With all the information available today, wading through everything to find out what you really need to know is hard. But there are also a few options for weeding out the noise in your information stream. Feedtrace is a new one, and one with some promise.
When you visit the Feedtrace site and sign up, you sign in with your Twitter username – Feedtrace doesn’t store your password, or really anything about you. Then, once it has your information, Feedtrace shows you a list of what’s popular on Twitter at the moment: the most-discussed, most-retweeted links.
But there are plenty of services that do that – Tweetmeme, Twitturls, and Retweet have all been doing this for a while. Where Feedtrace tries to do one better is in personalizing the information to you, and bringing you a better social circle.
Over time, as you retweet and read links, Feedtrace will figure out what you’re interested IN, and start to personalize recommendations to you. The service also creates a “suggested following” list, full of people who write about the links you click, or tweet similar links. The recommendations FOR ME were generally surprisingly good, though it did occasionally tell me to follow someone I already followed. You can also narrow down your list of popular links to show only links from people you follow, which does wonders at keeping out the stuff you don’t care about.
But the really great thing about Feedtrace, and what will keep both publishers and readers interested in it, is the ability to see only what’s popular on a given website. For a lot of websites, Twitter is an excellent metric of what’s popular and what’s being discussed, and Feedtrace taps into that extremely well.
At the top of the Feedtrace sidebar, users can type in a URL and show popular items only from that site. It works on everything from news sites to blogs, and is essentially a way of creating Trending Topics for any website. It makes sites more accessible, helps users figure out what’s important, and weeds out whatever’s in between.
In January, Feedtrace will launch an API that lets anyone use their real-time filtering engine, meaning that Feedtrace’s way of filtering Twitter, geared toward the individual, could potentially be applied all over the Web–which would do wonders for the problems of information overload.
Feedtrace isn’t perfect, and definitely still has its issues. You have to do all your surfing from feedtrace.com, and the URL bar never changes to let you know where you are. The recommended links are also imperfect, but they’re improving. Generally, though, Feedtrace has potential to be a great way of weeding out informational noise, and making sure you only see and find what you need to know about — whether it’s all over Twitter or on any other site you can think of.
Feedtrace received $200K in funding from Angel Investors this summer.
Feedtrace is still in invite-only private beta TEST, but we’ve got 140 invites especially for VentureBeat readers. The first 140 people to sign up for Feedtrace with the invite code venturebeat will get in before it launches to the public.