Findory is an online news aggregator that adapts its layout to the types of news stories that you read, providing a uniquely personalized view of the day’s headlines.
Headlines that match your profile are tagged with a “Personalized” label. As you use the service, and the system gets a better sense of your interests, you’ll see more personalized headlines.
How does the personalization work? Greg Linden, CEO & founder of Findory.com wouldn’t provide details, but did offer a high-level overview of how Findory selects news for each individual user. “The algorithms analyze user behavior and the content of the articles to discover relationships and similarities between items and users,” Linden wrote in an email message.
“The technique is a variant on collaborative filtering algorithms; collaborative filtering recommends items by finding similar users to you and recommending items those similar users like to you.”
This is the process Amazon.com became well known for — recommending products based on your selections and those that made similar choices. Linden headed the team at Amazon that developed the “customers who bought X also bought” feature.
Linden says that the process goes beyond looking at a headline, or matching categories based on subject matter. “Past attempts at personalized news tended to use those techniques. The quality of the personalization was very poor.”
“Matching categories is too broad; I may be interested in my local football team, but the category of sports includes hockey, cricket, and a variety of other sports that do not interest me. Matching keywords in the headline or elsewhere is too narrow. Reading a single article on “mars rover” doesn’t mean I want to see 10 other articles on ‘mars rover.'”
Want to revisit an article you’ve read? Click the Your History link for a list of recently viewed news stories. You can also get personalized headlines sent to you via email, or through an RSS feed. Both require registration, but all that’s needed to register is an email address and password.
Findory News isn’t as comprehensive as other news aggregators such as Google and Yahoo, with about 2,000 sources. The exact number changes daily because some sources are aggregators of other sources. Findory has an agreement with Topix.net that allows them to access to part of their news feed. Topix.net contains over 6,000 sources, a percentage of which appear on Findory News.
And unlike headline scraping services or RSS aggregators, which simply gather headlines and links, Findory has a crawler which can pull both the full text from many sites, as well as gathering news feeds.
At this point, Findory News is not yet serving ads. Linden says that the company is developing a targeted, contextually based ad server which should be deployed in the fourth quarter of this year.
Over the weekend, Findory launched a beta service for weblogs called The Findory Blogory that works much like the personalized news service. Headlines from blogs are aggregated and categorized, and as you read, you get recommendations for similar blogs. Gary Price has more about this new service.
NOTE: Article links often change. In case of a bad link, use the publication’s search facility, which most have, and search for the headline.