Techmeme is adding a human touch to its news aggregator, by appointing Megan McCarthy as editor. She’ll rearrange and moderate the news on Techmeme, to keep them more up to date and avoid old and outdated one. She’ll also handle all the pissed off journos who thinks they are bypassed, something that might be a daily issue for her if you read between the lines in the VentureBeat post. I don’t know about that, but it’s not the most grateful position to have, when some cranky tech blogger feel passed over for the 20th time…
So what will change? This:
Humans have always edited Techmeme of course, just implicitly. For instance, when a blogger links to a story, the headline might move higher on Techmeme. What’s different now is that an additional human editor will carry out changes explicitly to directly improve the mix of headlines on Techmeme. Though the implicit edits conveyed via algorithm outnumber the explicit edits perhaps by 1000 to 1 or more, the impact of the human editor is nonetheless pronounced.
Sounds good, doesn’t it?
Not all agree. Michael Arrington isn’t sure that it’ll be a good thing for Techmeme:
I believe this is a slippery slope for TechMeme. Certainly a human editor can make the results better. But it also completely destroys the objective nature of TechMeme and turns it into something different. It’s now subjective, and in many ways just another news site.
Naturally, the discussion of this change to Techmeme is the top item of the now humane edited news aggregator, as I’m writing this. I wonder if we’ll be added?
What do you think? Will this make Techmeme a better place for tech news junkies?
Thord Daniel Hedengren is a designer, writer, and blogger, and also the former editor of The Blog Herald. He used to be a hotshot in the gaming industry in Sweden, but sold everything and went International. Most recently he wrote a book called Smashing WordPress: Beyond the Blog, and does loads of kickass design.