With all the buzz around recent Google Blogsearch relaunch, I thought that would a good idea to look at most popular blog meme trackers available online.
The most general definition of the word meme is:
A meme consists of any idea or behavior that can pass from one person to another by learning or imitation.
Blog meme trackers (or memetrackers) monitor what is most actively passed from blog to blog (“If the thing is actively passed around, that must be hot“). In a word, meme tracking is all about identifying, collecting and arranging most talked-about news in blogosphere.
The three available (and similar) meme trackers that could really compete with each other include:
|News finding rate||Fastest||Fast||Fast|
|Major benefit||Very fast and focused||Clean and diverse||?|
|Major disadvantage||Limited to A-list sources||?||Often irrelevent|
1. Techmeme (previously known as Memeorandum) is by far the best tech and US politics meme tracking service. Its most useful features include:
- news displayed in form of threaded discussions;
- both blogosphere and mainstream news sources;
- fastest indexing rate of all.
- only most powerful blogs / news sources tracked (you’re likely to repeatedly see posts from the same A-list sites);
- limited to tech and politics topics.
- huge index: with the huge database already indexed, Google Blogsearch has the potential to search through the millions of newest and hottest posts.
- meme popularity in numbers: you can see how many blogs passed the news and the meme spreading rate (within how many hours the news was spread).
- no topic limitations (you can choose among the broad range of available meme categories).
- separates memes into categories (technology, entertainment, business, science, etc);
- clusters news into threaded discussions (sometimes it is hard to define how the “discussions” and “related” items are different);
- fast news tracking.
As for the cons, the overall algo of meme-threading leaves much to be desired. For example, Megite often returns completely unrelated related discussions.
4. There are / used to be more meme trackers of course. However Techmeme seems to have killed some of them (despite the fact that each of them was expected to kill Techmeme instead). Others are either broken (Cloudee) or have a too different concept (Blogs.com).
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