I’ve been avoiding writing this post. Mostly because I think that it could potentially cause a bit of a riff. If it does, there is a decent chance that I could end up on a few other blacklists. I’ve decided that I’d rather write the post than worry about that though.
I am on the Techmeme Blacklist. Yes, it does exist. I’m quite certain that Gabe, the owner of Techmeme will deny that I am on the list and perhaps he’ll even show the list to prove that I’m not on it. But let me show you why I know I am/was on the list.
In February of this year, I posted a article on the Microsoft Origami project. It got picked up by slashdot and cnet to name a few and that appearantly got me onto the techememe list. The image at left is my appearance on the new items list on Techmeme. Click to enlarge.
Shortly after that, in early March, I wrote a somewhat snarky post about Robert Scoble and Techmeme. And I never appeared on Techmeme after that. And I did post on topics/posts that did appear on Techmeme.
That’s the Thatedeguy part of the story. Here’s the rest.
Knowing how Techmeme works, I decided to try and get another blog listed on Techmeme that wasn’t before. I linked to SuperGeekBlog and as a result, the posts on SuperGeekBlog that were on topic began to appear on Techmeme. And they still do.
Again, click to enlarge.
I know that the fact that SuperGeekBlog still shows up in Techmeme is not in and of itself proof of the existence of a blacklist. However; If you feel like indulging me, and visiting SGB, you’ll notice something. Or at least you will after I point it out. The posting is pretty thin over there. SGB has not been linked to by any other blog that appears on Techmeme to my knowledge. Thatedeguy has on several occasions since March. And yet, SGB still appears on Techmeme as of the 6th and Thatedeguy does not despite posts on the exact same subject on the 6th.
Further, I’ve attempted on several occasions to link Thatedeguy from SGB on topics that SGB was included on Techmeme to no avail. I wrote a post in late July in which I mentioned a Techmeme blacklist and for the next several days I began to notice the techmeme crawler hitting Thatedeguy. And then it stopped. I’m convinced that the crawler was visiting because of the post and that it did so to try and appease me into thinking that I really wasn’t included because of linkage or some other various excuse. I’m also convinced that it stopped crawling Thatedeguy when I was once again removed from the list.
I think that the above arguement is fairly compelling towards one of two things.
- I am blacklisted on Techmeme
- I was removed from the included sites on Techmeme permenantly
I’m sure that Gabe will argue that my non-inclusion is a result of not enough incoming links, but if that is so, why does SGB still get included? I’m also fairly sure that after this SGB will probably not be included anymore. That’s ok.
My purpose in this post is to expose a site that is supposed to be socially driven that isn’t. Not completely anyhow. I can’t complain if I stay on the blacklist after this either. In the end Techmeme is Gabe’s baby and he can do with her as he pleases. I just feel that the criteria that are supposedly used for inclusion be used exclusively and not influenced by personal feelings and gatekeeperish tendencies.
ADDED: Steve Rubel touches on a similar topic and calls Techmeme a blog country club.