March 11, 2009

Kosmix Introduces Meehive to Deliver Personalized News Pages

With printed newspapers going the way of the dodo, Web services have long battled to find a replacement for the ink-stained papers of yesteryear, hoping to leverage the rapidity of the Web with personalized customization. In the 90s, many search engines turned into Web portals, hoping to find readers' eyeballs would be "sticky" and spend lots of time on their site. In this decade, the move has been more to RSS-powered solutions, like Google News, or trusting the aggregation of behavior, either from friends or the Web at large - in social sites like Digg or FriendFeed. And for me, I've never quite found the right solution.

I tend to turn toward the firehose of Google Reader, FriendFeed and Twitter to get the immediate news, but struggle at finding one single destination to browse all the top news, based on topics I've entered. Meehive, a new offering from, has taken strides in this direction with a product they call Meehive, which you can find at

My Personalized MeeHive Daily Hive

Meehive is nothing if not diligent in trying to make you the perfect news site. Upon registration, users are walked through a series of preference pages, where you can choose, based on the topic at hand, from Business and Finance items, to Sports, to Entertainment, and US & World, Lifestyle, and others. You can also add RSS feeds directly to the site, like you can with portals from My Yahoo!.

When you walk through these selections, you can choose from the pre-defined checkboxes Meehive offers, or you can add your own items. For example, in sports, I said I was most interested in Major League Baseball and NCAA Football, but more specifically, prefer news about the Oakland A's and Cal Bears. Similarly, I was able to, in the Business and Finance section, set up interests on Web sites like Twitter, Technorati, Google and Apple. This gave my Daily Hive a much more personalized feel than the standard CNN or Google News.

In addition to my preselected interests, Meehive incorporates trends from the world at large. It shows trending topics on Twitter, and stories in the news at large, so even if I haven't set up a topic for American Idol, which I promise never to do under penalty of death, I can click the "In the News" keyword "American Idol" and find all I want on Fox's insult to the American people.

And as you can expect, like practically every other social site out there, you can find friends on Meehive and get connected, to see their own interests. I can click through to a personalized page for Anthony Ha or Jason Kincaid, for example. In fact, in TechCrunch's article from this morning, you can see that Jason's screenshot includes my own activity in the top right, as we were connected. (My MeeHive is Here)

As much as you might think I'm overloaded with information from the Web, I'm not, honestly. I find that often my first tendency after reading through my Google Reader items is to want to go back to the site and start again, only to find them empty. It's possible, with MeeHive up and running, that when I've hit zero on Google Reader, and tapped out my FriendFeed and Twitter, I can have a destination to find out what the rest of the world is doing outside my little bubble.