Ohpan is a news ticker. OK, that's one way of describing it, but it's about as far removed from what Ohpan does - and has the potential to do - as calling a Tivo a VCR. Unveiled today in invite-only beta (don't worry, we've got access codes for you), Ohpan takes the concept of a scrolling feed and tricks it out until it's hardly recognizable. Atype Studios, the creator, calls it a dynamic side-scrolling infostream.
Ohpan is one part SnackR, a bit of Tumblr, some Facebook and a recommendation system all rolled together. And that doesn't even begin to describe how it works. But we will gamely make an attempt to sum up the features, nonetheless.
First, it scrolls. To the left. Of that much we are sure. All sorts of news articles, pictures, stories, reviews, and other informational items appear in two rows. As you move your mouse over each item, you can choose to read more, close, strike, or star it. Or let it float on by. Anyway, if you do click on the item, a new window will open giving you a larger preview. Closing an item does just that. Clicking on the star icon will save the item for your own feed and finally, striking an item will make it (and stuff like it) go away.
Here's where the recommendation system comes in. Starring stuff promotes similar content, so you end up seeing more of it in your stream. Striking things makes them go away, and also makes them less likely to appear again. After a while, you are seeing more and more of the stuff you like. It's that simple.
Atype Studios also added a bit of social goodness to the app, not only building a feed of stuff you have starred, but also allowing you to share particular items with other Ohpan users and eventually, via email and other social networks. And they aren't stopping there - itechmo reports that plans are afoot to include your own content (if it isn't being picked up already), add your Google Reader shared items and even rate inline ads!
Oh yeah - we also promised you some access codes! Here's what to do. Go to the Ohpan site, click on the button called I have a code! and put in this code: RWWROCKS.
The man behind Atype, Simon Plashkes (@plashkes), gave us a roll of 1000 tickets, so first come, first serve!