Gawker offers a personalised news experience

Gawker, the popular news aggregator network, has launched an aggregator for its internal sites. Users can specify what topics from each network they wish to see, and then they are given a unique url with that content aggregated.

There are two places news will be consumed in the future, editorially aggregated sites like Gawker, or The Huffington Post and machine aggregated platforms like Techmeme and Google News. Gawker Hybrid appears to be a splendid blend of the benefits of both worlds.

You can sign in via Facebook Connect, or your Gawker profile – and then you’re instantly presented with an easy to customize view:

Customizing my Gawker Experience

Customizing my Gawker Experience

Very cool. You can even see my hybrid site here. (Sign up for the service by clicking “Hybrid” in the menu bar on any Gawker site.)

Thats really interesting – what does that profile say about me? That I’m an avid gamer, interested in tech gossip, and geeky stuff. That profile actually sums me up really well [sadly] — is this a fantastic method of pushing this is who I am?

Gawker Hybrid is great addition for users – not only do you get to consume all the news you care about from a single page, you can even avoid content you don’t want to see – perhaps you hate NFL? Or don’t want to see Valleywag coverage on Gawker.

This will however have a negative impact on Gawkers public traffic numbers – as, obviously, you need to visit fewer sites and therefore Gawkers page views will decrease. Naturally Gawker can counter this with better targeted (= more valuable) adverts. Gawker can target specialist adverts to exact types of people. Maybe thats Xbox 360 Games + Car Reviews, or NBA + PC Games. Factor this with logging in via Facebook Connect [sex – age – etc] and you have a stellar targeting platform.

Its a pity Gawker left it to the user to decide which content topics they read – it feels like the next step for this service is a machine learning “you voted this story up, how about this one?” and allow the user to have complete personalization without being constrained via arbitrary topics.

My key question is who powers this service, and can any blog network utilize this technology?

Do you find these services useful? Leave a comment with your gawker hybrid profile!
(Disclaimer: I am the CEO of a personalised newspaper called Broadersheet.)

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