Just discovered MeeHive, which bills itself rather drably: MeeHive is your personal newspaper that brings you the latest about what’s happening in your world. But having tried it and going by the buzz around it on the web – it’s got more potential than that. It utilizes Kosmix – in fact, the guys behind it are the same folks. You start out by entering the topics that you’re interested in following, then the site provides a personalized home page with a list of “top stories” across all your interests, plus sections where you can focus on specific topics.
There are so many brands competing in this space directly or otherwise. Apart from Google News, there is Netvibes, My Yahoo, Newsvine, Twine and your own RSS reader. It’s different from Netvibes and other aggregators in that you don’t have to choose from a list of news sources across topics – it’s the other way around. You provide your topic of interest and it scours the net to create your newspaper. You can share articles with others, see what friends read, and even use your iPhone to get MeeHive on-the-go. According to the founder, MeeHive uses Kosmix’s algorithms and taxonomy to genuinely group news stories by topic — so that, for example, venture capital stories won’t just be limited to articles with the words “venture capital.” The stories, he says, are ranked by how many publishers write about a specific topic, as well as how many clicks each article gets. You can also connect with other users and see what articles they liked.
Is it likely to replace my news reading habits on the web? Not in the near future. My bookmarks are arranged by topic and so the must-visits include a diverse set of sources. Google News for a scan of the headlines, BBC’s South Asia section for the regional news, a roundup of the Indian & South Asian dailies for a scan of headlines and of course the advertising blogs to check what’s new. Even though I have put in Advertising as one of my interests, I did not see MeeHive as a one-stop source because it did not bring up my regular sites. Over the years, while I have created accounts in Newsvine, Netvibes, Friendfeed and other such, my interest in them hasn’t gone beyond the initial novelty phase. I end up seeking multiple sources for news. Much like mobile phone for calls and digital camera for photos – since that perfect hybrid product hasn’t come out yet. Which online news source will be competition for MeeHive? Does it work for you?