Keeping up with the constant flow of tech news can be hard. Sites like Techmeme make it easy to get a quick overview of what the hottest stories are right now, but it’s a bit harder to see the top stories of the last day or so that may have already fallen out of the tech blogosphere’s collective attention. With the free Riversip app for the iPhone, though, it’s now easy to quickly catch up on the latest tech news, though. Riversip uses its own proprietary algorithms that analyze a mix of social signals to decide how interesting it is. The app then displays them in descending order. You can set the app to display the current crop of top news stories, as well as the top stories of the last day or week.
The Riversip team says that its mission is to “to give a user the soothing feeling of ‘I know what’s going on’, without having to work at it.” That’s indeed something the app succeeds in. The stories that are featured in the app are often quite similar to those you would see on Techmeme, though often from different sources. The app also assigns tags to every story, which allows you to build your then drill down into these areas (think mobile, web, gadgets etc.) and create your own personalized view of the news.
While the app can incorporate data from your own Twitter and Facebook feeds, this isn’t mandatory. It’s worth noting that this isn’t the highly sophisticated, algorithm-based personalization you would see in apps like Zite or My6sense, but then the idea behind the app isn’t so much to create a personalized magazine for you, but to allow you to get a quick view of what the web as a whole thought was worth reading. Riversip looks at the public conversations around an event to see how notable it is.
Riversip is likely only the first in a range of apps that will use this technology. It’s easy to imagine a Riversip app for political or sports news, for example.
As the company notes, the app should be especially useful for catching up on the news after a holiday or a long weekend away. Given that the Thanksgiving Weekend is just around the corner in the U.S., now would be a good time to give the app a try.