We’re cooking up a new project here at Grist, and I’d like to ask for your feedback and your help spreading the word about it.

When I came to Grist, as someone who was admittedly not an environmental-news specialist, I started looking around for a website or service that would show me, at a glance, a frequently updated selection of the trending headlines, news items and commentaries in the field. I was used to having this kind of tool at my disposal from my work in tech news, where Techmeme has been filling this need since 2005, and in political news, where Techmeme’s sister site Memeorandum has long done the same.

These sites are driven largely by machine — in other words, algorithms scan a flood of links and RSS items and tweets and draw up a portrait of the news and the conversation around it from a set of carefully selected sources. Human editors intercede at times to fix stuff the algorithm got wrong or to override its judgment with a more nuanced human-editorial hand. It’s cyborg journalism — not a replacement for original reporting, to be sure, but a highly useful adjunct.