Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
April 18, 2009 7:41 PM

Recommendation Engines As The Future Of News

Do you like reading the news online, or do you prefer to read the news, copy and paste the link into a recommendation engine and vote other news items up or down?

Is Digg still a little too nerdy for the every day person? Digg is one of the most popular recommendation engines on the Internet (and one of the biggest websites, overall). It's been around forever and Kevin Rose is - without a doubt - one of the true Internet celebrities. Another amazing recommendation engine that I have been giving a ton of attention to lately has been Reddit (special thanks to Julien Smith for the re-introduction). It's also worth noting that Reddit is owned by Conde Nast. It's been an interesting personal experiment into my own online behaviours.

For some reason, finding a news item, logging into a recommendation engine, submitting it and then following its progress seems like a ton of work that does not interest me in the least bit.

This is surprising if you consider how big of a news nerd I consider myself (and how much of a proponent I am for online social bookmarking). On top of that, millions of people will say that it's one of the many things that makes these digital channels that much more interesting. The ability for all of us to crowdsource the news and decide what should make it to the top of the heap is - without doubt - one of the coolest things about the many changes that are happening in the new media (and they are 100% right).

I like to watch.

So, while I'm not that interested in Digging an item or joining in for the online social networking features (in fact, I don't even subscribe to any of the recommendation engines through RSS), they are still a major part of my daily routine and filled to the brim with amazing content that you will probably not see on any of the more generic news sites owned by the more traditional media companies.

It's those two different and divergent perspectives that gives us more power and perspective.

As a Marketer, the occasional glance at Digg and Reddit provides a plethora of new ideas. Beyond that, it's interesting to see how news will spread and become valuable to individuals as both the traditional media continues to populate the online channel with their content, and how it is intermingled with Blogs and the millions of people who take it, submit and rank it. At one point, Netscape tried a Digg-like model on their homepage (it didn't work out). For some people it's a game to post and rate, for others it provides a unique perspective into what gets people excited in the news. For others, it opens up a whole new can of questions surrounding editors and what, exactly, they decide to publish in a world where everyone can be an editor.

What are you feelings about recommendation engines and the news?

By Mitch Joel