NewsGator Collaborative Filtering

Wow, it’s been a busy week here at NewsGator central, today we announced a pretty cool feature in our client products for content recommendations called Collaborative Filtering.

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We are pretty hot on this idea of filtering content and providing recommendations based on the attention you give to your subscribed content. This includes not just clicking on a post in a feed to read it, but also clipping, tagging, and sharing content, all of which come together in our Activity Scoring.

What we are doing with Sense Array is actually pretty blind to the actual content, it uses attention streams as simulated ratings on top of explicit thumbs up/down ratings the user initiates on suggested content. We have been working with mSpoke on a rich categorization capability that will provide Wikipedia-style indexing of content, and you will being seeing that in the products in the near term.

So where is all this going? Well first things first, we need to finish integrating this with our desktop client apps so that you have the same recommendations in FeedDemon, NetNewsWire, and your Outlook inbox, and it’s all powered by the online engine. This also suggests that we can make this available to third party app developers through our API.

Secondly, we are taking advantage of our widget services for content syndication as a logical delivery point for relevance features that provide suggested content on top of what our media partners are delivering. Ironically, this is a core part of what we offered with our branded reader product that led to the development of the widget business, so in a sense this is coming full circle to providing publishers with rich services on top of RSS, just as we do for consumers.

Lastly, I think it’s fair to say that the emergence of exciting new RSS consumption applications and the embedding of RSS services into applications means that there is a movement to provide a new user experience for content consumption that does not rely on a subscribe and consume chronologically model. This next generation paradigm is what captures my interest and I think we can deliver it.