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New Verticals for Techmeme: Business, the Environment, Cars, and Football?

By Josh Catone

Update: A source with knowledge of the company confirms to me that Epivoz is working on at least an new site for the environment vertical, though it is unknown if the project has ever progressed beyond an internal demo.

Since launching in 2005 on a sub-domain of its politics-themed older brother Techmeme has become a daily (hourly?) must read site in the technology blogosphere, in the same way that Memeorandum has become a must read site in the political blogosphere. Techmeme and its related sites, which are operated by a bootstrapped, two-person company called Epivoz, are so popular among bloggers and news junkies because they just do a better job surfacing the day’s top news stories, and more quickly, than better funded rivals like Google News and Topix.

Since Memeorandum launched in 2004 and Techmeme in 2005 (originally as a sub domain of Memdorandum), Epivoz has launched two other sites on the same back end: WeSmirch for celebrity gossip in March of 2006, and BallBug for baseball news a few weeks later.

“What’s the next vertical site for Memeorandum? [Founder Gabe Rivera] won’t say exactly, but from what I’ve seen, he’s a discussion follower. If blogs are talking about something and linking back and forth a lot, expect Memeorandum to be there eventually,” wondered Mike Arrington when BallBug was launched. However, in the intervening two and a half years, the Techmeme empire has remained exactly the same size.

A job post spotted over the weekend, however, points to where Techmeme might expand in the future. Epivoz is looking to hire employee number three, and one of the required skills that they’re looking for, is familiarity with the following topics: “technology, business, finance, economics, politics, biotech, clean tech, the environment, football, or automobiles.”

Technology and politics are already covered by Epivoz’s two most popular sites (Techmeme and Memeorandum, repsectively), but business, finance, economics (all currently popular and related issues), biotech, cleantech, the environment, football, and automobiles suggest potential new verticals for the company. Could Techmeme be readying the launch of new companion news watching sites? It sure sounds that way.

Given the current state of the world economy, finance and economics news has become topic number one for many consumers, so that would make a lot of sense as a area of expansion for the site. Cleantech and the environment make sense as well, since the price of oil has created a lot of mainstream interest in those topics. Football and cars, meanwhile, are heavily blogged about topical areas that would fit well into Epivoz’s link-based algorithmic news gathering framework.

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