New site Memeorandum provides a Google News-like clustering of news stories and blog commentary on various topics. So far, it looks pretty clean and nice to me, well worth anyone checking out.
Where's the content coming from? Creator Gabe Rivera explains more about the service here on the site's blog and how it's designed to tap into authoritative commentators and stories in various areas. However, that post and the site itself is sparse on details of the mechanics.
Fortunately, Robert Scoble has more info in his review here, having viewed the site in testing apparently for several months. The service uses a white list of tech and political blogs and then builds out inclusion of other sources based on what they link to. That can include other blogs or more traditional news sources.
Huh? To understand more, here's a look at what's on the tech home page right now. It's topped by a story from BusinessWeek on "Why eBay Is Buying Skype." That's the biggest link, and then there are "Related Items" below it, other stories from blogs or traditional news sources. Each story also has a "Discussion" line, which links to blog that may be commenting on the item.
Below the eBay item are other items, such as the launch of Memeorandum itself, a the trademark dispute over Gmail, the Game Boy Micro and so on. Each item may have further related items and discussion.
It's a compelling blend. For me, "blog" search has really meant largely commentary search. Many blogs comment on news, and many have been frustrated by existing tools making it hard to get the good commentary when you want it. But some blogs also report news, so excluding them from a "news search" has meant that you might miss news until it hits more mainstream sources. Memeorandum ties the two together nicely, especially managing that tricky switch of knowing when a blog is reporting "news" rather than commenting.
Look in the right-hand column, and you can see that you can subscribe to an RSS feed and get updated with new material, which apparently flows in every five minutes. The feed isn't as nice as the home page, in that the clustering doesn't happen, nor do you appear to get related discussion links for an item. But if you want to get a regular dose of most-linked-to stories, it's a nice solution.
Robert wrote that the service has done a great job eliminating noise and spam in the months he's used it. I've also found those to be a plague when I've tried blog search as places like Technorati or PubSub. My limited look so far gives a thumbs up on these fronts to Memeorandum.
On the downside, there's no keyword search facility that I can see. I want that, and soon! And be careful of the name. It's a play on meme + memorandium and probably a bad choice in that many will likely misspell. Heck, Robert did in the title of his post about the service. Use an E, not an O.
Want to comment or discuss? Visit our Search Engine Watch Forums.Postscript: See More On Memeorandum with comments from creator Gabe Rivera on whether keyword search would be coming, more about how sources are added and dropped and what other vertical topics may be coming.