Techmeme Taps Twitter For Faster Headlines, Pithy Context

It’s been no secret that for a number of years now, quite a few posts you see on this site and others come directly as a result of a tweet from someone. It usually works like this: someone tweets out a bit of information either to quickly promote it — or even better, that they probably shouldn’t — and we jump all over it, adding context. But as fast as we are at that, it can still take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours to get those posts up. And in some cases, that’s just not good enough for an aggregator like Techmeme. They want it now.

And now they’ll be able to get it now. Today, the service is launching the ability to turn tweets into Techmeme headlines. Yep, they’ll no longer have to wait for the first tech blog to jump on the news. They’ll just put up the tweet itself. That is, if it’s worthy.

So are we, the tech reporters who scan Twitter for news, now out of a job? We spoke with Techmeme founder Gabe Rivera about the new feature. He’s quick to point out that Techmeme still loves context and good angles — because the audience that reads Techmeme still loves context and good angles. Further, he notes that there will only be a few scenarios under which a tweet would hit Techmeme.

First of all, some straight-up product announcements sent via Twitter first have a good shot of making it if Techmeme can find it fast enough. Rivera says that companies who wish to utilizes this should add a “@Techmeme” or “@TechmemeFH” to their tweet (or simply link to Techmeme) so that they’ll be able to find it more quickly. Secondly, some rumors sent via Twitter that are generating a lot of buzz have a shot as well. And then there are the interesting tweets sent out that perhaps shouldn’t be sent. Rivera cites the post we did on then-Twitter developer Alex Payne tweeting about new features overshadowing third-party clients as one example of this.

Tweets will also be able to hit Techmeme in the discussion section (the smaller area of links below the main headlines). Here, Rivera expects more commentary about news items to appear. So if Robert Scoble has something interesting to say about a new Microsoft announcement, it could land here, for example.

This idea to add tweets to Techmeme follows the service’s willingness to look for information in places beyond traditional blogs. For example, they’ve linked to threads on Quora and Google Buzz in the past (something we’ve been doing more and more as well). But Twitter should now be a bigger part of this Techmeme ecosystem (the other sites under the banner like Mediagazer will have this ability as well). And as long as it doesn’t put us out of work, we look forward to it.