launches as personalized news via email

Bambi Francisco Roizen · March 13, 2012 · Short URL:

We're a long way from GoogleNews; the popularity of personalized news continues to bring in upstarts


I'm definitely a big fan of getting curated news, whether it's from an editor or algorithm. It wasn't always that way, mind you. When Google News launched in 2002 as a way to boot out those holding the hallowed jobs of news placement and curate news based on secret-sauce algorithms, I poked fun at it for having a press release as one of its leading stories. Clearly, the kinks weren't worked out and I was happy to see that human editors weren't being threatened.

Fast forward, editors are still very much around, and the curation and personalization of news culled by a machine is very much the norm, and improving every day, with upstarts emerging with new solutions on how to deliver the most relevant news to your doorstep, or in the case of, your inbox. is officially launching Tuesday, after being in private beta with 20,000 users for a few months. The service is part of XYDO, which helps corporations create automated emails of machine-curated content. essentially sends an email to your inbox with a list of about 12 stories that are popular among your network of friends. You can also give topics of interest so it can include those factors in determining which stories to deliver to you.

"On average we've seen 40% open rate and 60% click-through-rates for the emails [while in beta]," said Cameron Brain, co-founder of XYDO, in an interview with me. is essentially similar to recently-launched, a start-up that has been incubated by Betaworks and The New York Times since 2010. is also very similar to Summify, which was bought by Twitter in January, and iCurrent, which curates content based on specific intererests, and was acquired by Washington Post in 2010. The service is now called Trove. It's also fairly similar to Zite, which curates content based on your interests, and was bought by CNN for $20 million to $25 million. 

But of course, it's different. To start with, curates content based on your social network, which makes it similar to Flipboard in that way. After you've logged in, you can then tweak your preferences to let know you like certain topics, like "start-ups" or "skiing" and even random interests like "shark feeding frenzies." Unfortunately, you can't choose which news publications you'd like to hear from. At the moment, the publications come from whatever people are sharing.

Note to Add in the news publication preferences. The more preferences, the happier your customers.

So how do you get started? Just log into with either Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or Google Reader. then looks at your network and determines which articles have been shared among our network of friends. Once it determines the articles, it will then look at those articles and how its network of three million members are viewing them, according to Brain. 

The three million members who signed on using their credentials on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google Reader, comes from Xydo's initial consumer-facing product. These members give an idea of how the articles are tracking among a broader audience, rather than a person's limited network. By looking at these people, rather than say, overall Tweets of an article, hopes that it will not capture bots that are Tweeting stories, but rather real people. 

At the moment, there's no monetization strategy for But Xydo does have plans on releasing more consumer-facing products, such as an iPad version of, according to Brain. Stay tuned.

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Bambi Francisco Roizen

Author of "Unequally Yoked"; Co-founder Vator and Invent Health; Former Columnist/correspondent Dow Jones MarketWatch; Business anchor CBS affiliate KPIX

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The world's first social magazine. Flipboard is a fast, beautiful way to flip through news, photos and updates your friends are sharing on Facebook and Twitter. 

Inspired by the beauty and ease of print media, Flipboardʼs mission is to fundamentally improve how people discover, browse and share content across their social networks. rd

iCurrent, Inc.


Joined Vator on

iCurrent is a new way to stay informed and intrigued on any topic. This is an information discovery service with innovative filtering and delivery, that organizes online news content into one central web experience (plus mobile).  Results? Productivity strides in news tracking and knowledge building minus the multiple site registrations and re-visits.


Joined Vator on

We've built Curate.Me Brief as a simple, elegant service for getting news you’re going to like via email.  We scour the web and your social networks to find the best, human-curated headlines and deliver them to your inbox, on your schedule.

Curate.Me Brief is able to deliver news you’re going to like because we process more sources (over 100K) and prioritize each piece of content based on the recommendations of our over 2M contributors and curators, including experts and people you may follow on Facebook, Twitter, Google Reader, or LinkedIn.



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XYDO Content Marketing Platform makes the constantly regenerating world of content work for businesses. Our system helps you deliver great content that turns prospects into customers, and customers into advocates. We’re loved by marketers big and small from huge companies to small non-profits.

XYDO processes over 250,000 articles, images, and video clips every day, matching each piece against a pool of 3 million contributors to identify content that will engage existing customers and capture new leads through social sharing.



Cameron Brain

Joined Vator on

Co-founder Cameron Brain previously founded two Web companies, ProDeal and Open Box Technologies, holding three U.S. patents for his innovations in the delivery and display of video on mobile devices.