Memeorandum, launched today offers blog tracking by topics. Currently, it only covers tech and politics blogs. You can read more about the service at the blog of the creator Gabe RIvera here, or read a review by Robert Scoble here.
The screenshot below shows its coverage of the eBay-skype story.
Gabe says that the goal is to recognize the web as editor: “… there are rather large communities of knowledgeable, sophisticated commentators, … signaling in real time what’s worthy of wider discussion. I want memeorandum to tap this signal.”
Also, he talks about “relating the conversation”. “Communication on the web naturally tends toward conversation”, and Gabe wanted to make sure that Memeorandum recognized this conversation.
You can see how this goals play out in the current version of Memeorandum. I have not spent much time playing with it (just started this morning, but seems like it gets the top link for a story from an authoratative blog, or a magazine / newspaper. Then it adds in some related links, of people who have said something substantial. It does not link to people who just have linked to someone else, without much of a comment – so it dampen the echochamber type effect that can be part of such a tracking engine. (I don’t quite get what the ordering of the various links for a particular story represents.)
Its a completely automated approach – from Gabe’s blog it sounds like it take a little while to seed and get good coverage on a topic.
I started using Memeorandum today, and have been finding it quite useful. Its a much better way to find out current conversation than any of the methods I have used yet.
There are a bunch of usability issues I noticed. I don’t think the site communicates very effectively what it is. Also, it uses a yellow-fade type effect to show you links that click. The effect is somewhat abrupt. The fading away needs to blend in with background slower.
But overall, its a great beginning.