Techmeme is officially a cesspool
Thursday, October 4, 2007 by Dave Winer.
It was intriguing for a day or two, but now it's clear that the Leaderboard was the dumbest idea ever, because now more than ever, people are gaming Techmeme so they can climb the list.
Reminds me of something Ted Turner once said about how the Forbes list of richest people in the world was the worst thing ever for philanthropy. If you're super-rich, now you don't want to give it away because when you do, you move down (or off) the list.
Techmeme was already severely polluted by people saying stupid shit to rise to the top of the page. That was an ephemeral high. Now there's a way to accumulate points toward more persistent rank, and everyone who isn't on the list, wants to be on the list.
Or Scoble, who started on the list near the bottom -- is rapidly rising. How's he doing it? By saying extreme things that people will react to. That's how you get points in the Techmeme universe. Scoble ain't no idiot. If he wants to rise on the list, he rises.
A mind is a terrible thing to waste.
Well, this ain't blogging, and we're still getting ready to start a war with Iran, and the stock market is still acting weird, and there are still big ideas out there to pursue, and now Techmeme isn't even worth reading when the top item on a weekday is guaranteed to be some idiot procliaming himself king of the hill. It's worse than AM talk radio.
PS: A piece I wrote in May offering a vision for "Web 3.0."
PPS: Mike Arrington weighs in. "Gabe sometimes edits stuff like this off of TechMeme to keep it stocked with real news." Hmmm. I'd be surprised if that were true.