Techmeme Tricks The Cool Kids Into Driving Its Link-Building CampaignFeb 8th, 2011 | By James Lewin | Category: General
Tech news aggregator Techmeme has notified a short list of new media heavyweights that it has ‘whitelisted” their twitter accounts and will be reposting their tweets as headline news:
If you tweet something and include a Techmeme permalink, your tweet *will* appear in “Discussion” under the headline you’ve linked, because your Twitter account is on our whitelist!
That’s right. If you’ve got some blog or Twitter clout, Techmeme *will* now parrot anything you tweet, as long as you link directly to their their permalinks.
ReadWriteWeb’s Marshall Kirkpatrick, who regularly offers some of the most astute tech analysis around, is wowed by the change:
The press loves to pounce on the Twitter updates of well-known people in all kinds of fields, from Hollywood to US foreign policy. Imagine if other media outlets created a direct pipeline for those people to post their comments on coverage directly to the coverage itself!
Might the front page of The New York Times someday include an appended quote like: “This article gives too much credit to the Republican party’s strategic thinking.” – @BarackObama.
Unfortunately, this sounds more like a Techmeme link-building campaign than a way to improve the news.
Giving tweets equal weight to news headlines doesn’t add anything to our understanding of stories:
This fundamentally confuses the idea of comments with news stories, forcing you to wade through offhand tweets, with their garbled syntax, when you are scanning headlines. This doesn’t improve Techmeme’s news aggregation, it makes it harder to navigate.
Worse yet, clicking through on these tweets adds nothing to the headlin, breaking the usability conventions of the site.
Techmeme is a great tech news aggregator. But let’s hope that people recognize the site’s latest move for what it is – a clever link building campaign – and that the site gets back to doing what it does best, aggregating tech news.