bdg Announces Plans to Launch Social News Site

Today bdg announced plans to launch a Web 2.0 social news site in Q3 of this calendar year (2007).

This site, which will be called Feedhaus, will combine the power of RSS with the utility of end-user tagging to create an ever-growing and changing folksonomy of news that will keep everyone in the know about “what’s hot now.”

To read more about bdg’s first foray into the consumer web, visit the Feedhaus blog or sign up for the site’s private beta at www.feedhaus.com.

Welcome to Feedhaus

feedhaus_public_alphaWelcome to the Feedhaus blog!

Several of us at bdg are working hard to bring you a next-generation, Web 2.0 news site that will change the way the world views news by always keeping you in the know about what’s hot now. As we’re preparing for launch, which is scheduled for the end of Q3 2007, we thought we’d give you a little taste of what’s to come.

First, some background:

Feedhaus is a concept that I dreamed up in the middle of 2006. It spawned from my desire to have a place where I could go and find out what’s going on right now so that I could “scoop” my friends and coworkers with breaking news before they found out about it. My options right now are limited. There’s Google News, which is pretty good for mainstream headlines. There’s Digg, which is good for niche news and speciality/weird items. There’s a few creative takes on news aggregation, like Marumushi’s News Map and Original Signal. There’s also a slew of feed aggregators; however, all news aggregators focus on the individual (like Google Reader) and not the community (like del.icio.us).

What if you could combine the convenience and power of news aggregation with a user-driven folksonomy to classify the news?

Then, unlike Digg and del.icio.us — which are solely based on user input to classify and popularize information — the relevance of user-classified news would change based on real-world events, not on Diggs or other end-user actions. And what if you could see the lifecycle of news stories waxing and waning in popularity and relevance in real-time, without ever hitting the refresh button? Enter Feedhaus. . . .

Recent changes in the way content gets delivered on the web, along with some slick technologies (Rome, Comet and Lucene to name three of them) and some creative coding by bdg-ers Chris Bucchere and Andrew Bays, make all of this possible — even, dare I say, easy. Nearly every news site, blog and most Web 2.0 sites (including all the sites referenced in this post), expose their content through structured data feeds using RSS/RDF or Atom. Feedhaus allows users to classify feeds from any source and of any format with tags, much like del.icio.us or Flickr.

But, unlike those sites, which allow users to tag static content, when you tag a feed on Feedhaus, it’s as though you’re tagging a living news source that’s constantly growing and changing.

Imagine a tag cloud where the tags actually grow and shrink based on real-world events, all powered by background agents that are constantly checking feeds for newly added content. Then, when you click on a tag, a tag-specific page appears, showing a realtime-updated list of articles aggregated from all the feeds associated with that tag along with a Flickr photo badge and a YouTube video stream with images and video, respectively, matching that tag. Now, you’re beginning to understand Feedhaus.

Here at bdg we have a lot of other ideas about features for Feedhaus and we’re struggling to cut out all the fat and launch just “the right” number of features to give me — and all our users — exactly what they need: a single place to find out what’s hot now.

If you’re interested in participating in our private alpha, please e-mail us. (We won’t use your e-mail address for anything other than to notify you about the beta and make other Feedhaus-related announcements.)