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What do you think about personalized content services?


I've recently stumbled upon a TED talk by Eli Pariser titled "Beware inline filter bubbles". He talks about how modern content delivery services try to deliver personalized relevant information, and filter out the rest, thus, limiting the diversity of content we consume. He calls it a "filter bubble."

I find this topic very interesting because I'm currently developing a similar service myself - http://6feeds.com. It's a service that will recommend you news based on you recent activity: what you've read, shared etc; and help you discover new content. I've started working on it, because I've noticed, that the amount of stories I have to skim through to find something interesting, is just too large. I thought that this process could be optimized with the help of modern technologies.

I haven't considered the "filter buble" problem while working on 6feeds, probably because it was designed to allow you to fully control you subscription list and add any content you like. But when I think of it, I'm not even sure if it's a problem. I think this is a case where the pros totally outweigh the cons. Usage of such systems doesn't directly limit, what information we consume, rather helps us save time, looking for quality content, and leaves more time to learn something else.

What do you think? Is it a problem? Would you feel comfortable using such systems? And how can we address the "filter bubble" problem?


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  • Jul 3 2012: I think such services should be developed, yet they have to be improved to avoid the filter bubble problem. Like Pariser said, your personal news feed should probably include some stories beyond your standard scope of interests. It will provide new potentially challenging information and diversity.

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