The Mighty New York Times vs. Gabe’s One-Man Techmeme: Who will Index News Better? Gabe Gripes about paidContent

By on 11/01/2007 11:49 PM @beet_tv

Earlier today, The New York Times unveiled a system to index blog and news sources into a  dynamic  feed on the tech page

It’s titled "Technology Headlines from Around the Web."  The system is based on an automated algorithm developed by Philippe Lourier, the developer of Blogrunner, a Web site the paper
bought last year.

Saul Hansell, editor of technology coverage at the has spearheaded the effort and blogs about it on Bits tonight.  It’s been getting some positive reviews from some sharp observers including Richard MacManus at Read/Write Web.

Unlike Techmeme, which is totally automated, Blogrunner incorporates the input of live editors.  It will be interesting to see how this shapes up.

I have reposted my interview with Techmeme’s Gabe Rivera done in Hollywood in May.  Gabe does it all himself in his home in Silicon Valley.

He is a powerful one-man operation, for sure.  Despite his influence, and the wrath he incurs from bloggers who don’t make it on his site, he is having a great time.  He is doing well selling sponsored positions on the site and he enjoys being independent. He told me he has turned down acquisition overtures from a number of big media companies. 

Gabe Takes a Shot at Coverage in paidContent

The normally taciturn and press shy programmer took a swipe at the paidContent in a comment on a post about Blogrunner on the Times. 

  • From Gabe
    Thu 01 Nov 2007 04:41 PM

    Techmeme actually mentioned on paidContent!  Almost believed Techmeme
    was of no consequence to the media industry until the above allowance
    of a characterization.

    Uncorking champagne now

Reached by e-mail last night, Gabe declined to comment about The Times and Blogrunner, He told  me why he posted a comment on paidContent.  It was to "make fun of them for ignoring Techmeme for 2 years."

You can grab my interview with Gabe right here.

Update 11/4:   Michael Arrington at TechCrunch published a follow-up story yesterday about the relative power of Techmeme and The New York Times use of Blogrunner.  He notes that the amount of traffic from the Times new blog index utility is tiny compared to Techmeme.  We find the same patterns at Beet.TV

But, The Times is new — plus the format of single column of headlines in middle of the Technology News site is a good but not a compelling user interface. The clickthrough to the full page is very good, but I’m not sure if it’s discovered just yet. Also, Techmeme is updated every few minutes, the Times site seems is a bit behind the immediate news cycle. I expect this will all evolve.  For me, we are thrilled to see Beet.TV on both Techmeme and The New York Times!

— Andy Plesser



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