Memetrackers: Your Conduit to the Echo Chamber


Anyone who spends time on the various tech news sites quickly realizes that stories come in waves: one day there will be a flurry of iPhone items, another day Google’s latest improvement is at the fore. Some of this is driven by press releases, but a lot of it is the “echo chamber” effect: tech journalists tend to write about things that other tech journalists consider important. If you’d like to cut out the middleman and see what is being buzzed about, you can turn to the various “meme trackers” out there – automated (or semi-automated) sites that attempt to identify the rising stories. Here are four to choose from; any of them will deliver a steady stream of chatter to your browser.

  • Techmeme takes a fairly broad view of technology. It’s been criticized for unduly promoting the already established “A-list” sites.
  • RSSmeme gets its idea of what’s important by looking at shared items on Google Reader. This means it tends to go beyond tech to humor quite frequently.
  • Polymeme is a new site that combines automated tracking with editor’s picks, designed to focus more on politics and culture than tech bubbles or celebrities.
  • TechJunk is also new, trying to sort out just new technology news from the other stuff that bounces around the web.

One warning – any of these services can deliver far more than you can possibly read. You’re probably better off dipping in than trying to drink the entire firehose.

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