Personalized news platforms that can guess what users want to see are being developed by several competing teams. One expectation is that newspapers and other local media will want to use them to power next generation services.
Last week, we wrote about DailyMe. Other contenders include Pegasus News’ The Daily You, Kosmix’s MeeHive and now Serendeputy, a site launched by former Boston.com local search and classifieds director Jason Butler.
Serendeputy, which Butler warns is still in “early beta,” is conceived as an adaptive news site that tracks the news habits of its users and then chooses new articles based on their habits. It also has a tentative local angle with unique URLs associated with Boston area communities such as Hollistan.
Butler had the brain child while he was still with The Globe. “How could I create the best possible Boston.com for a particular person,” he asked himself. “How could I make it so that I’d get the news that mattered most to me first, regardless of what everyone else was looking at?”
In developing the company, which is currently self-funded, Butler says he is especially focused on “thinking two-three years ahead.” Many sites require users to fill out lots of forms. RSS also doesn’t cut it — it remains mostly for the tech-oriented, and requires constant management to be readable. Entire groups (i.e., women) aren’t being effectively targeted. “I am trying to build a more adaptive profile that is as passive as possible,” he says.