Findory is a personalized news and blog index. It pulls in lots of RSS feeds, and presents summaries of recent articles to you. In other words, it's yet another aggregator. What makes it different is that you don't subscribe to feeds. Instead, it keeps track of what articles you click on and uses that information to build a profile of your interests. It can do this anonymously -- presumably by a unique cookie that it gives you the first time you access it, or you can create an account and log in. I haven't created an account yet, but it says there are some "additional features" available to people who do so, The question I'm really interested in is what information does it use to build a profile of your preferences? When you add a feed to its list, you can assign a single category to the feed. That's not going to be particularly useful metadata, so if this thing is going to be of any use it's going to have to do more. Perhaps it's doing statistical analysis of the text of articles and matching articles to of articles in a predetermined taxonomy (e.g., similar to a Bayesian classifier), but it could be even more interesting if it is building it's own taxonomy without reference to any pre-categorized articles. There are multi-variate statistical techniques that could conceivably be used to do that, but the last time I worked with them (admittedly a long time ago) they were far too slow to consider doing anything like this with feeds and queries coming in continuously.
Of course, the first thing I did with Findory was do some searching on terms near and dear to my professional interests, and I found that Ed's blog is already indexed there. Only three other blogs on my current subscription list (Ferris Research, Mark Cuban and False Positives (Ian Irving) showed up in searches on "Lotus", "Domino" and "Notes". Any search, by the way, can be accessed via RSS, so you can use Findory to as a way to keep your finger on the pulse of the blogosphere in subjects that interest you. Of course, I added my own feed to Findory, but as of now it doesn't look like it has updated its index to include my posts. I should probably submit my bloggreator feed of Lotusphere bloggers, too.
One of the first articles that I found on Findory (before doing any searches on Lotus-oriented terms) was the top 55 list mentioned above. Actually, there are way more than 55 sites listed there. I guess the site maintainer gave up on updating the title a while back. The current count as of this writing is 109. With that many sites out there already, I'm a bit surprised nobody is trying to make a buck selling a service that submits your RSS URL to all of them. I had no idea there were that many sites indexing RSS feeds. I've probably only heard of about 20% of them. I don't think I'll be going through the motions of submitting to all of them, though if I ever have a spare hour or two I might start going down the list and at least see which ones already know about me.
1. Ed Brill02/15/2005 09:35:59 PM
Well, a lot of them had found me before I found them. Alexa was interesting -- somehow, it has its own guesstimate of my site's traffic -- how does it do that?
I was also intrigued to find that syndic8.com knew about me, but hasn't sent a single referer my way in at least the last three months. Whoopee!
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