Q1: Today we are talking with the founder of the River Of News and mainly the web site – Megite, Matthew Chen. Thanks for taking the time out of your busy day to answer a few questions. First one. How do you think your River Of News compares to say established sites like Techmeme?
We believe the differences to be in terms of Quality, Coverage, Comprehensiveness, Relevance, and the fact that it’s up to date. We have been working hard to put ourselves ahead.
Techmeme came to market before us. But we are in good shape now. We still have lots of room to improve. The first difference is that our powerful algorithm makes it very easy to create new verticals.
Because of the auto discovery, Megite can keep the pace with the blogspace. Normally good high quality blogs can be auto discovered.
Also, Megite is able to deliver the personalized version with the user’s reading list.
Q2: What was the main driving force in creating the site? Was if for personal use, or did you always intend to put it out there for everyone?
Originally we developed Megite for our personal use. It is the first site we visit every day and kinds of replaces our RSS reader. Then we realize that if we use it every day, other people may like it too. So we make it public in Feb, 2006. Since then, we redesigned UI, improved the algorithm, expand the coverage, lots of good stuff are added to make our users happy.
Q3: If you could describe your site to a non-tech person, how would you tell them about it? How would you convince them that your site was just as necessary to learn how to use? What I am saying is – Could you convince anyone to put your site in their web bookmarks?
I would think that Megite is an Intelligent RSS reader. Because there are millions of blogs around the web, users definitely need better, or intelligent readers to help them sort out the quality and relevent feeds. Otherwise, it will be information overloaded. That is why some users just stick to some A-list bloggers because they don’t have time to look at other blogs that may be new and not well-knowned, but those bloggers may have great insight on the things happening now.
The first function for the reader is to aggregrate feeds from different sources; second, it has to have some intelligence to rank, sort out good and relevant info, and discover more new info that is out of user’s expectation; third, it should be able to have some collaborative recommendation or social filtering features; fourth, it needs to monitor the changes and presents the news as users are ready to read. Of course, users are generally lazy, we need to allow users do as little work as possible.
Q4: Tell us a bit about your site and company now. How many employees, are you looking for VC funding, what your goals are, looking for more team members, etc.. What ever you feel safe releasing for public information here to the readers.
We are located in Silicon Valley. Currently we have 2 people working on this project and of course always look for good people to join us. We are self funded now. For sure we need outside funds before we can launch the personalized Megite. Several potential revenue channels: License software and techniques; Channel or vertical sponsors; Ad supported Megite network; etc.
Megite keeps updating our blog (http://blog.megite.com/) about what’s going on at Megite. Users can get know us more from there.
Q5: Thanks again Matthew for visiting with myself and mainly the readers of this blog Technically Speaking. Now it’s your turn. If there is anything that hasn’t been covered yet, let loose here in the last question. Whatever else you’d like to say.
Deliver what our users want first. Then things will take care of itself. Do it step by step, we don’t want it just as fashion.
If a user wants to build his/her own personalized Megite, he/she can email us the link to his/her reading list.
Technically Speaking, I would like to again thank Matthew Chen for his time in doing this, and I want to say – thanks to my loyal readers who helped out in the short downtime I had today. Without the fans, Rex Dixon is just Rex. 🙂