme regarding their new use of a human in the loop. The post talks a lot about the results being better – but I don’t see any clear description of what their criteria are. The thing I get out of these sites in addition to timely notification of news stories, is an indication of how much attention a news story is getting. For me, it is very interesting if suddenly everyone is linking to an old news story because it is suddenly relevant in the context of a recent issue.
Ultimately, this direction will push TechMeme and related sites in the direction of tools to assist editors in selecting news items. Their goal is to break news stories, which is quite different from tracking what is important to bloggers and what is getting attention. Personally, I think that the latter is way more interesting as the agenda is emergent and synthetic. In the editorial model, if the editor thinks a certain story is ‘important’ it will find its way to the top of the stack. Will TechMeme be able to continue to differentiate?