Tailrank founder Kevin Burton notified us that version 2.5 of his news aggregation site has launched, as well as a new version of the engine behind it called Spinn3r. We’ve taken a look at the new site, and in our opinion it still falls short of being a useful application.
We’ve been a bit harsh on Tailrank over the last few months, even suggesting that it may be time to deadpool it. But the site was without any content at all for a few weeks, and when Burton said it was fixed the site was filled with spam (Burton writes about the spam attack here).
So back to the new version…the spam is gone, but the stories are all at least a day old. Burton originally promised this release in early July. It came three months later, which is not unexpected when software is involved. But he knew that we’d be taking a critical look at the site. If his indexing engine can’t keep up with the news, how can he expect people to spend time visiting the site? We just criticized competitor shoutingmat.ch yesterday for the same problem. This is a competitive space (Techmeme is the clear leader, and there are lots of others), and anything short of perfect won’t stand a chance.
We’ll keep giving Tailrank the benefit of the doubt and hope to see it improve soon. But I’m not sure anyone else out there will do the same.