Ever wish that you could fine tune your Twitter or Facebook feed to show a specific category of interests? Unfortunately, hashtags and searches can only go so far in accommodating you. Enter buzzego, a multifaceted portal site that creates a unique and personalized content feed. The main goal of constructing such a fine tuned feed is to allow you to stumble upon (no pun intended) content that would have otherwise been lost in the slew of other news stories. This aspect of the site is something that BuzzEgo refers to as being a “discovery engine.” Curious with what interesting stories awaited to be unearthed, I decided to give the Panda curator a try, and the results were quite intriguing.
Teach the Panda Your Tastes
From the get-go, BuzzEgo tries to nail your tastes with several Pandas sporting unique personalities. Being a geeky girl at heart, Tech Geek Panda seemed like the perfect fit for me. Immediately my screen was dotted with visual tiles that included helpful thumbnails to indicate what the stories were about. It did not take long for me to notice however that several stories simply had no earthly place among tech posts. Naturally being an optimist, I figured this was due to TG (that’s the nickname I’ve decided to give my Panda), hadn’t properly learned my tastes yet. Twenty clicks of the like/dislike buttons later, TG had gathered enough information regarding my interests, that he started to provide stories that I actually was delighted to see. For example, I learned about the astonishing effort of a Canadian accountant to create a full-fledged RPG in an Excel file. I doubt I would have ever come across such a story before what with the constant focus on the latest games being released from the big boy publishers.
You do not necessarily need to stick within the confines of what appears on the home page. BuzzEgo has a search box to the top right that allows you to find more categories that coincide with what you like or boycott the ones that you never want to see. I noticed the woeful lack of gaming news coming from TG so I decided to take a gander at the Gaming category. Again my experience was a mixed bag at first. I saw several unrelated posts sprinkled among the results such as a fashion story titled “Color Story: Pink Loves Gold.” I sighed and allowed TG to take a look at my new likes. As I did this I seemed to earn myself what is known as the PC Games Novice Badge. I wonder what exactly is the functional purpose of these badges is as I did not witness any significant effect after earning one. I suppose it is merely a visual representation of the fact that your Panda is further fine tuning what appears under your category pages or the home page tiles. Hopefully in the future more purpose will be attached to the badges other than simply being little collectibles to earn.
Fluid Story Viewing and Presentation
As I was surfing the web’s collection of stories with TG, I was really pleased with how fluid an experience it was to hop from story to story. Rather than navigating away from BuzzEgo.com, you can view the article through the site’s story viewer and like, dislike, or share to Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest on the spot. I appreciate this element of BuzzEgo the most as it allows one to not have to go through the cumbersome task of pressing back several times just to ensure that the site remembers whether you found the story interesting or not. The only way I could nitpick the method it serves up the tiles would be the fact that they don’t seem to update upon your rating. Sure the thumbnails are denoted with a thumbs up or down after rating but you don’t see any other visual effect besides that. It would make more sense to me for an article that you disliked for example to be hidden from view so as not to take up space and distract you from the stories you actually want to read. Perhaps it would make the site run less smoothly if it was constantly updating but it appears to be an educated risk to take in order to maintain the otherwise seamless search experience.
BuzzEgo is well on its way to being a contender as one of the most intelligent content feed creators. The flavor of the site seems to set it apart from the current options available but that alone should not be what the site relies on in order to continue growing. Hopefully the team behind BuzzEgo can continue cooking up ways to distinguish itself and improve upon the discovery algorithms. For now, it is certainly a nifty little discovery tool that I can see myself checking out every now and then on days I feel like exploring the vast reaches of the internet.