To many in the industry, Techmeme is hands down the best aggregator of technology news. So it makes sense that they’d try to take their combination of algorithms and editors to other verticals. But they’ve tried in the past, and it hasn’t worked. But that doesn’t mean they’re giving up.
Today, the people behind Techmeme are rolling out Mediagazer, a new site focused on aggregating and serving up all the best media news from around the web. The timing seems perfect given the level of interest surrounding the slow but interesting death of print media. And the interest around exciting new devices like the iPad, which may or may not reinvigorate the industry.
But why chose to focus on media?
“Media news has several things going for it: lots of new coverage every day, lots of interlinking, a variety of subtopics (video, blogs, journalism, newspapers, etc.) and (we hope) a potential audience with interest in several of those subtopics,” Techmeme founder Gabe Rivera tells us.
Rivera has tried in the past to roll the Techmeme idea to other verticals such as celebrity news (WeSmirch), political news (Memeorandum), and even baseball news (Ballbug). All those sites still exist, but none have gotten the level of interest that Techmeme has.
So why will this be different? Aside from the interest in media, this is the first site Rivera has rolled out since switching over to using human editor curation. And actually, Mediagazer will be launched under the control of Megan McCarthy, the first human editor Rivera hired in late 2008. Rivera has since made other hires to round out a full staff that can work around the clock for Techmeme.
Says McCarthy, “Media is tumultuous. Some areas are growing, some shrinking, and there’s no clear path of where things are going. There’s talk about the future of journalism, consolidation of media ownership, bloggers, Twitter, etc. It affects daily life (look at how the Oscars were blacked out in New York City and how many people were touched by that). This is an industry that is filled with such disruption — you need to have a way to clearly view the big picture. Mediagazer does that.“
And a bit more about how it actually works from Mediagazer’s about area:
We gather all the important stories about media and present them to you in a timely, thorough, and organized manner. Our story selection method uses the power of our freakishly smart algorithm combined with direct editorial input from knowledgeable human editors.
We collect every relevant take on an issue and package them together in a comprehensive group of links. That way, you not only get the lead opinion on an issue, but you can easily see all the supporting, opposing, smart, controversial, notable, and previously unseen viewpoints. You get the big picture.
Techmeme, “the favorite news website of technology industry insiders” (Bloomberg) and “one of the first Web sites loaded on Silicon Valley’s laptops and iPhones each morning” (NYT), is the tech industry’s leading news aggregator. Introduced in 2005, the company added Mediagazer in 2010 to track media news. Other verticals include memeorandum (politics) and WeSmirch (celebrity news). Operating originally as Google News-style fully-automated news aggregators, the company blended in human editors to the curation process at Techmeme and Mediagazer beginning in...