Tag Archives: personalized

Zite gets my highest recommendation.

How you can get personalized and human curated news.

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.

Personalized News


Zite gets my highest recommendation.

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.

iOS / Android


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.

Human Curated

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

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.

Web page

PBS MediaShift: Daily Must Reads

PBS Media Shift: 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.

 You can sign-up for this newsletter on the right hand side of this linked page. 




Klout Facebook Request via Twitter Email

Twitter leads summary email with a promotion of Facebook … until you click the link.

Twitter’s new summary email has been slowly rolled out to users. They started with inactive accounts, and last night this personalized email was sent to most users. Surprisingly many of the top stories where a promotion of Facebook.

I had access to a dozen of the new Twitter summary emails sent last night and two of them led with a promotion of Facebook.

Automated curation can certain lead to issues like this were competitors are promoting each other, and if people are sharing their Facebook pages on Twitter, maybe they should show up as the lead in a summary email. The problem is . . . they aren’t.

Many shared Klout links now redirect to Facebook.

I have written previously about how Klout is making an aggressive push to get people to connect their Facebook accounts, invite friends to their service and authorize their Facebook app. Now Klout has  started to redirect links to their own site so the automatcally go to Facebook. Frequently when you click on shared Klout link, it will take you to Facebook for another attempt to get you to connect.

This aggressive approach has been highlighted by the new Twitter summary email.  When you click on the link to go to what you believe is Facebook, you actually end up going to Klout and get this message.


The actual link code is fairly complicated, and I assume is making sure anyone clicks on a link is prompted to connect their Klout account to Facebook and/or invite others to join:


Twitter’s Problem: User Confusion

Twitter’s summary email is getting it wrong. I click to go to Facebook, but in my case I am actually forwarded to Klout. Whether you think Klout is a useful site or not, I don’t want to click links in the Twitter email thinking I am going to one website only to end up at another. Klout can certainly redirect people from their own site to other pages. It is some of the most aggressive behavior I have seen, and Twitter shouldn’t be contributing to it with their confusing promotion of Facebook… err,  I mean Klout.


Note that the call to action is to visit Twitter.

Twitter finally using Summify software, and it looks great.

I am a big fan of Summify. I first wrote about Summify last year when I talked about it being a great option to get an overview of what the people shared while I was on vacation and not on Twitter. Since then I continue to look at the summary email every night. Summify does a good job of finding some of the more interesting and notable links shared each day.

On January 19th, Twitter bought Summify. I was concerned that Twitter would shut down Summify, and in fact there was some indication from Twitter that they would do that. Despite that indication, I continue to get Summify emails each day.

Today, I finally got a chance to see what Twitter plans to do with Summify. The image below shows a new email summary from Twitter (on the left) that looks so close to a Summify email (on the right), that I have to think it is a use of the technology.

New Twitter summary email is useful and may bring users back.

Note that the call to action is to visit Twitter.

The new Twitter email goes beyond just a summary of popular links shared by those you follow. It also includes five tweets that were popular in the last day, but that don’t have links in them.

The new Twitter email is very clean, and I think it will solve several issues that Twitter has. First, it keeps Twitter interesting and relevent for people who don’t check the service frequently. Secone, it is likely to get people  who previously signed up for Twitter, but who don’t use it, to try it again.

I looked at the notification pages for a few Twitter accounts I use, and I didn’t see a check box to sign-up for a summary email. It could be that Twitter will use previous opt-in permission to send this email, but the email is so useful I have to think that they will allow users to specifically signup for it in the future.