Google News automated the process, using algorithms to pick out the day’s top news, while Google Reader and iGoogle (RIP) handed users the keys to their own personalized news sites. But they also threatened to trap users in what Eli Pariser called “filter bubbles”: narrow online worlds of their own making.
In recent years Twitter has become the first stop for news addicts, but the firehose of links can be too much for the average user.
That has led to efforts to package the highlights of people’s Twitter and RSS feeds into personalized magazines, like Flipboard and Zite. Meanwhile, sites like Reddit crowd-source the curation process, letting its users vote on which stories rise to the top of the page.
I have tried every one of these and more, and while each has its merits, not one has ever struck the perfect balance between diversity of sources, relevance of content, and ease of use.
So I didn’t have high expectations the first time I logged into a 2-year-old site called Prismatic. But it has rapidly become a staple part of my information diet, and today it is vying with Twitter for the top spot on my bookmarks bar. It’s that good-and it has the potential to be far better still.
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