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Can a news reader app curated by “thought leaders” catch on?
A new project on Kickstarter, called Newsworthy.io, hopes so.
“I’m suggesting a new relationship with content,” Newsworthy.io creator Mehran Granfar told us. It’s the difference between sharing content as many other apps do, he said, or having content curated by people you follow.
“It’s like your social news feed,” the Kickstarter page explains, “[except that it] is only influenced by people whose opinions truly matter to you (including the world’s greatest subject-matter thought leaders), and not every social contact you have.
“It’s like Spotify for the news.”
On Kickstarter, the mockup image of Newsworthy.io shows Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Tesla/Space X/SolarCity’s Elon Musk as typical “thought leaders” who might choose articles for the feed.
“I’m being a bit cheeky,” the Sydney, Australia-based Granfar told us, since neither has agreed to curate content.
Instead, the fledging company hopes to work out some arrangement using a content feed from Google or other source. Granfar’s background is in user experience and digital advertising, and the business model is expected to eventually include sponsored content.
Content curators could become thought leaders in a given field by selecting articles for the content feed. Users would signal their disinterest in an article — a “thumbs-down” — by left-swiping, and a “thumbs-up” with a right swipe.
Content will be browsable by subject matter and searchable by keywords. Eventually, the system would “learn what kind of content to feed you,” Granfar told us, based on your swipes, your profile, and whom you follow.
“Gradually,” Granfar said, “anyone can become a thought leader within a subject matter.”
The $50,000 goal will be used to create a working beta version from the current alpha, proof-of-content prototype. As of mid-afternoon ET today, the project had raised about $1,500, with 27 days left to go.