One of Memeorandum's new competitors, Megite, is testing out a Personalized version of their product. You will be able to upload your OPML file and a personalized news cluster will be created for you, based on the RSS feeds you already track. Here's the demo page for my Personalized Megite.
In many ways, this is the next evolutionary step for RSS Aggregators. We all know by now that tracking hundreds of RSS feeds in an Aggregator like Bloglines or Rojo is very time-consuming and tiring. Having an automated filter for your RSS Aggregator is the holy grail for such services - because none have done it successfully so far.
btw I know Alex Barnett doesn't like the term 'Meme Tracker' - he prefers News Tracker. But I like Pete Cashmore's defence of the term Meme Tracker - it's not quite 'news' either and the term actually honors Memeorandum, the first and still the best such service.
Now I've heard that a number of the Meme Tracker services I reviewed last week are planning personalized versions, but Megite is the first I know to actually have developed one. If others have built one, then please let me know! Megite's is still pre-beta and only myself and a few others are currently testing it, but so far I have to say it's looking promising. Here's a screenshot of my personalized Megite.
The developer Matthew Chen says the clustering of Personalized Megite is determined by a combination of relevance, post popularity, blog authority and freshness. I don't think I'm giving anything away there - the secret sauce is of course how those elements are combined and mixed! He says they've been experimenting with different factors and formulas to try and get the best results. Indeed in my testing, I've noticed a gradual improvement as Matthew continues to tweak the product.
Also I should point out that it's not restricted to feeds in my OPML file - some external feeds get pulled in too, provided they are 'relevant'. So there's a lot of potential for discovery of new feeds, outside your initial OPML file.
Personalized Megite has got a long way to go, but there are signs it's coming together and I'm looking forward to see how this personalized news clustering develops. Plus I'd love to test out any other service that is doing this. I really do think this will have the traditional RSS Aggregators sitting up and taking notice. I don't know about others, but I'm struggling to keep up with my 150-odd RSS feeds on a daily basis. I desparately need a good way to filter them.
Update: Over on Robert Scoble's blog, Greg Linden reports that Findory does something similar: "Go to Findory.com, click the Favorites link in the upper right corner, then import your OPML. What you get is a personalized selection of top stories from your favorite feeds." The one difference is that Findory doesn't do any clustering of stories. That would be a great feature (hint hint Greg!).