July 23, 2009

Guzzle It: The RSS-Powered Personalized Site With A Unique Name

The Web has moved away from one built around stale Web sites that treat you like any other visitor. Now, practically every leading site features personalization, giving you customized news sources, social aspects, and increasingly, the option to choose specific topics to keep you updated on. Just two weeks ago we introduced you to Lazyfeed, a cool Web project based on real-time topic discovery, and tonight, we've been looking at another customizable site that is focused on topics you select, called Guzzle It, complete with the .it extension, awkward name and logo.

Jolie O'Dell, who wrote about the service for ReadWriteWeb a week ago, called it "one of the cleanest, coolest, most intuitive, most customizable news dashboards we've seen". And yeah, it's cool. It has a solid user interface, and as I liked with Lazyfeed, it doesn't ask you to come packing OPML. It just asks for topics you like and builds out your page.

Getting Set Up On Guzzle It

To start "guzzling", just enter topics you want to follow, arrange them on a grid for how you would like them displayed, and say you're done. Guzzle It will look through its preselected news sources and spit out the answers, arranged as you want, and then give you the option to display it in article (text) mode, or with images. Clicking on any image or story brings you to the original source.

Setting Up Headlines for Google, Apple and Twitter

Like with most strong news sources, Guzzle It highlights the most-recent article chronologically, with older items fading to the bottom part of the feed. But instead of following up on specific news sources and blogs, I could choose to follow cool topics I like, from "Silicon Valley" and "Google" to "Venture Capital" or even "Oakland A's". If I had to complain, I'd say Guzzle didn't gulp down enough sources for me, relying mainly on the most prominent sources for news.

It's clear the world is getting more customizable. And topics are aiming to fight social as the big differentiator. Guzzle It is a cute easily laid out alternative, but I'll probably stick with Lazyfeed, thanks to its much broader array of sources, and its real-time capability. If you want to start guzzling, go to http://www.guzzle.it.