Hundreds of people submit tips to Techmeme, but only a few get accepted. And some top techmeme tippers manage to get many tips accepted everyday. Atul Arora or @atul on twitter is one such top Techmeme tipper whose tips are listed several times a day on Techememe, everyday! We requested Atul to answer some questions and share some secrets…
Why do you tip Techmeme?
Tipping to techmeme is an avocation i.e. a hobby. But I have discovered it is great to build a personal brand and network with folks online. Techmeme is a excellent resource for consuming technology news for people in Silicon Valley and beyond. You can think of tipping to the Techmeme site as a modest contribution to bringing some of the news quicker to the attention of Techmeme and its readers.
How do you submit tips to Techmeme?
I submit tips to Techmeme a few different ways
- I use a bookmarklet that Dave Winer developed for one of his ongoing project called 40twits. I tweaked the bookmarklet to append a “tip @techmeme” to the tweet. The bookmarklets serves a couple of purposes. First, it allows Dave Winer to showcase the 40 most recent links that I shared via twitter as a part of his project. Second, I am able to track the click stats for my tweets on my tr.im account. tr.im is a URL shortner used by the bookmarklet.
- On a few occassions, I retweet the original tweet and append a tip @techmeme string
- In the rare instances, if tr.im is down, I use bit.ly as the URL shortner and tip from the bit.ly pages.
How long have you been submitting tips to Techmeme?
I have been submitting tips to techmeme from the time the feature was enabled on techmeme on Jan 28.
How many tips you send to techmeme everyday, and how many get accepted?
I have not kept track of how many tips I have sent to techmeme and how many got accepted. There is no easy way to get to that information via Twitter/Techmeme. Gabe Rivera of Techmeme probably has all the relevent data on it. One of these days, he will hopefully publish the leaderboard for this. On a related note, Techmeme now rate limits tip to 2 per hour. I am quite sure I am not as prolific in sending tips as I did before this limit was put into place.
What are your top 10 information sources for finding tips?
I subscribe to a number of tech blogs in my Google Reader. I also follow a number of tech media folks on Twitter. These are the two primary resources for finding tips. I would be more than happy to share my OPML and/or point folks to my Google Reader shared feed. There are more than 10 information sources that I follow. But to give you a sampling – the sources include NYTimes Tech section, Wall Street Journal Tech Section, TechCrunch, ReadWriteWeb, VentureBeat, Mashable, most Google corporate blogs, Twitter Blog, Facebook blog, Yahoo corporate blogs etc
How much time do you spend daily finding tip resources?
Don’t know. To be honest, I can’t say I separately allocate time daily to find tip resources. I usually tip when I find something interesting while going through my Google Reader or Twitter feed.
What are your top 5 secrets to get tips accepted by Techmeme?
I believe the ultimate editorial judgement of what gets accepted by Techmeme rests with Gabe Rivera/Megan McCarthy @ Techmeme. The following are probably a few tips to get your tips accepted to Techmeme
- Tip any breaking news about technology, social media, old media, Google, Apple, Twitter etc.
- Tip news/blog articles that are more likely to have a conversation around them e.g. Steve Job’s health issues, new iPhone release, new Android release
- Twitter/Google/Apple are the media darlings nowadays. So news about them is always good to tip
- Articles from WSJ/NYTimes technology section that are potentially of interest to tech folks
Is competition tough with other Techmeme tippers?
When the tip to techmeme feature was started, Mrinal and I were the two major contributors. It was friendly duel between the two of us. Lot more folks are sending over tips. So the competition is much harder now than in the past.
Has being linked repeatedly on Techmeme changed your online profile?
Being linked repeatedly on Techmeme has definitely raised my Twitter profile and contributed greatly to the number of folks who follow me on twitter. It has helped me connect up with web luminaries such as Dave Winer, Robert Scoble, Louis Gray and Howard Lindzon. It also means that I need to be a lot more selective in what I send over to Techmeme.
How has this tipping altered your Twitter habits?
A little bit. I was using Twitter mostly to share technology news so tipping to techmeme has not significantly altered my Twitter habits. It has made me a better curator of links. If I come across some interesting on the technology front, I do assess if it is worth tweeting about and/or tipping to techmeme.
Is is worth you time tipping Techmeme?
It has been worth my time tipping to Techmeme. It has enabled me to reach out and connect with folks on Twitter and other social networks in a much more credible way. Given the current restriction of submitting no more than 2 tweets/hour to Techmeme, I actually spend no more than 30-45 minutes per day cumulatively sending tips over to techmeme. It is time well spent in sharing new about technology to folks who follow Techmeme.
How long would you continue tipping Techmeme?
Not sure. I am a tech news junkie so I am sure I will continue for a while.
Atul Arora is Director of Product Management at Vimo. He is a Computer Science graduate from IIT Bombay and and an engineer/product manager by profession. You can find him at Twitter and Friendfeed.
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