Monday, May 28, 2007

Attention: Particls - Personalized news and alerts system in public BETA

1 comment :
Memorial Day here in the States is NOT one of those holiday's that Hallmark has manipulated into a card giving holiday, so that means no gifts either but today the good folks over at Particls have managed to go into public Beta giving you a special gift.

Particls is an 'attention management system' that i have blogged about before (it used to be called Touchstone) and I have been using for a while along with a couple other RSS consumption tools. Even when my computer recently crashed Particls was one of the first re-installations i did. The ticker across the top of my screen always gets a lot of 'attention' from coworkers and such, and with the last release i even skinned it to fit the Dow Jones color schema. I made this video today which i posted on my Blip.tv channel:




Over the last few months my usage of Particls has been up and down, like ANY Beta you participate in there are always issues, but the good people behind Particls are always willing to listen and the multiple builds that have come over the last few months prove that they are listening.

Particls takes work to make it work for you- so those who are light on time when reviewing or commenting on new tools should probably be disregarded. You probably should also not listen to anyone that doesn't use RSS as part of their daily workload- if you need to keep on top of hundreds and hundreds of news feeds (blogs, main stream media, internal feeds etc) this could be a great tool for you.

Particls does not replace my RSS reader- the one i go to when i have time in my schedule to scroll through the endless feeds, it is a supplement that will continuously alert me of items that should get my attention even when i do not have time to be looking at my RSS feed reader. My Google Reader is more or less like my e-mail inbox, things comes in and i have to 'act' on them to acknowledge them read, etc. Particls acts for me.
The idea of the Particls system is that it gathers your 'Attention data'- breadcrumbs of data- click stream- what you tag, browsing history, implicit information (what you feed it in feeds and key words), how much you 'trust' something (assigned by you or based on usage), ranking - how high it ranks based on your attention profile is then delivered to you either a news ticker, sms delivery or desktop pop-up. Your Attention profile is stored locally and therefore you own and control it.

How does it rank Attention ? Well that i guess that is their secret sauce but you can get a bit of it from this interview with Chris Saad.

The thing i like the best is that the system seems to fine tune itself everyday.'Tracking/Alerting' news has always been an issue for folks like me because i work with some many diverse clients and projects which keep changing. So because the Attention can be tuned automatically as i go along, i can work with over 50 customers at a time in my pipeline and my interests may change everyday.

So Particls has been in private beta for a few months- and there probably still some bugs in there that the guys are working out- but that is what beta is about, no? give it a whirl download it here and read their announcement blog post.

More Reviews at Mashable, Read/WriteWeb, Techcrunch, and StartupSquad. I look forward to following how Particls is received in the marketplace and seeing what partners and developers come up with.

1 comment :

Chris said...

Daniela you have a wonderful way of taking the abstract and conceptual and bringing it down to simple and practical truths.

Your post and video captures the spirit of what we're trying to do like nothing else.

Thanks so much for taking the time.