Mark Soper
Software Engineer
Cambridge, MA

Mark Soper's Blog

Find Breaking News And Jobs With Likematter

I'm pleased to announce that the Likematter alpha is now available for open registration. Likematter is a personal lens for the web. It helps you stay on top of emerging content like breaking news and career opportunities. In doing so, you automatically build a profile of your interests that you control and that will get better and better at filtering the latest information for you.

Likematter Screenshot

With some good lessons learned from our limited-availability pilot, we've made big adjustments. Most significantly, we've added breaking news to the personalized job listings that were the focus of the original JobGravy career site. The most resounding feedback we got from a group of much-appreciated early users was that they should be able to apply their interest profile to content beyond job listings, especially breaking news, and that the process of building the profile should be easier. The result is re-engineered service, called Likematter, that hits both of these points: 1)Your profile can be used to filter news and jobs today, with more content channels coming soon. 2)The main way to indicate what you like is by using the button highlighted in red in the screenshot above. There will once again be support for import of bookmarks and favorites from other sources soon.

Likematter is easy to use:

  1. Sign Up
  2. Start reading - start reading news or browsing jobs (jobs will be back online shortly). Clicking an entry expands it to reveal additional information.
  3. Like what you like - Click the button when something interests you.
  4. Likematter learns - the system learns from your choices over time, prioritizing your topics so that your unique interests are emphasized.
  5. Find what you want automatically - Likematter gets better and better at displaying content that relates to your interests as they evolve. The red bars at the right of each line (see screenshot) indicate the strength of the match. They make it easier to scan the page for good content.
  6. Maintain control - Likematter works well without any additional tweaking, but with the forthcoming release of profile management, you'll be able to refer back to content you've liked in the past, adjust how your profile filters content, and have greater control over the content sources and publications you have access to.

What does it do for you?

  1. Helps you stay on top of real-time information across a wide range of interests, automatically - As your profile grows, Likematter gets better at making sure the content on your page is the best, most current information across the whole range of diverse interests you have - without having to manually tell the system what you want. So, in addition to being able to search for specific topics (search bar coming soon, along with controls like paging and a time window zoom control to point Likematter at the right ), you are able to sit back and let Likematter search for a range of things you're likely to find interesting and put them in front of you in a format that's easy to read and navigate.
  2. Develops valuable information about your personal interests - data which you own and control - Likematter also functions as a way to very easily bookmark and record what you're interested in over time. Eliminating the need for tagging, Likematter automatically extracts the key concepts from each item you like, using the powerful Calais Semantic Web Engine. As the profile management capability currently under development becomes available, you'll be able to refer back to the material you've saved, organize your information by topic, control how Likematter works on your behalf, and share your interests and the content your profile generates with friends. You have complete control over your profile because your data belongs to you. We commit to allow you to easily export your data at any time and agree to remove your data from Likematter at at your request - see full data policy for more information.
  3. Links my news interests to career opportunities - By using Likematter to find and read the latest news that you like, you develop a profile that carries over to help you in other areas like staying aware of good career opportunities in your field. Switch over to the the Jobs tab and the interests built up from reading news will automatically apply to identifying good job listings. In the future you'll be able to use your profile to help you find good content in areas of your choice by pointing Likematter at real-time media like Twitter.

The development of Likematter is led by Denise Ichinco and Mark Soper (personal, work, LinkedIn, Twitter). We welcome thoughts, questions, and other feedback. Enjoy!

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