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Go beyond the feed. Just build the world’s best collaborative and intelligent content-delivery service. ~Jason @Shellen


Stashed in: Interest Graph!, Curation, Awesome, @semil, Content is king.

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Jason Shellen wrote in TechCrunch that GReader's demise frees us to think "Beyond the Reader":

A feed reader lets you subscribe to known content. A feed reader lets you know about content you should subscribe to. A good feed reader lets you know what your friends are reading and gives you the opportunity to share. A smart feed reader displays content in a specific way based on the content and shows you only what you need to know and nothing you don’t.

Perhaps the smartest of them all doesn’t need to care whether or not this content comes from a feed at all, toes the line between curating and creating content, and maybe already exists.

I’ve been asked a lot recently if an aggregator or feed reader is even needed these days and what should take Reader’s place. Certainly the folks at FeedlyDiggZite and others have promising efforts, but...

My recommendation is to build something that moves beyond the confines of reading or feeds. Just build the world’s best collaborative and intelligent content-delivery service.

The question I have is whether this will come from automated methods like Pulse, social-automated methods like Twitter and Facebook, crowdsourced methods like Reddit and Imgur, or hand curated interest graph methods like Pinterest and Tumblr. Perhaps the best solution uses a hybrid of all of them.

This is a wide open field to be explored, where curation and personalization (Interest Graph!) meet the vast quantities of stuff being shared on Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Great post by Shellen. Aside from Quora, I would put Prismatic into this space, as well as Flipboard, which will have to get there -- or at least try. And, the startup I work closely with -- Swell -- we also strive to deliver personalized audio content to mobile users.

I've also noticed that mobile personalization is the common theme of Yahoo's acquisitions this year.

Personalization is hard. No one has an advantage here -- it's anybody's to win.

Yes, personalization is hard b/c you need a lot of inputs, refined over time, and density. Look at FB, which has all of them -- still not totally relevant. That said -- I wonder if the average user cares about personalization. My wife uses Pandora because it works -- she doesn't care about the algoritms, or curation, etc.

The best personalization is the one you don't even realize exists -- IT JUST WORKS.

That's your wife's experience with Pandora. It's like magic.

By that measure, Facebook's algorithms are awful. They sometimes miss great stuff and offer bad stuff.

To be fair to Facebook, music is easy but general personalization is hard. So many things to account for!

If Facebook can't do it with all their gestures and resources, can anyone?

I think Prismatic can. With audio, I think Swell can. We will have to wait and see.

Yeah, we'll see. Prismatic reminds me a lot of Summly, actually.

Oh, no...I can guarantee you it's much deeper than that. Summly can take information and extract, condense, and refine -- ultimately shortening it. Prismatic can take a disparate number of signals (interest, social, etc.) and, on the fly, tag written content that has properties which would be relevant to you. They can index things in a way Google cannot yet.

That does sound a lot more substantial. I look forward to seeing how well Prismatic works.

You should give Prismatic a whirl. The idea behind it -- like Swell -- is that the algorithm is seeded by your social signals, but generally gets better over time the more you use the service.

Curators are the superheroes of the Web:

http://pandawhale.com/post/1062/curators-superheros-of-the-web

"My dream smartphone service would tell me the next most important thing I should read, given what I'm interested in and what I've already read."

http://pandawhale.com/post/1127/in-2011-more-smartphones-were-sold-than-pcs

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