Techmeme and conversational clusters

Techmeme and conversational clusters: I’m a big fan of Techmeme and its creator Gabe Rivera. I think what he’s doing is a big deal. I am glad that someone as smart as Danny Sullivan also likes Techmeme so he could construct an observation and question that I share — but can’t quite put into words. There are times when a topic is of interest only to a tightly focused group of bloggers — and because those bloggers are obsessively linking to one another, the coverage of and conversation surrounding that topic crowds out anything else. Is that a bug — or is that a feature?

Here’s Danny’s observation: (excerpt) “I love Techmeme, absolutely adore it. But this entire Rocketboom thing illustrates a weakness, how a big story can crowd everything out.”

Here is Gabe Rivera’s response: (excerpt) “So is the behavior he describes by design? Or a “bug” as one emailer put it? That’s easy to answer: it’s working as designed. But I’m still trying to decide if the design needs refinement to change this behavior. Because there are pros and cons to what Danny has observed.”

Update: Nick Bradbury has a solution suggestion: “One option (which is admittedly easier on the client side than the server side) is to simply enable the user to hide a specific topic. I like this idea because users are way smarter than their software when it comes to figuring out what they like.”

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