Simon Dumenco, a writer for AdAge.com wrote an article about what it is like to get “used and abused by the Huffington Post.” Simon called both Techmeme and the Huffington Post aggregators of original content.
Simon pointed out how Techmeme sent more traffic to his website than the Huffington Post. But calling Techmeme an “aggregator” did not go over well with Techmeme founder Gabe Rivera.
Rivera wrote the following on his Tumblr blog:
Since all ?aggregators? are now tainted by association, I?m wondering if we should start using a different term to describe what we do at Techmeme. Something more specific, like ?headline aggregator?? Or ?link curator?? Meanwhile, can we all just call the rewriters ?rewriters?? Aggregation is not the essence of what they do.
The problem is that Techmeme should not be compared to Huffington Post whatsoever. The Huffington Post has a massive team of editors, both paid and voluntary. Techmeme has a computer algorithm that automatically finds and links to the most interesting technology news, with limited human intervening. The manner that Techmeme finds the top tech news is similar to how Google News finds their content.
I agree with Rivera that Techmeme should not be looked upon as an “aggregator.” Google News is also described as a website that aggregates headlines. The Huffington Post should not be called an “aggregator” since they do not do what Techmeme or Google News does. They should be called a “content farm” that is similar to what eHow.com and other Demand Media properties do.
Techmeme simply links to interesting news articles without rewriting the content in their own words.
The Huffington Post takes content from others, either rewrites it slightly or copies and pastes the content and puts a small link at the bottom linking to the original source.
These are two different types of websites and should not be described as similar.
[Gabe Rivera Blog]