Monday, August 20, 2007

Personal News [Thoof] --

I am reviewing a new [online since June of this year] Personalized News service -- Thoof. I imagine that sounds like a "british" tuff. As a matter of fact, when I read over the short bios for each founder, I noted many appear to be from the United Kingdom (UK).

So what is Thoof?
Thoof is a user generated news and information service that learns about what you are interested in and delivers news that you care about.

-- Thoof Site FAQ - What is Thoof?

Sign up was a breeze-- enter your email address, get the confirmation link, use it, set the password and username when prompted [prompted separately], voilá you are done. The sign up process was so efficient I would recommend this to other services requiring a registration process. I am tired of filling out long online registration forms. Aren't you?

Okay, so how does it work?

Above, illustration of the navigation menu for the site. Easy and no submenus. The menu for the most part is self-explanatory with one clarification-- the "recent activity" menu item refers to stories submitted and not the user's activity. User's activity is reported via the "history" menu item.

Below-- example of a page assist-note you can opt to close. In this example, the history page is shown and provides the list of articles I reviewed.

As you can see, my first read from the site's article samplings-- "A 50 year old's advice for those in their 20s" from Washington Post writer Gene Weingarten. I chose this article because of the Washington Post tag...

The premise on which the site "learns" your favorite topics?
By tagging stories and the topics that interest you-- the service is able to direct you to those articles. The difference between other services that deliver articles to users-- Thoof offers a more personal selection of topics for each user.

There was one small glitch. The site claims that even though one can submit an article anonymously-- the article cannot be reviewed by anyone until the submitter signs up or in. This appears to be inaccurate-- but maybe there is a secret door for site managers who submit that allowed me to review one of their anonymous articles. One other little thing-- adult articles are accepted however there was no age query with sign up.

So do you still have questions about Thoof-- see here Thoof FAQs?

I think this is a pretty interesting idea for a news service and I will keep tabs to see where it goes.

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