Robert Scoble laments the existence of the Techmeme Leaderboard, which ranks sites every 20 minutes based on the amount of headline space they occupied on Techmeme over the 30 days. He suggests that the list of top sources for Techmeme heralds the death of blogging because the dynamic leaderboard typically contains only few "bloggers," which he defines as the “single voice of a person.” Robert wrote:
Most of the things on the list are now done by teams of journalists — that isn’t blogging anymore in my book. TechCrunch just hired a professional journalist which is sort of funny cause when I started blogging I never expected blogging to become a business, just a way to share what was going on in my life.
As the Leaderboard shows the leading Techmeme source is TechCrunch, which is led by Mike Arrington and an increasing stable of writers. It's a blog, but also a credible source of news that competes with CNET News.com, the New York Times, Reuters, our own ZDNet blogs and others covering the Web 2.0 world.
- New York Times
- Ars Technica
- CNET News.com
- Wall Street Journal
- The Register
- Silicon Alley Insider
- Between the Lines
- Google Operating System
- Search Engine Land
Many in the mainstream media have focused more on blogging, as the Techmeme Leaderboard shows, taking advantage of the timeliness and efficiency of the format to publish news and opinion with authority (conferred by the audience) and personality in text, audio, video and images. The difference between a news story and a blog post is blurring. It took several years, but now blogging is not just an activity for media pioneers and people writing about their hobbies, love lives or neighborhood.
Just as Techmeme captures a narrow slice of the content universe, Robert has a limited view of blogging. The worthiness of a blog, such as Between the Lines, TechCrunch, GigaOm, Scobelizer or Pond Culture, isn't whether a lone voice in the wilderness or a highly reputable journalist pens it. It's the value of the information, which Techmeme's algoritihms calculate based on how the various headlines from a set of sources are clustered and ranked on the page.
Robert sees the blogging community moving to Twitter, broadcasting a flow of 140-character limited messages. He says he is watching 5,900 Twitters as his "A" list. If it turns out that Twitter, Pownce and other feeds grab peoples' attention, you can be sure that the new and old mainstream media will follow the leaders.
My colleague David Berlind has included a Twitter feed on his blog page. I don't expect the Twitter feed to replace the blog, but the two complement each other. Is David a blogger, twitterer, journalist, columnist, vlogger, podcaster? He is all of the above, but no one will pay attention to his output unless is have value to an audience.