Why does memeorandum exist?

Monday, September 12, 2005 8:52PM ET
by Gabe Rivera     Permalink

What are my goals for this site? I want it to address some unfulfilled needs in online news. They are:

  1. Recognize the web as editor: There's this notion that blogs collectively function as news editor. No, not every last blog on Earth. Tapping the thoughts of all of humanity uniformly would predictably lead to trivial, even spammy "news". But today there are rather large communities of knowledgeable, sophisticated commentators, (and yes) even reporters writing on the web, signaling in real time what's worthy of wider discussion. I want memeorandum to tap this signal.
  2. Rapidly uncover new sources: Sometimes breaking news is posted to a blog created just to relate that news. Sometimes the author of the most insightful analysis piece at 2PM was a relative unknown at 1PM. It happens. I want memeorandum to highlight such work, without delay.
  3. Relate the conversation: Communication on the web naturally tends toward conversation. It follows from human nature plus the Internet's immediacy. Blog posts react to news articles, essays reference editorials. And links abound. Yet most news sites do very little to relate the form of conversations unfolding in real time. Some seem to deny that a conversation is even occurring. I want memeorandum to be a clear exception.

And so memeorandum offers a set of pages, each page highlighting the best contributions from a different community of writers, recognizing new sources as soon as the community does, and in a form conveying ongoing conversations. Consider each page a news section, or vertical, if you will. For now, there are two: First, memeorandum tracks mostly politics plus various current affairs. Second, tech.memeorandum focuses on technology, particularly business news and innovations in computing and the Internet.

These pages are built automatically, through software, ala Google News. Building the software wasn't easy, and there's a lot more to do to perfect it. But I feel the site represents a big step toward the goals described here.

So I hope you like it. I do!

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