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apps

Peruse Personalized News App “Trove” for Story Inspiration

troveApparently “personalized” news apps are all the rage these days, so it’s not really a surprise that Graham Holdings, owners of the Washington Post Company/WaPo Labs pre-Bezos, has ventured into self-selected news arranged by topic with its social news app Trove.

Curating news from more than 15,000 sources and 40,000 RSS feeds, Trove lets you follow the topics, both broad and obscure, that you care about most and consume news specifically within those parameters. Also, you can find other users who share your interests and create your own troves based on your individual interests.

To be fair, this isn’t Trove’s first go at building a personalized news service. The folks behind Trove used to run the now-defunct Washington Post Social Reader Facebook app and a less mature version of today’s Trove (by the way, you can transfer your favorite topics from Social Reader to Trove). They say that this time, they’ve ensured that their algorithms for curating topic-arranged news are solid — but with people having the ability to play with troves, too, the content they provide is now extra valuable.

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Yahoo Unveils New ‘Digest’ App and Digital Tech Magazine

yahoodigest

In an attempt to reclaim its reputation as a Silicon Valley success story, Yahoo has announced several new products and offerings for 2014, including an app and two subject-specific digital magazines.

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer addressed a Las Vegas techie crowd earlier this week with a new vision and push into digital news products that the company hopes will make it relevant in the world of online publishing again.

For our purposes, we’re going to focus on just two of the news products introduced Tuesday.

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As POLITICO Branches Out in Print, Harper’s Enters the Mobile World

politico_01In a somewhat counterintuitive twist, POLITICO, which has budded into an authority on Washington-based politics since its digital inception in 2007, has launched a print magazine.

And in contrast, a much older high culture, arts and trends magazine (the second-oldest continuously published magazine in the U.S.) — Harper’s Magazine — has finally entered the mobile arena with an iOS app.

POLITICO Magazine isn’t the organization’s first dabbling into print — it publishes a decent-sized daily newspaper on Capitol Hill happenings (but that can also be read online). Still, the mag, which will be published six times a year, promises to fulfill a different need.

Editor Susan B. Glasser cites a need for contextual, deeply-reported stories as the organization’s reasoning for incurring the cost and time necessary to produce a print product.

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Push Notifications for Everyone: App.net Launches ‘Broadcast’

appnet alertsYou don’t have to make your own app or hire an editor to handle push notification headlines for it anymore. App.net, the social networking and micro-blogging site, launches a new service, Broadcast, today, allowing anyone — from the freelance blogger to web magazine mogul — to send out their own push notifications.

All you have to do is download the app, released today on both Android and iOS markets, set up your ‘broadcast channel,’ and publish your notification. On the consumer side, they’ll have to sign up, too. And subscribe to you. But CEO Dalton Caldwell doesn’t see it as a hassle: Read more

Wibbitz: Turn Text into Video, ‘Readers into Watchers’

Video editors of the world, unite! Wibbitz is a new news application that turns text based articles into short videos using RSS feeds and smart algorithms, complete with natural voice narration and infographics. In five seconds. It’s either the next big thing or the next sign that we’re one step closer to ‘The Fifth Element.”

They’re backed by Horizon Ventures (Spotify, Siri, Summly, among others), so it’s probably both.

The idea behind the technology falls directly in line with the habits of “news snacking” on mobile devices. But don’t publishers have a problem with taking their content and aggregating it? Not really, Wibbitz co-founder Zohar Dayan told me over the phone this week:

Not once they understand our long term vision. Our consumer facing vision is to be a platform that allows third party content providers to produce their own videos out of their own content. It’s mobile friendly and generates higher CPMs, especially with mobile devices.

We all know that producing videos is expensive, and as Dayan notes, “there’s only a certain amount of videos you can produce on a daily basis.” He hypothesizes that on a medium sized website, about 15% of articles have videos, some produced in house, some grabbed from the internet. “We enable them to leverage their own existing content and turn that 15% into 80% percent. Once they understand that, they’re interested in using it on their own platform, and that’s we’re going to enable them to do in the coming months.” Read more

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