Need a new Blog Tracker

I will get straight down to what I think about blog tracking instead of giving a winding story of my blogosphere experiences and what……. As it stands right now, the memetrackers and technorati’s of the world are supposed to be the best way to get to the “good(?)” content faster. Only problem who can tell which piece of content is better? Also who really gets rewarded for that content? Are the people show really the one’s to break the news?

To answer these questions, let’s look at how thousands of news stories really take off everyday. In my PoV there are 3 parts in which a story progresses. First is the press release. Now there can be thousands of press releases going out everyday that can include ones from Google telling people that it has acquired another startup or it can be for scam startup launching somewhere and looking for funding. Still both of them quantify as a press release. Now these are the easier ones I talked about. Take the case of Joyent Slingshot news couple of days back. If you have technical background, you can understand what is being talked about in that post. Otherwise you are pretty much clueless and just sit back and wait for someone to news into simple words. So this is the second step where an experienced blogger/techie understands the importance of the press release, compares it to what has happened till date in that field, how things are shaping up in future, and than puts the story into the right spot in the timeline and hierarchy of things. From there on the whole blogosphere jumps into the me-too-meme. Last one was the third step. 

Now the whole problem with this daily run is that the early catchers and me-too’s are not presented in the right manner. In other words, news stories are not presented in the same chronological order as the news had actually spread in the blogosphere. Is this the right manner in which news should be reported? I don’t think so. In effect who gets burnt? The first person who read a particular press release, understood the importance, and put out a blog post with his/her analysis. As for the blogger coming 24 hours late to the scene and trying to tell a story has in fact read analyses from others to come up with a nice summary without any original ideas. Do you really want to read such a blog? Or do you really want to get opinion from these people? Personally I don’t. Do the current trackers help you with these issues and enable you to get to the original source? No. What is the way out? Google Blog Search. hmm. Not a good idea on a busy day.

So here is my solution. Someone needs to build a slick interface that puts the press release(if any) and the first blog post to discuss about the news on the top. It is very important that this should be irrespective of the author who has written the first post. From there on connect the stories in the timeline they were published. Draw connecting arrows for stories that give linkbacks to their sources. For the rest of them without linkbacks, put them in a separate box somewhere at the bottom of the listing. These are the thankless bloggers and better be ignored. Again you shouldn’t really be looking at the blog post timelines since they can be easily manipulated. What else? Integrate a commenting section in the tracker itself. Provide a plugin to bloggers that shows the comments from tracker on their blog for each of the blog post aggregated by the tracker. Maybe add an option for blogger to mark comments relevant or irrelevant. There are more ideas……..

If someone can implement such a service I think it has the power to bring professionalism back to blogging that has vanished in the past few months and in turn replaced by contactism. From my PoV such a site can gain reputation of BBC for blogs. Such a service would for sure become a must recommend service from StartupSquad.

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7 Responses to “Need a new Blog Tracker”

  1. Carsten Ptter Says:

    While I sympathise with your point of view I think it won’t be easy to implement that kind of service. All blogs had to be tracked which will be impossible I guess. Also I think memetrackers are not to blame as they are (supposedly) looking for stories which have sparked discussion already. Usually the big blogs are first to look. If they have the story, others have it, too, or will follow -> me-too blog posts.

    Even the big tech blogs are responsible for it. The recent launch of Highrise being a perfect example. Many just posted screenshots from the Highrise tour and didn’t get into much detail because they presumably just took the tour and not signed up. It seems to be a race to have the big story first, or at least have it within a few others. No time to dig deeper. I am probably responsible for me-too blogging as well but sometimes I wonder if it’s worth subscribing to all those blogs when it was sufficient to read Techmeme.

  2. Startup Meme » Startup Squad Wants a new TechMeme Says:

    […] Startup Squad has highlighted a very real an imminent problem in the Technorati and TechMeme algorithm and visualization of blogosphere i.e “They dont archive the blog posts in a chronological order”. […]

  3. Andy Beard Says:

    Actually sometimes I don’t care, though I have reported similar things.

    What I would prefer is that when I report exclusive stories that at least I would get a mention.

    Some of the news stories I break don’t gain any links at all, yet I know they are being read by people able to make the news more widespread. Hell some of the stories I wish someone would plagiarise just so the information gets disseminated, because it can be important.

  4. Vivek Puri Says:

    Andy: Even i don’t care that i have reported in similar things ’cause i write my original stuff, a reason why my users love coming to StartupSquad. Some of the so called bigger blogs just plagiarize my ideas and original stories and publish them as their own and get onto the top of the memes. Aside from looking for a team to build such a solution that will put an end to this farce, I am going to start picking up on those who can’t control their itch without thanking the people they copy from.

  5. Bilal Hameed Says:

    Original idea and something that is really needed by the long tail of bloggers. Nothing like this has happened to me as i am so young, but i have seen this happening to others like Andy Beard. I dont think there could exist a blogger who does not pick a story from elsewhere, but some how most of them have a problem in proper attribution.

    Vivek this is also to let you know that i read you regularly and love you more than the more established guys out there. Some days back i also searched for your blog on technorati but couldnt find it. Please claim your blog on technorati immediately, cant wait to add it to my favorites.

  6. Vivek Puri Says:

    Bilal, StartupSquad has been on Technorati from day 1 the blog was launched. Here is the link: http://technorati.com/blogs/http://startupsquad.com

  7. Bilal Hameed Says:

    Yeah found it today..i dont know how i couldnt reach it then… Thanks anyways

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