Greg Linden is putting Findory to sleep:
Development on Findory now will slow to a crawl. There may be new features, but they will be rare. I no longer will spend time exploring funding, biz dev deals, or recruiting.
Findory and outbrain share the same goal - to help people find content
that's potentially most interesting to each one of them (as opposed to most-popular
items as in Digg, etc). Findory was based on the same collaborative filtering concepts behind Amazon's personalized recommendations, which was also authored by Greg.
So what went wrong?
Why did the algorithms that worked so spectacularly well for Amazon's personalization didn't take off for Findory's personalization? I think this happened for one core reason:
- In shopping: personalization = helping me find that one item that I'm likely to buy and love. Or in other words, personalization via recommendations.
- In content: personalization = help me save time by sorting through the piles of news so that I can skip through the bad stuff and spend time only on the good stuff. Or - personalization via filtering.
I bet many people (me included) would love to sit around and consume content on Findory (or Digg, etc), but just don't have the time to do so... Findory required me to spend more of my scarce attention to use it. What I need is a service that has 'net positive attention emissions'... A service that saves me time rather than consumes more of it. We're not there yet, but that's exactly what we're trying to do at outbrain.
Greg is one of our favorite bloggers at outbrain, and I hope that the fading of Findory doesn't also mean the fading of Greg's blogging.