OK, Shelley, How Should Techmeme Work?

Shelley Powers has a post complaining about Techmeme and its secret formula algorithm for inclusion.

Specifically, she doesn’t like the fact that traffic resulting from inbound links to Techmeme plays a small role in getting a blog considered for inclusion.  Here‘s Gabe’s post about getting included on his memetrackers, in which he describes the inbound traffic effect.

I have a comment and then a question for Shelley.

First the comment.  What is so wrong with either the way Gabe has historically approached inclusion or the decision to give a little weight to inbound traffic?

I have talked a ton about Techmeme, and my love and occasional frustration with it.  For a while, my eligible posts would show up for weeks and then disappear for weeks, only to later reappear and restart the cycle.  Over time that problem has gone away, either due to a change in the secret formula or due to the fact that, in blog years, I have been blogging for a long time.  In a semi-perfect world, I’d like to see more of my posts picked up as lead stories (as opposed to in the discussion clusters).  I’d love to be included in the pool, with Scoble and some others, of blogs that get picked up semi-regularly as lead stories, not merely for the sake of seeing my posts up there, but because lead stories generally invoke a lot of conversation and conversation is my primary reason for blogging.  Having said that, however, I am grateful that my posts get picked up regularly as discussion links and occasionally as lead stories, so I’m not going to complain (although if Scoble would resubscribe to my blog, that might help a little- hint, hint).

Plus, I know that operating Techmeme is like drinking from a fire hydrant when it comes to filtering content and I’m sure every other blogger would like to tweak Techmeme’s secret formula in their favor.  You can’t please all the people all the time, and all that.

And isn’t inbound traffic one of the primary blogosphere currencies?  When someone links to you and you link back, that’s the blog equivalent of a handshake.  In other words, traffic is generally a shared goal and every other web site in the world gives at least token weight to inbound traffic- so why shouldn’t Gabe?  And if some hard working newish blogger gets picked up by Techmeme thanks to sending some traffic, that sounds to me like a net flattening.

Now the question for Shelley.  How should Techmeme work?  I understand what you think the problem is- that’s the easy part.  How would you fix it?

Technorati tags: ,