There are a couple of places where you can go to get your fill of tech-related information and keep track of breaking news and events outside of your RSS reader or e-mail inbox. Google News isn’t one of those places (yet), but Techmeme and to a lesser degree Alltop, popurls and Digg are some of the most frequented websites when it comes to pleasing those who like to stay on top of hot tech news (us included).
Techmeme is undeniably the leader of the pack; it has solid algorithms and ranking systems in place that can quickly detect breaking news and gives you a clean overview of which other technology news sites and blogs are discussing it practically with minimal lag. It has its flaws, sure, but I dare you to show me a service that does what Techmeme is supposed to do better than they are.
The only web service that I’ve ever seen pop up of which I thought it could potentially become a real Techmeme competitor was Techfuga, a site that mimicked Techmeme in many ways but added some extra bells and whistles (like Twitter search, for example). At launch, the site garnered quite a bit of positive commentary. Louis Gray said Techfuga was the result of mating between Techmeme and Alltop, and Robert Scoble said the site was showing Techmeme how to innovate. But don’t bother going to the site right now to check if they were right. It’s been down for a few days and you won’t see it come back up again for a couple of months.
While we’re still awaiting a formal response from Techfuga founder Joao Azevedo, we gather from his latest tweets and FriendFeed chatter that he plans to rebuild the entire platform and come back with a completely overhauled Techfuga in a couple of months. It’s beyond me why the startup doesn’t just keep this version live and switch to the new one whenever it’s ready for prime time, but Joao says on FriendFeed that this is because of “set up and costs management during this development time”. Judging from its traffic estimates, I doubt a lot of people are actually going to miss it.
That said, I do hope they come back with something awesome, because I happen to think we need more competition in this space.