On Memeo

3 Feb ’06

There’s a lot of buzz about memeorandum and tech.memeorandum these days, both because of Don Dodge’s interview with its founder, Gabe Rivera, but also because ranked aggregation is kind of a holy grail in Web 2.0 right now – everyone is trying to figure out how to replace the human editor and make aggregation of quality content scalable.

But I have my doubts that this will amount to a real business, and suspect that for while it will be at most an interesting experiment. I’m not saying someone won’t make money – someone almost certainly will – but it will be “wing and a prayer”, “buy it quick and then figure out what to do with it” money. And that’s simply because the barriers to entry in this space are now infintesimally small, for all of the reasons we’ve been hearing about for a while. Already there are several other similar sites that are swiftly moving into this space with memeo in their sights (see a roundup here). My guess is that soon the memeobuzz will be over and the next great thing will be out, will be played with for a while, and then will also recede into distant memory.

Sooner or later, someone has got to figure out how to make a durable business out of this.

Update: Stowe Boyd writes that Conversational Index, where CI=posts/comments+trackbacks, is a useful index of a viable and vibrant blog, and others pick up that discussion. No doubt it’s a useful way to look at it, but some of the most banal discussion out there generates loads of “right on, dude” commentary that can leave you scrolling through minutes of emptiness. And as more people blog, I’m inclined to think that blogging will become even more of a multi-blog conversation – everyone blogging the issue themselves (trackback or not), rather than leaving comments on other blogs.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Mark Federman February 5, 2006 at 10:14

Stewe Boyd’s conversation index has the right idea, but misses on implementation. The blogosphere itself is the conversation; Technorati references would be a better indication of the degree of conversation in the general case. However, this still promotes a hierarchical view of “which blog is on top today?” that goes against the basic effects of ubiquitous connectivity and pervasive proximity, and ignores the influence and intrinsic power of “the long tail” and the main influence of the blogosphere: keeping an issue alive until it is noticed by the conventional mass media.


Michael Whitney February 4, 2006 at 02:25

My bet is that as more people embrace rss, and subscribe to feeds memeorandum will begin to place ads in the feeds. They will figure out how to track which stories you read, and which ones you don’t, and place ads that are related to stories you are interested in. As far as the site itself goes they might place significant amounts of google ads, or go with a firm like adbrite and sell to very high bidders. Advertising is definately the way they are going to have to make money. It couldn’t hurt to try and sell the users some shirts either.


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