More thoughts on Memeorandum 2.0

I posted last night about the new version of Memeorandum being available, and why it looked really great, especially with the new Tech focused content aggregation. However, because my DSL is out of wack, I could not only get minimal access to the Net through my neighbor’s Wifi.

One of the things I missed is Gabe’s mission statement for Memeorandum: in Why does memeorandum exist?, Gabe lists these three objectives.

  1. Recognize the web as editor: There’s this notion that blogs collectively function as news editor. No, not every last blog on Earth. Tapping the thoughts of all of humanity uniformly would predictably lead to trivial, even spammy "news". But today there are rather large communities of knowledgeable, sophisticated commentators, (and yes) even reporters writing on the web, signaling in real time what’s worthy of wider discussion. I want memeorandum to tap this signal.
  2. Rapidly uncover new sources: Sometimes breaking news is posted to a blog created just to relate that news. Sometimes the author of the most insightful analysis piece at 2PM was a relative unknown at 1PM. It happens. I want memeorandum to highlight such work, without delay.
  3. Relate the conversation: Communication on the web naturally tends toward conversation. It follows from human nature plus the Internet’s immediacy. Blog posts react to news articles, essays reference editorials. And links abound. Yet most news sites do very little to relate the form of conversations unfolding in real time. Some seem to deny that a conversation is even occurring. I want memeorandum to be a clear exception.

I decided to use Memeorandum this morning in addition to my browsing of feeds in NewsGator, and discovered (like every new toy I guess) that it is really addictive (Scoble warned me of that). Because of the capability to discover new topics, voices and sources, I ended up reading some articles that either might not have made it in my aggregator even if they are relevant to what I do – or were not there yet. Even though there is no real timing sensitivity to my blog reading, this is an interesting add-on.

So, what else do I would like:

  • I already mentioned it in my previous post, I want some form of personalization, either that Memeorandum discovers as I click through posts/conversations (a la Findory) or through a configuration that allows me to upload my feedroll AND rank these 200 feeds in order to explicitely indicate the authrority I attribute to people/sources I read. This would allow Memeorandum to rank differently posts and/or links based on my own attribution of authority.
  • It would be great to figure out a way to indicate to NewsGator (or any other advanced RSS reader) that I have read a given post, so that I don’t find it in my Unreads as well. And I could see a bunch of ways to integrate a Memeorandum front-end on an RSS reader.
  • It would be useful to add tags related to a post, and present a tag cloud interface aggregating the topics of the day (and/or the topics related to my feedroll).
  • I would like to be able to hide or “park” certain threads, typically the top one, so that I can make some room for other posts to bubble up.
  • And some more…

Congrats Gabe, a great upgrade, want more now.

PS: Richard McManus’ review is worth the read: New-look Memeorandum launched, and so is Danny Sullivan Q&A with Gabe.

  • Gabe

    Thanks Jeff, and thanks for the ideas. I need to think about personalization more and your ideas are helpful. Again though, I’m not sure about this because (1.) it’s a major architectural change to do it and (2.) there are some smart, scrappy firms already attacking the problem from the other direction (3.) some other directions I have in mind seem appealing. Also, perhaps partnering would make sense…
    But first let me speak up for a second on zero-personalization. There is an advantage, even an advantage in rescanning things you’ve already read. For one thing: the manner in which the discussion forming around a topic evolves throughout the day adds something to the understanding of the topic. The way a post sprouts other posts, the way posts clump up against one another. Something is lost when you zap a post as “already read”. The page is a living thing, and it revealing to watch how it lives.
    I have some other thoughts too…I really should blog them soon…