A new website (or Chrome extension, if you prefer) called Panda is offering entrepreneurs, developers and designers an easy way to keep up with industry news and inspiration from a variety of sources in one interface. Currently, the site features sources like Hacker News, Dribbble, Behance and Designer News, for example, which you can toggle on and off to customize your view.
The idea for Panda comes from Prisync co-founder Ahmet Sülek, who built the site for himself because he wanted a place where he could be inspired and informed without having to click around to countless websites. The overall goal, we’re told, is to filter the content from around the web and present it a beautiful and unobtrusive way.
To some extent, Panda competes with other news aggregators, like Feedly or Flipboard, but the biggest difference here is that Panda doesn’t allow users to submit their own sources. Instead, explains co-founder William Channer, who’s also a contributor at The Guardian, and founder of Dorm Room Tycoon, the focus is on quality, not customization.
“By sourcing sites like Hacker News, Designer News and Dribbble, where the community has already voted on what’s hot, we can leverage those recommendations in a cohesive way,” he says. “We plan to improve Panda through machine learning to understand your browsing behavior. This will then allow us to display content without you having you to search for it.”
The end result is a deceptively simple product, which lets you view the most popular or news stories from Hacker News, alongside imagery from design-sharing sites, and more. You can also toggle on and off a job board to keep your eye on openings at various startups and tech companies, like Airbnb, Evernote, Meetup, Coin, Square, Flipboard, Buffer and more.
For a bootstrapped service, Panda is nicely done, and is probably worth a bookmark.
The company previously launched a few months prior as “Geisha,” which the team chose because of its more literal meaning “person of arts,” but realized soon that the term could have negative connotations which some offended users. They apologized, renamed the service Panda, and then re-shared the site to Hacker News just a few days ago, where, as per usual it was met with a lot of, ahem, constructive feedback.
Some complained about the links opening in new tabs, for instance, which isa valid point, however. This can leave you with dozens of open tabs at the end of a heavy browsing session, which sort of defeats the purpose of an all-in-one dashboard. But this is something that could change in time. For now, Panda is in very early stages, but is starting to see some pickup – the team claims it received 4 million pageviews last month.
The team, which also includes engineers Orcun As and Tolga Akyüz, has been working on the service remotely, but now the founders are moving to Berlin to continue Panda’s development further. Stay tuned.