Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Another Big Media Aggregator: Washington Post Unveils "Trove"

While, the social news service built with the help of the New York Times, gets ready to launch, another big media aggregator is already out the door: The Washington Post has rolled out Trove, a “personalized site that aggregates news across subjects of interest and important headlines of the day.”

Unlike, which will charge $0.99 a week, Trove is free. And while is designed to be consumed on the iPad, Trove is starting out as a Web-based service that also works on Google’s Android and Research In Motion’s BlackBerry. WaPo says iPhone and iPad editions are coming.

The biggest difference: is based entirely on shared Twitter links, but Trove is part personalized search engine–it says it sorts through more than 10,000 sources on the Web–and part traditional publisher, with a four-person team highlighting interesting stories.

Trove also uses Facebook data to set up initial “channels” for users based on their behavior on the social network.

I haven’t played with Trove on the go yet, and my gut is that it’s going to work best in mobile settings, where limited screen real estate makes news curation services more useful. On the Web, though, it seems like a modest evolution from the personalized home pages many of you have already used–interesting, but not crucial.

But take it for a spin yourself, and let me know what you think in comments below. Meanwhile, if you like those cartoons from the Taiwanese Next Media Animation shop, here’s a treat for you.

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus