Content curation and news reader applications are created by the dozen every day, to address the need of filtering online content in a better way that what Google can offer.
Knowing that humans are smart in part because they are lazy, creating automated systems to push the most targeted content to internet users is also the key for a news application to succeed. Additionally, people are starting to consume content and news directly from social networking sites, replacing traditional search engines by friends’ recommendations.
For a number of people, Twitter has become one of the preferred channel to find their favorite content, however, finding the freshest and most relevant news on Twitter can be time consuming and requires a lot of manual interactions.
Launched in private beta today, Nine Connections labels itself as a “viral news network . The service offers to automatically push the most relevant news coming from Twitter, relatively to the topics and the subject-matter experts users are following.
The configuration is simple: each topic is organized in a grid containing a maximum of nine Twitter contacts, preferably identified as “experts”, and the proprietary algorithm does the rest, creating a customizable and interest-based newsfeed. Over time, the system learns users’ interests and reading behaviors to deliver more accurate results.
Lucien Burn, Nine Connections co-founder, claims that the application allows people to discover breaking news on their favorite topics more rapidly than using regular search tools, news readers or Twitter. Down the road, the company will extend the app’s features to deliver news coming from LinkedIn and Facebook.
Other content curation applications and smart news readers that leverage social networks and interest graphs include My6Sense, Scoop.it, Pearltrees, FlipBoard, Zite, AOL Editions, Pulse, and more… To my knowledge, only My6Sense, Zite, AOL Editions actually learn users’ preferences to personalize content delivery.
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