Feeds 2.0: A little like Searchfox

There are a number of exciting European startups in the consumer web space that presented at the Innovate 2006 conference in Spain this week, and I’ll be writing about a number of them.

The first is Athens, Greece based Feeds 2.0, a new RSS reader in private beta that reminds me a lot of Searchfox, the now-defunct personalized news reader acquired by Yahoo earlier this year.

The reader is definitely rough and in need of further development, but the personalization engine is rock solid and will be popular with some users. Feeds 2.0 monitors what you like and dislike about individual posts in your feed list and presents posts to you based on what it thinks you will want to read next. Attention information comes in via what you read (clicking on the title or expand buttons), what you mark as good (similar to Rojo’s Mojo feature) and what you mark as uninteresting. All of your feedback is run through their algorithm, along with feedback on those posts from other users, to help determine what order your posts are shown to you.

The personalization features alone will be enough to convert some users, but I like Feeds 2.0 for other reasons, too. You can view content on a feed by feed (bloglines) basis, or via a river of news view which ranks all content in reverse chronological order (and by personalization if you have that turned on). They auto-generate descriptive tags for each post, helping you find content via a tag cloud for all unread posts. I’d like to see them add the ability for users to social-tag content as well. But the basic result of the tagging/tag cloud feature, along with personalization, is the ability to quickly find interesting content in a sea of new posts.

One other feature that I’d like to see – a three pane view option which many users, myself included, find to be a superior way to view RSS content.

Also, Feeds 2.0 is available in any of five languages – English, Spanish, French, German and Greek. For non-English speaking users, Feeds 2.0 may be one of the few choices available to them in their first language.

Sign up for the private beta on the Feeds 2.0 home page.