By sschablow August 1, 2008
For the last several months I’ve been participating in the alpha testing of a new social news site, Socialmedian. The site has just launched it’s public beta version. When I discovered it my first reaction (and probably your thought as well) was, “Does the Web really need another social news site?” After all, we already have Digg, Reddit, Friendfeed, Google Reader among many others. Socialmedian is similar to existing social news sites, but there are some additional features that set it apart from the crowd.
The main differentiator is the ability for the user to create his/her own personalized networks or choose from existing networks. Your network monitors your specific keywords for stories submitted across the entire site and generates a list of related stories. Users can also pick RSS feeds they’d like to automatically pull stories from. The most interesting feature for me is a sliding “Noise” meter that limits the number of stories displayed, which could be very helpful if you’re suffering from information overload.
Founder Jason Goldberg says Socialmedian was created to focus is on helping you find stories that you’ll be interested in, rather than finding stories that are popular and appeal to the masses. On sites like Digg you can browse the top content in several high-level categories, but the top content is selected based on popularity, not your personal interests. Admittedly, to get the most out of Socialmedian you’ll have to invest some time and thought by following other users you like (flag them as a ‘Newsmaker’), trying different News Networks to subscribe to, and using the service’s feedback loops.
Like all good social networks there are easy opportunities to share: by saving a ‘Clip’ of an article to your network, adding a ‘Snip’ (a note), sending via email and even sending it to Twitter. Goldberg says the service includes 350 “user-generated features” submitted by the 4,000+ alpha users.
Give Socialmedian a try and let me know what YOU think about it. While you’re there follow me at http://www.socialmedian.com/sschablow .
Socialmedian founder Jason Goldberg decides to take the service to beta after getting my input.