May 05, 2008

The StatBot Debuts Series Analyzing Techmeme Sources

Last month, working only with Microsoft Excel and archived Techmeme pages, I took a look at how the top ten sites on Techmeme's leaderboard had changed over the first six months of Gabe Rivera offering the rankings. But I knew my minor effort would be no match for a statistically-oriented tech maven, like Yuvi Panda, who has kicked off what should be a very interesting series of posts examining the popular site and how it gets its news.

To date, Techmeme has been something of a black box. Leading bloggers love seeing the regularity of their posts being included. Meanwhile, less visible posters see complaining about Techmeme as something as a rite of passage. Some even claim impropriety and bias, while others still complain the site can be flooded with me-too news and copycats.

But that doesn't change the fact that Techmeme is tremendously relevant and a must-subscribe, either by RSS or by Twitter. To ignore Techmeme is the tech news equivalent of unsubscribing from the New York Times and Wall Street Journal and hoping the local town daily can fill the gap.

In my initial look at Techmeme, I had observed that just over 30 percent of all stories came from the top 10 sites from the Techmeme leaderboard, and more than 40 percent came from sites ranked 11-100, leaving about 30 percent to "the field". Luckily for me, Yuvi's first pass at Techmeme arrives at similar results, saying "One third of Techmeme’s headlines come from the Long Tail".

A Graph from The StatBot's Techmeme Analysis

If you think The StatBot's efforts at this point are simply echoing my first pass, don't be fooled. Yuvi has a lot more tech savvy at his disposal, and as he promises in today's post, today's entry is the first in a series. You can expect to be something of a Techmeme expert by the time he's done.

We previously introduced The StatBot here: The StatBot Launches to Analyze Blog and Web Trends, Statistics. Yuvi also lent a hand analyzing my own site here: Analyzing's Links, Topics, Timing and Comments.