Launches Human-Powered News Tracker

In the ongoing internet battle between human editors and mechanized algorithms, there has been no clear victor. But competition in the space is heating up, and is betting on the humans. Well, their humans., a site that started off as a ratings-powered blog directory has branched out into new territory this morning. It’s now compiling the hottest news headlines by hand. Competing news tracking services like TechMeme, Google News, and BlogRunner use automated systems or a slight mix of automation and editorial choice to categorize news as it happens. Blogged’s will be entirely human-driven.

The move is a bit of a gamble to get people in the door. Once a user is looking at a story, they can dig into Blogged’s directory and check out its rating, hopefully coming back later to add their own. There’s also a new search tool that will let you search both blog listings and individual posts based on topic.

I got to ask founders Kenneth Yeh and Gladys Kong about the people behind these story selections. Apparently the team of feeders is the same group who’s behind the blog ratings. Believe it or not, that means they’re getting paid to sit around and read blog content in over a dozen different categories. “Our editors have pretty good taste,” Yeh said. Not to mention a job (Yeh says they’re hiring).

That same taste is what determines which stories get front page placement, even if someone else breaks the news first. The company is hoping quality will rule over velocity, although Yeh expects them to have approximate speed to the competitors.

Still on the horizon are additional ratings for writers, and a way to comb news using those ratings. “We are still working on that piece, as much as ratings,” said Yeh.

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