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The New Feeds: Expanded, Curated and More Obvious

2022-07-27 - Founce's feed updates improve the quantity and quality of aggregated content, while remaining focused on incidental discovery of books, music, TV series and movies.

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Mike Hanna

Founder

Tags: preMVP  


There are a number of improvements that have been made to the feeds recently and I wanted to share more about what the changes are and how they make Founce better. The goal is for Founce to be an interesting, entertaining and useful site that fosters incidental discovery of books, music, TV series and movies. Hopefully these changes will bring Founce a few steps closer to achieving that goal.

Expanded

When Founce went live a few months ago, the feeds aggregated articles from 4 initial sites. That was fine to get an initial feel for the potential, but adding more sources was, and still is, a high priority. The focus for new sites to include has been:

  • Maintaining a balance between books, music, TV series and movies. Most of the new sites cover multiple topics (e.g. movies, TV series and music).
  • Providing more articles that do not require a subscription to read. Multiple people commented that there wasn't enough unrestricted content to check out, so an attempt was made to rebalance that.
  • Including sites with content that has a longer shelf life. If you discover a new band or author, a relevant interview or review from the past is still interesting. Old news about a planned collaboration or cancelled concert isn't as useful.

The number of sites has been expanded from the original 4 to a current count of 19 and more will be added weekly. There are dozens more that have been identified and will be added later, but let me know if you have any you'd like to see.

Curated

As efforts were underway to expand the number of aggregated sites, it became obvious that the initial filtering wasn't going to cut it. A lot of reviews and interviews were being included, but so were articles about arrests, lawsuits, cancelled concerts, etc. Plus, with more sites being added, there would have been even more articles about the same arrests, lawsuits, cancelled concerts, etc. Maybe there's a way to use some AI "magic", but it seemed more straightforward to review each item manually and decide whether it should be included or not. All of this happens behind the scenes, so what you see now is a much cleaner set of feeds filled only with informative and entertaining articles.

More Obvious

Feed example with more obvious links included
Feed example with more obvious links included

One of the great things about putting something like Founce out there before it's "finished" is that you get to see how people actually use it. In this case, users didn't typically go beyond what was shown in the feeds. The feeds looked like typical content aggregation, so it wasn't obvious that Founce has more to offer beyond that.

In addition to aggregating content, Founce also aggregates data about books, music, TV series and movies, plus the people and bands that create them. It uses that data to figure out who and what are mentioned in articles so it can connect you to that info. This has been made more obvious in the feeds by converting things like names and book titles found in the article title or description in to links as well as providing links for others mentioned in the article.

Hopefully the new links will make it obvious that there is lots of useful and entertaining info beyond the feeds. There may be more changes to come in this area, give it a try and let me know if you have any thoughts.

Feed Links and Summaries

Ready to try out the new feeds? They're still available in the same locations with the same navigation options, but are listed here as well:

  • Home/Main Feed - Includes articles about all four topics: books, music, TV series and movies. It shows the content with the broadest appeal and all of the articles included in this feed are also shown in the topic specific feeds.
  • Topic specific feeds - Includes articles primarily about one of the four primary topics. Some of the content in this feed is only found here, not in the main feed. This is especially true for video and podcast episodes. Sometimes an article seems like it would have less broad appeal, but still might be interesting to those more into that specific topic. Those articles are shown only in the topic specific feeds. Also, if there is a surge of articles about a specific person or creative work, some of the articles are excluded from the main feed to prevent it from getting oversaturated.

Feedback Appreciated and Welcome

Many thanks to those of you who've tried Founce and given feedback. Some of the recent changes were planned, but nearly all of the work was influenced by feedback and user activity. Please give the feeds a fresh look and pass along any feedback you might have via feedback@founce.com or Twitter @founceHQ.



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