You can go to get a suit tailored and no one looks twice. If you buy a car brand new, you can select all the features you want. Now, you can even get your news made-to-order. According to Mark Milian’s CNN article, “More media sites customizing news for you,” the personalized-news market has been seeing major activity in the past week alone. On Thursday, Google News “brought ‘automatic personalization’ to that article-aggregation site. When you’re logged into a Google account with the Web History feature enabled, the News home page will transform itself based on the news you’ve clicked in the past” (Milian).
On Thursday, “the New York tech incubator” Betaworks also introduced News.me, which was designed by bit.ly in partnership with The New York Times. News.me is just what its name suggests. It allows users to personalize their news experiences by searching their own streams based on the people they follow, viewing other News.me streams to see what news they are reading, and more.
On Wednesday, The Washington Post launched Trove, which utilizes iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry apps that search for news on Facebook. Other aggregates, such as Flipboard and Digg, have been sprouting up as well, only to reaffirm the fact that the use of algorithms to customize each user’s news experience is becoming increasingly widespread.
While these new tools might make our lives more convenient, what implications might they have for other news media that can’t be easily personalized (e.g. print, television, and radio)? Could this mean another serious hit for these markets? And does this tamper with the concept of providing well-rounded, unbiased news or do readers run the risk of being limited to a fairly specific body of information? Perhaps these are new questions that we might consider as custom-made news sites become more prolific.