Former Gawker Employee, Robot Run

Since FishbowlLA has recently been featured at, we thought we’d check in to find out more about this media news aggregator.

The site was founded in March 2010 and is part of a larger group of sites run out of San Francisco and Palo Alto, four in all. In addition to, there is (tech news), (celebrity news), and (politics). Until recently, Megan McCarthy, who got her start with Gawker’s ValleyWag, was San Francisco based, but she now—along with a robot tool—runs out of New York City.

Company founder and CEO Gabe Rivera tells FishbowlLA via email that the big spikes so far for have come courtesy of the News of the World, the AOL-Huffington Post merger, and the launch of The Daily. Revenue is derived from “Sponsor Post” news and paid job section listings.

“The editing automation behind the sites (the “robot”) is continuously attempting to highlight, move up, move down, and group stories,” Rivera explains. “The human editors work alongside the robot, nullifying some of the robot’s decisions, enhancing other ones, and adding their own curated links. It’s a highly cooperative and tightly coupled process.”

At Techmeme, four editors work and rotate in this same fashion as McCarthy–Lidija Davis, Mahendra Palsule, Andre Garrigo, and David Connell. Rivera and programmer Omer Horvitz also sometimes pitch in as editors.

McCarthy came to the company from, where she was covering tech news, while Rivera was formerly with Intel. Sites combed for links number in the low thousands and are constantly being tweaked. “We’ll link to anything that helps in telling the story we need to get out,” says Rivera, “be it a personal blog, a press release, a tweet, or a professional news outlet. It’s very driven by the coverage we need.”

Intriguingly, both and are completely automated.