News Fiends Can Get Their Fix With Addictomatic

Rollyo founder Dave Pell is taking another stab at the search engine space with his just-launched news/media aggregator Addictomatic.

The site can act as both an RSS search engine for user-submitted queries, or a constantly updated newsfeed for pre-defined topics including politics, gossip, and music. Addictomatic pulls headlines and images from a number of RSS feeds and presents them in small boxes similar to those found on iGoogle and Netvibes. Stories are drawn from a number of big-name blogs, news, and media sites, but there is currently no option to add your own favorite site to the list (though there are plans to add this feature).

Addictomatic sports a very clean and manageable layout – a necessity given the amount of information it throws at you. Users can add, remove, and rearrange the location of each headline feed, and layouts can be saved by simply creating a bookmark. The site is also offering plugins to integrate Addictomatic into browser search fields.

My biggest issue with the site is the apparent lack of any kind of relevance algorithm. Everything comes straight from RSS feeds based on your search query, without any kind of filter to weed out bogus results. This means that a search for “James Bond” yields stories on investing and Pac-10 sports (though to be fair, the majority of the headlines usually have at least partial relevance). That said, Addictomatic does a remarkably good job at presenting vast amounts of information without becoming overwhelming.

At this point, Addictomatic provides a great way to get a quick overview of a topic. The inclusion of topical pages also makes Addictomatic something of a destination site, particularly for users who prefer not to manage their own RSS feeds to keep up on current events.

Competitors to Addictomatic include popurls and Alltop. Dave Pell’s last project, Rollyo, is a custom search engine that lets users specify which sites should be included during a search.