What’s in a Meme?

Danny Sullivan suggests that a weakness of memetrackers is how they let big stories crowd out everything else. I ran into this same thing yesterday when I noticed that the “personal memetracker” I’m working on for FeedDemon was filled with stories about the Rocketboom dustup.

Gabe Rivera intends to make some refinements to Techmeme’s design because of this issue, but he clearly understands that this could get tricky since some users will always want to see the entire cluster of stories related to a topic.

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. So, this is what I’ve decided to do in FeedDemon – you simply have to click an icon to remove a topic [screenshot].

(via Rex Hammock)

2 thoughts on “What’s in a Meme?

  1. I’ve been ranting about a need for a service/feature like this for quite a while. It’s not so much that I want to track conversation about a topic… it’s more that I want to get rid of dupes containing the same content or linking to the same content.
    One feature I had been thinking of that would be wonderful would be an option to specify a rank for your different feeds and only show the top 2 or 3 dupes according to rank, beyond which you can extend the view. The alternative way of determining which show up in those positions would be just a simple algorithm to determine the dupe posts with the most original content (ie content not counting links to or quotes from the original).
    It would also be nice to find the original content source and create a meta entry if it’s not in your feed but a bunch of things are all linking to the same source. That would be a heck of a lot easier on the server side though.
    Actually I have pretty extensive notes on what the ideal service/software for this sort of thing (in my mind) would do. Just ask and I’ll send you an annotated copy or post it in the forums. We can consider it “freedbacking.” Heh.
    Oh, and as for the button to hide whole topics, either way that functionality would be great.
    Cheers!

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