The Techmeme Blacklist

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.

Techmeme thatedeguyIn 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.

TechmemeSGB 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.

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About Shane Ede

Shane Ede is an IT guy by day and a Entrepreneurial Blogger by night. You can follow him here on Thatedeguy or over on Twitter and Google+.


  1. Huh…

    I’ve heard of banning IPs and such when people get out of hand, rude or whatever, but a blacklist? What is this? 1984?

  2. Thatedeguy, honestly, while your blog title / pseudonym seems vaguely familiar, I’m not aware of anything in particular that you’ve written. So consider me not offended by anything you’ve written.

    Now I’m not gonna deny that this blog is on a blacklist. I’m going a step beyond that. There is no black list for blogs or news sites.

    A black list would be pretty dumb to have, because it would prevent you from appearing in the event you had a big scoop, or an excellent or viral post. In fact, by your description, that’s why you had appeared earlier: Techmeme picked you up because those other sites picked you up, and Techmeme dropped you later because that same buzz wasn’t maintained later.

    Now there are some source lists that Techmeme uses. These help define the larger set of sites that Techmeme covers, but in some cases assures that Techmeme crawls these sites. But these never have and never will define the complete set of sources that Techmeme crawls. Every day headlines appear on Techmeme from blogs that have never appeared in any list.

    Finally, I don’t advertise Techmeme as a socially driven or democratic site. There are social aspects driving what appears, but I don’t think explaining this is a great way to sell the site. If you want to read how I sell Techmeme, click the “About” link.

  3. Gabe,

    I appreciate your stopping by to leave a comment on the issue.
    Like I mentioned in the post, I understand that Techmeme is your baby and you don’t have to reveal in any way why/how a site is included. I’ve read the “About” page on techmeme many times and it’s nearly as cryptic as you comment is.
    The strongest evidence that I put forth was not that I had been included, but that a site that I linked to in the peak of thatedeguy’s inclusion that hasn’t been linked by others is still included today.
    If as you say, the “buzz” wore off of thatedeguy and that is the reason that it is not crawled anymore, then why is it that the other site is still included when the only “buzz” it has ever received is from me?
    Thanks again for stopping by.


  1. […] Learned about this one awhile back and meant to blog about it, but searching through the archives it appears I never did. I was reminded about the Techmeme bot being blocked by the WordPress plugin Bad Behavior by default when I read thatedeguy’s recent complaint: 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. […]

  2. […] See also: Scoble’s recent Techmeme comparison, Steve Rubel on Techmeme and language, Read/Write Web on Techmeme vs. TailRank, Frank Gruber on how TailRank is competing with Techmeme, speculation about a Techmeme blacklist, and a review of Techmeme’s well-regarded new ad format. […]