Personalized Reading

There’s a new player in the online reading market for the iPad.  Zite is another free app to download for the iPad and falls into the same demand for your reading time as the Flipboard and Pulse applications do.  Navigation and reading stories is just as easy but Zite claims a big difference.

That difference you’ll notice right away.  When you open it for the first time, you’re asked to connect Zite to Twitter and / or your Google Feed.  Zite’s claim to fame is that it will analyze what you’re reading and following and do its best to provide related content.

Like the other products, you can add and customize sections which you see along the right side in the image above.  Pick a section to refine the type of stories to be selected for you.  If you want more, a search routine is there for even more.  So, I added a few sections and let the stories roll.

What is really appealing to me is the claim that Zite will apply some intelligence to search for articles based upon my conversations through Twitter.  This really would deliver on the promise of computers and connectivity.  Imagine a personal devices that hunts and finds the best of what you’re expressing an interest in.  Of course, once you find and read and article, you can share it to your network via Twitter or Facebook or good ol’ email.  Articles can be voted up or down in Digg fashion, and a confirmation message that you’ll receive more stories like that one in the future is displayed.  Over time, if this works as promised, articles for you to read should be tuned to your interests.  I really like the concept and can’t wait to see it in action.

Zite seems to have had a great day with lots of folks giving it a first run.  Even last night when I was testing it, the Zite servers indicated that they were experiencing a heavy, unexpected load and that they were in the process of upgrading.  Nothing succeeds like success.

If you’re into reading the news, and lots of it, you’ll want to give this application a try.  I’d be interested in your thoughts.

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4 thoughts on “Personalized Reading

  1. Thanks for the great blog post! Sorry about things moving a bit slower – we’re delighted and overwhelmed by our success, but sometimes it causes server slowness. FYI, did you know that you can add some custom topics? Just click “Customize” and add a few things you find interesting.

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  2. Thanks for a good review of a great new app for the iPad and thumbs up for the Zite team. I’ve tested it for a couple of days now and it’s getting better all the time. Well done Zite!!

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  3. Thanks for dropping by the blog, Mark. I have messed around with Customized searches. Great concept. I tried to add “Zite” though, and it’s not a topic!

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  4. evie says:

    I live Zite. I downloaded both Flipboard and Pulse when they came out, but abandoned them pretty quickly. The stuff they compiled for me just wasn’t that interesting. I even re-tried Flipboard last week, but I don’t get the love. I can see my twitter feed better in Echofon, and the other articles are generic.

    Zite, otoh, found the right mix for me instantly. It obviously makes a big difference that I have a lot of Reader feeds and Twitter follows to get an understanding of the stuff I’m into, but it did it very well. I’ve been using Zite daily because it finds me articles that I wouldn’t otherwise already see in my RSS or twitter feeds. The topics I like to read about are varied — politics, tennis (but no other sports), Mac/tech (obviously), food and running. It picked up on them all, and then I added a couple of other sections targeted to where I live.

    I’ve seen a nasty review or two (it doesn’t have animated page turns!), but I disagree with them wholeheartedly. Zite doesn’t replicate what I have elsewhere in a different format — it gives me new articles and posts on the topics I like, and it’s snappy. I’ve actually tweeted more articles from Zite than I have from any other 3-party app. Good stuff.

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