Personalized news options have come a long way in the past year. Below you will find my favorites services as well as some of the best human curators of tech and digital news.
If you take one thing away from this piece, I hope it is that you give Zite a try. In the past year I have tweeted several times that I considered purchasing an iPad just to use this amazing app. In the end I didn’t have to do that because Zite is now offered on Android, and my wife is nice enough to share the use of her iPad a couple times a week.
Zite lets you choose different catagories of news you are interested in, and you can also connect your social networks to let stories from your network have an influence what you see.
From there you get articles that Zite thinks you might be interested in. Nothing new with that, but Zite uses amazing learning technology to figure out what you are most interested in and then delivers those stories to you via their app. You can simply like or dislike an article, and Zite will take it into account. You can block all articles from a particular domain. You can also indicate that you like a certain author or topic.
What I like best about Zite is that it never feels like work. If I find a article that is extremely compelling, I will like it. But I can go for weeks without doing anything but reading, and I still get compelling articles.
I consider Prismatic a more advanced version of Topsy with filters. While I don’t thing their learning mechanism is as good as Zite, this service does a good job of surfacing interesting topics based on the keywords and topcis you select. The service is web based. Here is a two minute video that explains how to get started with Primsmatic.
This service is currently in beta. When you signup for an invite it usually takes one to three days before you are sent and invitation.
This section is largely focused on tech, social media and digital news. While machine based personalized news can cover any topic, humans often have to focus on a specific area.
Techmeme is THE site in the tech news world. Around since 2008, this is were much of the tech world goes for updates. Techmeme does a good job of curating the news using human curation, but sometimes I feel like they are too insular, just focusing on the established tech publications.
All Things D: Must Reads
My new favorite page. All Things D is a leader in the coverage of the the digital space, and rather than just link to their own work, now they have a section called Must Reads. The page is very basic; Beth Callaghan, an All Thing D editor, just links to what she considers are the six best reads around the Internet with a focus on the digital world. I now tend to go this page first when I am on my desktop and want to find something interesting to read. I am a bit biased because they featured my Search Secret piece and that is actually how I realized they were offering this new section.
PBS MediaShift: Daily Must Reads
At around 11AM each weekday, PBS Media Shift sends out an email with links to “the best stories across the web on media and technology”. This email includes five to seven links. Unless I am very busy, I look at this email each day. Lily Leung does a good job of highlighting useful and interesting reads.