As you might imagine, here at Techdirt, we're always experimenting with new ways to track down news. We use a variety of tools that are available out there, and some that we've scraped together ourselves. The folks who started the Open Directory Project (which was eventually bought by Netscape) have just launched a beta test of their new offering, Topix.net, which is an online news aggregator. There are others like it, but on a first pass, this one looks pretty good. It clearly competes with things like Google News, though, the search functionality isn't as advanced. However, what it does do, quite well, is builds very directed drill down feeds, and categorizes stories within those feeds. Some of the feeds are focused on locations, and some go all the way down to news about a specific celebrity. For a beta offering, it's pretty impressive. For those who will ask, they don't currently offer things like RSS feeds, but plan to in the future. We don't normally do "product release" announcements like this, but it seemed like it would be interesting to folks who come here - and the service is impressive enough at beta that we figured people might be interested. Update: Figured this might happen. In posting this we've had a few others contact us as well about news aggregator services. Clearly, we won't be lacking in these types of services - which is a good thing. Another one that looks interesting is Gixo, which also tries to do some personalization based on what you click on. It seems fairly limited at this point, but has some potential. It also reminds me of Memigo, which has a lot of personalization included, but the interface can be a little overwhelming at first.
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