Techmeme, the popular technology news aggregator, has indicated that completely automated news may not be working as fast as expected, making manual intervention necessary.

Gabe Rivera cites the example of Anna Nicole Smith‘s death, where the Techmeme algorithm (on Wesmirch, a sister site) “featured news about Anna Nicole Smith’s hospitalization after she’d already been declared dead”. According to him, the human editor would now ensure that news will just get faster and more interesting, and obsolete stories eliminated sooner.

This is an interesting change of course, given that Techmeme faces competition not only from other news aggregators like Google Blog Search, Digg or Reddit, but also from real-time microblogging platforms like Twitter and Friendfeed which provide fresher but less reliable reports.