A few months back Newsgator decided to switch up their business model and start offering their desktop feed readers at absolutely no cost. Some people were a little taken back that they would do this, and immediately began asking the question “how?” Well, they essentially want to track how you interact with your feeds.
It looks like we might be seeing the first signs of what’s coming out of Newsgator’s data collection. Today they announced that they are teaming up with SenseArray to provide news recommendations to users on Newsgator Online. Now on your feed homepage it shows you a list of recommended stories, and as you can see in the screenshot to the right my recommendations weren’t all that bad. To make them even better what you’re supposed to do is rate the stories giving them either a thumbs up or thumbs down. It also looks at what links you click, articles you tag, and any saving/forwarding you do to help suggest stories that you’ll actually find interesting.
You might recall that Google Reader actually does something similar where they recommend feeds to you. I think this is a lot nicer because it pulls in individual stories rather than an entire feed. What Newsgator has done is way more useful in my eyes.
The only thing I’m waiting for now is for Newsgator to bring this feature over to their desktop applications. That way it might be able to more accurately track my reading habits, and then suggest all kinds of great stories. Of course I really don’t need to be spending any more time reading news. ;)