Scoopinion: Find Stories Worth Reading

Scoopinion: Find Stories Worth Reading

Procrastinators rejoice: Scoopinion rates and curates online content based on other users’ reading behavior.

Netflix recommends movies and Goodreads recommends books – and they’re both eerily accurate at making useful suggestions. Now, new service Scoopinion takes this concept online and uses a similar system to Netflix and Goodreads to curate and suggest online content it thinks you’ll love.

Scoopinion is an add-on for Google Chrome. Designed to turn your browser into a magazine that learns, the add-on analyzes how you read and suggests alternative stories you might enjoy based on your tastes and other users’ recommendations. The more stories you read, the more Scoopinion creates a picture of the kind of material you enjoy.

Using the service is simple: just register, install the add-on and get started. You can view all your recommended stories through the Scoopinion website, and you also receive a digest every Tuesday and Friday containing a collection of stories Scoopinion thinks you’ll like that you haven’t yet read.

Unlike other sites that rely on users to rank and rate material, Scoopinion does all the analyzing for you. It examines the way you read stories on well-established sites like The New York Times and gives each story an automatic rating according to your reading behavior. Stories you enjoy get recommended to other Scoopinion users with similar tastes.

The Whitelist 

The service doesn’t cover every site, instead it looks at sites on its “whitelist”. These are usually established and regularly-updated sites that meet Scoopinion criteria and have been suggested by other Scoopinion users. The whitelist criteria avoid being elitist, and instead focus on the quality of users’ experience:

  • Your friends would not mind seeing content from the site.
  • You could show the content of the site to your mother.
  • The site has an editor.
  • The site has feature stories, articles, edited blog posts, informative videos, news or news-related photography.

Other Uses

When you read articles on whitelisted sites, these articles get published to other users through Scoopinion. You’re never publicly connected to a particular story and the service doesn’t function like a social network. Your reading behavior affects the score of an article, but you remain anonymous.

As well as being a quirky crowd-sourced consumer tool, Scoopinion creators reckon that research institutions can also use the service to examine how site visitors behave with online stories. Traditional testing is expensive and relies on eye-tracking methods. With Scoopinion, however, researchers can look at user behavior without having to assign a task to research subjects. Instead, they can see how people behave in real life when reading texts online, and collect data such as screen position to track reading habits.

Scoopinion is still a new service, but it’s a unique online tool that diverges from social sharing and instead focuses on collective behavior and experience.

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