Shelly thinks that has a bit of a gender bias (among other problems):

First, most of the stories covered are about business, rather than technology. The companies in focus may be technical, but the stories are about commerce.
Second, if you’re a woman writing about technology, don’t expect to show up in the site; when you do, expect to see your weblog disappear from view quickly. This site is for the big boys only.
Third, quiet uses of technology, such as discussions of .NET, digital identity, and others do not show in the list. If you want to appear, link an A-lister who is talking about Web 2.o or search (i.e. Google, Yahoo, or Microsoft). Actual discussions about technology fly under this ‘technology’ aggregator.
Fourth, rank matters more than content.

You know what? She's right. The comments on her posting are pretty interesting too.

It's worth noting that much of today's web search suffers from problem #4 as well.

Anyway, looking at the site's description, we see:

The Web is humming with reports and opinions on technology. tech.memeorandum is page A1 for these discussions. Auto-updated every 5 minutes, it uncovers the most relevant items from thousands of news sites and weblogs.

I guess part of the problem is the phrase "most relevant." What's relevant to Shelly may not be what's relevant to me. And neither are what's relevant to my new cube mate, Chad.

Posted by jzawodn at November 01, 2005 11:44 AM

Reader Comments
# Gabe said:

Yeah, clearly relevance is relative. I guess Yahoo's gunning for that with My Web 2.0.

Still, there's much value in an individual receiving things based on the tastes of a larger group with whom she has some affinity. (Note gender biased "she"!) We see this not just in Amazon recommendations, but even when people read their favorite magazines, watch their favorite TV shows. Another benefit: shared context, e.g.., something to discuss at the water cooler. (which I run) is informed by a set of writers, and via an implicit voting process, they collectively decide what's relevant, to them. If somehow a snappy tagline can communicate the last sentence, I'll agree the current tagline was a problem!

on November 1, 2005 03:34 PM
# Lana said:

Glad you brought our attention to this post, Jeremy. I've especially noted the gender disparity in the IT world, and I don't think what Shelly speaks of is confined to the particular site that she identified. I happen to be fortunate in my field (I run a digital imaging lab in Washington and most people in the museum world would call me a "digital conversion specialist" even though I am also a photographer.) I am fortunate that I have the respect of several of my high-placed colleagues, but that initially came more as a result of my success as a photographer than it did as someone who runs a large digital imaging lab for conservation purposes. The fact that we are funded in part by a widely recognized company in the computer/imaging world helps give me legitimacy that I might not otherwise experience. I consider myself fortunate.

on November 2, 2005 06:57 AM
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