Old paradigm: A traditional newspaper delivers say one hundred stories, which you filter according to your interests to read a dozen or so. Then, once read, you discard. It’s up to the editor you’ve never met to choose on your behalf.
New paradigm: Apps for your iPad/iPhone that tailor news for you and you alone. Personalised news means ‘training’ an App to select stories that are of interest, relevance or importance to you, from hundreds of sources around the globe. It means never again having to ‘buy’ a story you don’t want. Plus, personalised news is not time sensitive, and means being able to read a story that was written at any time in history.
I’m using Zite.
Personalised news can deliver three types of news:
- Interest. Whatever I want to know (my areas of interest; what I want to buy; fitness, diet, health).
- Relevance. Things that might be of interest because they can impact on me (local markets, special deals, favourite restaurants, hobbies).
- Importance. Things I should know, regardless of relevance or interest, because I have a responsibility (the law, work related issues, duty of care issues).
But in the near future it can deliver much more: competitor intelligence, hints on what to buy for your partner (because his/hers is personalised too) – the uses are almost limitless.
What does this mean, as these catch on?
- An answer to information overload
- Specialised tracking
- More bad news for journalists and publishers (a shrinking market)
- Good news for niche marketers and most retailers (a tailored market)
- Good news for information dispensers like universities if they are early online adopters, bad news for the rest.