In the last few days I’ve made a couple of references to Particls, first in writing about our Web 2.0 in Australia event next week, where we had invited Particls to present as one of the most interesting applications on the scene, and an hour ago in my Top 60 Web 2.0 Applications in Australia list posted on Read/Write Web. As of earlier today, Particls has moved to public beta, and deservedly attracted substantial attention. The best reviews out so far are from Read/Write Web, Techcrunch, Mashable!, and StartupSquad – best to go there for a full rundown on Particls.
I think Particls is important for two reasons. First, it provides a completely friendly interface to RSS with far superior functionality to your usual feed aggregators. RSS is one of the most important foundations to Web 2.0 and the promise of the Internet, yet a minority of people really understand what it is, and use it well. Particls is the first of what I hope are a whole generation of tools that embed RSS in ways that make it invisible and provide access to the information people want.
Second, it is a solid and useable implementation of information filtering that shows how this landscape may unfold moving forward. Active filtering is an issue I’ve been strongly interested in for the last decade. For example, back in 2001 a company called Worldstreet was using XML-based document tagging to improve the flow of research documents from investment banks to funds managers, allowing high priority and relevant information to cut through to the users from the myriad of information they were receiving. The company was bought by Thomson Financial and incorporated into their Thomson Connect product, with its best features ultimately disappearing. Now that we are all experiencing the same degree of information overload as the funds managers of yesteryear, the world is now ready for sophisticated multi-tier filtering of information.
Having had the Particls toolbar installed for just a day now, I can confirm that the content streaming through is highly relevant to me, and I have better access to the information that’s relevant to me. Those that can use these kinds of tools well will be highly advantaged in our intensely knowledge-based economy moving forward.
Click on the image here to download Particls, including a feed to this blog (which you can delete if you wish):