Apparently “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.
“…While algorithms are smart, we think people are smarter. Now everyone can give their take on any topic they care about. By adding their own insight and expertise, they will collectively make the best news reading experience online,” the Trove team said on its blog.
One of the neat things about Trove is that its development team accepts recommendations of media sources you would like to see on the app. Want more jiu-jitsu publications pulled into your trove, or more specialty cooking magazines? Let the Trove team know.
From spending just a few minutes playing with my new iPhone app, I saw that Trove could be an incredibly useful tool for journalists in terms of: 1) catching up on the day’s biggest stories; 2) identifying experts within lesser-known topics/niches; 3) finding story ideas for yourself/your employing news organization(s).
For 10,000 Words’ purposes, I searched using simply the word “journalism,” and troves for “Citizen Journalism,” “Future of Journalism” and “Writing” came up. A combination of “news on the news” type of pieces came up, as well as some listicles. I found it to be a more efficient way of finding stories on the journalism industry than Google, and definitely one with a prettier interface than Google Reader. Still, it’s yet to be seen how Trove will compete with Prismatic, Zite and Flipboard.
First impression time: what do you think of Trove?