Prismatic, The Web’s Smartest News Reader
July 12, 2013 Leave a comment
Prismatic, a relatively new website, is catching the eye of many on the web for being an incredibly adept news reader. What makes Prismatic different than any of the other news reader sources out there is the fact that it is purely governed by machine-learning algorithms. There are no humans involved, and the site adapts incredibly well to user preferences, interests, and behavior to give you news that’s catered to your individual needs.
And, unlike other algorithm-based services, it doesn’t give you useless suggestions that you’re not actually interested in. When you initially start using Prismatic, you can either link it to a social media account or download to your iPhone or iPad. This will give it a baseline for suggestions. Once you begin reading articles, it begins recording your behavior: what you click on, how long you look at an article for, which articles you favorite or tweet about, and more.
Next, Prismatic will begin catering its suggestions to you based on author, topic, key people and more preferences you may have indicated. That doesn’t mean it floods your homepage with articles right away; rather, it slips suggestions in gradually, allowing you to both have diverse options and specially catered ones. The goal? Serendipity, according to Slate.
And because Prismatic is not controlled by media moguls, journalists, or other people with big interest in certain companies, you won’t just get articles from the typical sources. It’s just as likely that you’ll see an article from an obscure source.
Prismatic is currently available for iPhone or iPad. Users can also visit getprismatic.com and sign up using Facebook, Twitter, or Gmail. As with any site that asks permission to link to social accounts, privacy is vital since you’re giving it access to personal information.
The site is certainly far from perfect, but it’s well on its way. The news suggestions are intriguing, but Prismatic will next need to teach its algorithm how to distinguish between quality pieces and click-bait. The site’s UI needs work as well, but a redesign is in progress and should go live in the next month or so.