my6sense, which takes your feed subscriptions and then recommends interesting posts based on your own reading habits. My6sense's current focus is on providing a good mobile experience, though the company will soon also launch its service on the web as well.Personalized recommendations have always been one of those technologies that look great on paper, but hardly ever work quite as well as advertised. This week, we got a chance to test
While it did take a bit of training before the application fully recognized our preferences and before it returned really good results, the overall results were very impressive.
So how does it work? When you first sign up, my6sense can import your RSS feeds (from Google Reader, Netvibes, MyYahoo, or from a standard OPML file). After that, all you have to do is read your feeds through the web app and my6sense will automatically learn from your reading behavior (my6sense calls this "digital intuition"). You can also explicitly give a 'thumbs up' or 'thumbs down' on any post.
My6sense is also a very capable RSS reader in its own right, with the built-in ability to share items on Twitter, Facebook, FriendFeed, and LinkedIn, as well as by email. One very nice feature of the app is that it also allows you to see comments on posts from supported blogging platforms.
Currently, my6sense is only available as a web app, but the company expects to have a native iPhone application in the App Store by the time the service launches its public beta early next year.
On a mobile device, good recommendations can be quite a time saver. Having to scroll through numerous feeds can quickly become frustratingly slow. In our tests, it took a day or two of regular usage before my6sense started to come back with really good recommendations. As Kristie Wells, my6sense's VP of Marketing and Community Relations told us, the company is working on providing a better out-of-the-box experience that will learn faster, but given our positive experience, training the software off and on for a day or two is well worth it.
APML, which would make it possible for users to take their attention profile and transfer it to other news readers. For now, however, the company says that it is focused on providing a good user experience for its alpha testers, though they didn't rule out support for the APML in the future.We also talked to the two co-founders of my6sense, Barak Hachamov and Avinoam Rubinstain, earlier last month and we asked them if they were going to support any of the open attention profiles like the
Our experience with my6sense has been very positive, but you don't have to take our word for it. While the service is still in private alpha, they have provided us with 500 invites for our readers. Just click here to claim yours and let us know if it worked as well for you as it did for us.