Search Tools In Development: Futureful
Part predictive search tool, part web discovery resource.
In the future the news will find you – at least according to Futureful, a Finnish startup building a predictive discovery iPad app that will deliver personalised information. The company’s mission is to “give you what you want before you knew you wanted it.”
Its methods seem sound enough. Futureful’s algorithms glean information from social feeds, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Delicious, Tumblr and Flickr, to locate trending topics. Algorithms crunch users’ interests, behaviour and posts with those of friends and other users to suggest subjects for further exploration. Tapping one or more of these subjects on the touch-screen interface will generate a collection of web pages that can be swiped like a magazine.
What is the point of personalisation if it only reaffirms what you already know,” says Marko Anderson of Futureful.
It would be interesting to learn:
1. Will Futureful be doing their own web crawl or simply purchase access to the Google, Bing, etc.
2. What types of signals that don’t emanate from social media will they use?
For example, would citation analysis of academic material be useful? Could sources like Scopus and Web of Science/Journal Citation Reports could be used to help power the web prediction database.
In fact, the Thomson Reuters Sci-Bytes newsletter provides examples of what we’re talking . For example, they regularly provide a look at a “hot papers.” in a specific discipline. Here’s an example.
Will Futureful be targeting its service to specific audiences? Or, do they plan to create a tool for all search types of users?
Hat Tip: Kurzweil AI
About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.