Tip to Mr. Kottke for the pointer to BuzzFeed, a new site that attempts to filter, crunch, and spider out only authentic buzz, not hype. You can see how well they’re doing at http://www.buzzfeed.com .
Here’s how the site explains itself: “We automatically detect new buzz by crawling 50,000 of the very best web sites, blogs, and news sources. Then our technology crunches the raw data from these sites to identify new buzz that’s just starting to spread.” They note also that they’re supplemented by a network of “human taste-makers.”
As potential buzz is found, it’s reviewed, filtered, and summarized by humans who combine information with occasional snarkiness (and occasional naughty bits — some of this buzz is definitely not safe for work.) Over time buzz is tracked and the best links to trends are featured.
Trends are a product of culture, and as such the pointers and writers are less academic than they are entertaining. Think a cross between VH1 “Best Week Ever” and “The Daily Show”. (This is an observation and is not meant to be pejorative.) Featured buzz at this writing includes “Snoop Dogg Pet Clothing”, Wireless Power, and “Guitar Hero II”.
There are summaries on the front page, but each trend has a link list which includes pointers to blog entries covering these trends. Unfortunately the pointers contain only the title of the blog post and the URL. A summary would be terrific, and a blog title would be really, really great, especially when the blog is syndicated via Feedburner (in which case the URL is just feeds.feedburner.com.) Dates for links would be nice, too, now that I think about it — since buzz is being tracked and links are being added over time. Visitors are also invited to submit their own blog entries/links for that particular trend.
This site doesn’t have the scope or the geekiness of something like Digg. However it’s a manageable amount of data giving an overview of the blogosphere that you might have missed (I confess I had no idea that Snoop was designing dog clothing) with entertaining writing. Now if there was only a little more information in the link lists…