I’m suffering with the loss of Google Reader and iGoogle. I blogged about this over on my work blog, but as it affects my personal life as well I’m sharing the joy. Has anyone tried Prismatic? What do you think?
Excerpts from The World’s Smartest News Reader on Slate
It’s called Prismatic, and it may have solved one of the Internet’s oldest problems.
I have tried every one of [the news readers] 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.
You may be thinking: That kind of software never actually delivers stuff I’m interested in, or it serves up stuff so obvious that I’ve already seen it 10 times. ..Prismatic, on the other hand, navigates the shoals of predictability and incoherence with whimsy and grace.
Visit getprismatic.com or download the app on your iPhone or iPad. (There’s no Android app yet, though it should arrive by fall.) It will prompt you to sign up using your Facebook, Twitter, or Gmail account. Note that you’re giving Prismatic access to some sensitive data, so privacy and trust will be critical to the site’s success. The information Prismatic imports from that service forms the first step in its learning process, and it immediately presents you with a page of news stories, op-eds, and blog posts that it thinks you might find interesting, along with a side rail of topics and people to follow.
Don’t be discouraged if its initial suggestions are underwhelming—it’s only once you start interacting with Prismatic that it begins to distinguish itself. Scroll down and start reading some of the stories you find interesting. Prismatic’s software will be silently watching and taking notes as you linger a while on some and quickly move on from others. Take some direct action—like starring, tweeting, or saving a story for later—and you can be sure the site’s algorithm is marking that story with a proverbial yellow highlighter. It doesn’t know yet exactly why you interacted with that piece, and it won’t jump to conclusions. Rather, it will begin to form some hypotheses.