I've been playing around with TailRank lately, and it seems pretty cool, if still not quite up to the level of Memeorandum yet.

Some issues and comments I have:

  • The stories on the site are listed according to an algorithm based upon inbound links. I'm not entirely clear as to what constitutes an "inbound link". Is it just a link within the network of blogs that TailRank indexes? Can it jump outside of that dataset if someone else breaks some news, the way that memeorandum seems to be able to?
  • I'm not sure why, but when it shows me who tagged a story, but it only shows one name. Also, if I tag something, it doesn't show me that I've tagged it. I would like some way to see everyone that has tagged something, including myself, so I can see who's interested in the same things as me.
  • It's a cool idea to combine the tagging functionality with the rankings to show me stuff I'll find more interesting. It's not clear to me, however, how my "social" and "local" network get determined, or even what the differences between those are supposed to be. (I haven't made anyone on the site my "friend" or anything like that, and I don't even think that there's a feature that allows me to do so, but I still have a social and local network.)
  • I can't tell if tags act as inbound links on a story or not. When I use the "TailRank: share" button in my link toolbar the page that comes up says:

    If enough people tag this story or the blogosphere links to it often it will be promoted to the main page.

    So does that mean that tags and inbound links are counted together to determine the rank of a story?

  • The site is still slooooow.

Overall though, it seems to be the best site I've seen so far at striking the right balance between automatically promoting content and taking the opinions of the users of the site in to account. Hopefully they can get the site moving faster soon, as that would make things immediately more useful.