Last night, the New York Times quietly launched Blogrunner on the technology section of its main site. Blogrunner was one of many techmeme copycat sites, until the New York Times bought it last year. Like Techmeme, Blogrunner is a service that keeps track of the latest news and blog posts on a range of topics (Politics, Technology, Media, Business, Economy, Law, Health, Movies, Books, Religion, Iraq, Entertainment). Now those links are appearing on the New York Time’s main site, starting with the technology section, in a middle column titled “Technology Headlines from Around the Web.” It is also on the bottom-right of the Health section in a column called “Health Around the Web.” And links from Blogrunner will appear at the bottom of individual stories, giving readers a choice between related articles from the New York Times and related articles from around the Web (much like some sites use Sphere).
Says New York Times editor (and Bits blogger) Saul Hansell: ” Unlike Google News and Techmeme, we aren’t trying to prove machines can be better editors than people. We have a hybrid model, with Web Crawlers and Editors both helping find and ranks posts.” But the NYT would like nothing better than to displace those two news crawlers.
At first glance, it looks like it is Techmeme for a mainstream audience. TechCrunch happens to be at the top of both the NYT Blogrunner and Techmeme right now. It will be interesting to see which one delivers more traffic. We will report on the results tomorrow. (Update: Blogrunner is not killing anyone yet. Of all referring sites to TechCrunch yesterday and today up until 11 AM EST, Blogrunner is ranked a lowly 105—although we are no longer listed on the NYT Technology page. In contrast, Techmeme is our 30th largest referrer.)