Trapping the News

OK, I freely admit that I’m a sucker for news reading.  I’ve been playing around with another Beta service lately – you may have noticed it from articles shared on Twitter – called Trap!t.

It’s another service that diverts from just capturing and following the RSS feed from a news site.  In this case, you set Traps as defined by keywords and the service goes out and gathers related content from all corners of the Internet.  It’s very similar to Zite, in that you have the ability to give a story the thumbs up or thumbs down.  Trap!t learns what types of story that you like to read and does its best to give you more of the same.

A typical Trap looks like this when you log in …

In this case, I’ve set a Trap looking for stories about Microsoft Windows 8.  Images of the stories cycle through the button that takes you the actual story.  After that, you can cycle through the stories, share them, and of course vote them up or down.  There’s even a "read later" feature – reading lists seem to be very popular right now.

If you’re too lazy to set your own traps, then you can follow popular or trending traps that others have set.  It’s actually pretty neat to wander around and look into the traps that are out there.  If there is a shortcoming that I see at present, it’s the fact that most of the stories come from US sources.

Like most things, the more that you use it, the more powerful it becomes.  I feel like I’m just scratching the surface.  Recently, I had a phone interview with one of the Trap!t folks, Laura.  We had a nice discussion about how I’m using the service and she gave me some tips about how to vote things up and how to be judicious about voting things down.  Plus, she assured me that there is Canadian content to be had.  I guess I just need to learn how to work the system to my advantage.  As a result of our conversation, Laura created a blog post about it.  You can read it here.

You can experience Trap!t for yourself with some of the Traps that appear on the front page.  If you like what you see and it fits into the type of reading that you do, create yourself an account and start laying your own traps!

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links for 2011-09-27