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Saturday, February 13, 2010

My answer to Tom about Genieo

{Few days ago I asked Tom Foremski to try out Genieo.
Tom reply back to me with a great question; how Genieo is different from other RSS filtering system? Following is my answer to Tom}.


Tom, would you prefer the long or the short answer? ;)

The idea behind Genieo is to build a personalization framework that will keep user's privacy on one hand and will serve as a fully automatic environment for apps that adapts itself to the user's online behavior on the other. that's actually the dream I had in mind.
Its rely challenging to build a generic personalization engine that will fit all the applications around so we started with Facebook, Twitter and news widget.
I call it Ad-hoc personalized news widget, cause we build a topic widget for each individual and pull in the relevant items from all of his/her favorite sources. We also demote this widget as soon as it's no longer one of the user topic of interest. This way you can keep up with a story, with RSS feeds (as a reader with highlighted items that relevant for you) or just look into your personal news stream based on time line.

Genieo is unique in many levels from other personalization solutions, cause we built an engine that able to "read" (as it was human….oh well it's an ongoing process) each page you are browsing and figure out what is the main topic that interest you, and ignores templates that are different on each site. In many ways, is the same challenge that Google is trying to solve.
Without mapping or categorizing the web in advance, or using any Semantic Web standards or dictionaries, our engine needs to understand each page. After doing so, we discover the RSS feeds on each domain you visited and opt you in to a list of feeds. Then we rank those sources for you and filter items based on your changing topic of interest. Some of them are long term interest for the user (even if the user don’t read a lot about this specific topic) and some are short term interest, we are trying to learn this also.

We do not use only RSS feeds, we also do a mashup for the top headlines from your favorite portals (we figure this out automatically).
One of the philosophical issues with personalization is that you can be stock in your own world and in your own feedback loop. So we also discover new content for you by figuring out which topic interest your friends and at the same time it match online trends, when we find such a topic we bring it to your startpage, so you won't be the only one in a social party that is missing a buzz.

Currently we support Windows platform using IE/FF. Chrome will be support soon, and we considering to support Mac OS as well.
My6Sense doing a great job for iPhone RSS readers although you will have to manually manage the feed lists (opt in/out) and it takes a while till the app learns your reading habits.
Genieo have a bootstrapping process so you should be able to see the results right after the installations with zero management. The technology behind it is also different because it's fully automatic and private (runs only on the user's PC w/o any server side). In a way I would say that Genieo is a combination of Feedly and My6Sense for the laymen users that wants to keep up with their online life w/o the need to tell anything to the system.

I tried to make my reply as shorted as I can, I hope you had the energy to read till the end :)
Feel free to ask me any question you might have, as you can imagine I enjoy talking about what we do…

Enjoy the weekend!

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