The way people get and interact with news and information has fundamentally changed the way we do everything. Thanks to technologies that can scan, filter, and deliver information, the expediency and usefulness of that data is also speeding up the way we make decisions and conduct our personal and work lives. The sophistication of personalized aggregated information media brings an entirely new dimension to the way we connect, translate and exchange important topics between people.
Nowhere is this more relevant and valuable
than in organizations. Important news about how people communicate,
lead, and stay on top of trends becomes a powerful ally in a globally
connected ecosystem. One of the tools leading this revolution in
relatable and smartly distributed content is Zite.com.
I recently had an opportunity for some Q&A with Zite’s CEO Mark Johnson about the technology and future of the platform.
A: Zite is an intelligent magazine that discovers interesting things for you to read.
Q: Why do you feel that technology like Zite better assists users in curating information versus the way information is collected and distributed by traditional news and content bureaus?
A: Humans can only read so much every day; by contrast, Zite looks at millions of articles and finds those gems that you would never otherwise find.
Q: How does the average blogger benefit from Zite’s content?
A: On any given day, tens of thousands of different publications are seen, read, and shared by Zite readers. The vast majority of those publications are average bloggers who produce great content relevant to a certain section, like HR. One of the main powers of Zite is discovery: that we can help you discover an amazing blogger who writes about topics in your area of interest.
Q: Many new players are emerging in the market. Does the connection with CNN hinder or hurt your ability to get access to the best content? Why or why not?
A: Though CNN bought Zite in August 2011, we've continued to run ourselves very independently. CNN sees the consumer value in Zite and has given us the freedom to continue to improve the Zite product. This also means that we're constantly talking to publishers and figuring out how to build a relationship between them and Zite that allows their content to be discovered within Zite and gives our users a great experience
Q: Has information personalization gone too far in terms of choices or is it just getting started?
A: Discovery and personalization are in their infancy and there's a ton of runway. For example, wouldn't it be cool if Zite knew about my upcoming trips to NYC and South America and gave me articles to read?
Q: How can Zite be leveraged internally in companies to connect people and information more effectively?
A: No matter what industry you're in, Zite can deliver news to you. However, Zite is working on features this year to connect users around affinity groups of information. We think that it would be really neat to know what other people in your community are reading -- whether that is your company, your city, or your obscure interests.
Q: What changes do you see happening in your business in the next five years?
A: Certainly media is undergoing a major shift right now and the outcomes of that are still being worked out. In terms of our specific-industry -- intelligent aggregators of information -- there is going to be so much innovation that what we see news deliver as today will change significantly in the next 5 years.
Q: What is the one most important takeaway you want people to have about Zite’s technology?A: It's really, really smart, but only requires you to enjoy reading Zite. As Lavar Burton on Reading Rainbow used to say, "But you don't have to take my word for it…” Try it out yourself!
As Mark points out, we are at the beginning of how media aggregation will change how people interact both at home and at work. Imagine using Zite to find the best companies to work for or the best ways to advance your career, delivered right to your smartphone or tablet without the fuss of hours of web searching.
If you are interested in test-driving Zite you can download the Zite app for free for Apple, Android, and Windows phones.