Exploring new topics on the internet with Thoora

With the ever consistent pressure to be abreast with the latest happenings in technology, its pretty difficult finding and discovering relevant topics that interest you, a simple Google search is no longer enough.  Back in the days all we ever had was the Google search engine.  As at that time, the growth rate of the internet wasn’t as explosive as it is now. Its pretty much difficult in today’s internet era to keep up with the amount of information generated on a minute basis. A better way to discover new topics and discussion is now through the numerous  social networks.

Social network services like facebook, twitter, identi.ca and Google plus provide easy way to share topics,news,photos with members within your social group. Social networks are the recent substitute for content discovery, and even the major search engines make use of social signals to present results that are relevant to you. A new application called Thoora which lunched recently in Beta, uses the concept of machine learning to help users uncover new contents on topics relevant to them.

Searching Content

Thoora was founded in 2008 and was lunched simply as a news aggregator. Its recent iteration goes beyond just news scanning and rather makes use of machine learning to help users explore and research topics. It learns more about its users as they sort out topics that matter to them. Thoora is also a social tool as member of the service can share topics,rank results and post them on twitter.  The real value of Thoora comes from the learning algorithm at work behind the scene. As users create topics, discover content and clean up results, Thoora gets better at recommendation.

Getting Started with Thoora

Thoora is still in Beta release and as such its still been developed and tested. However if you are itchy to try out the service visit http://thoora.com. You are initially presented with a signup form and there is provision to sign in with your twitter account. Integration with twitter helps you share contents you discover with friends on your twitter network.

On signing in I started by creating a topic, specifying relevant keywords that should be associated with that topic. Been an open source software fan, I decided to give it a go and created a topic Open Source Projects.  Immediate I am presented with some search result from which I filter out contents that appeal to me. Search results also have a popularity meter which is used to rank contents. Thoora also provides a gallery of public topics you can browse to see what other people on the service are researching.

Sharing the Experience

Though Thoora is useful for personal research, it’s also a shareable experience. Users can follow one another and see what new topics are posted. Topics and articles can be easily shared, and Thoora’s Explore tab features popular topics, featured topics selected by Thoora editors, and a list of “Au-THOORA-ties” who have lots of followers and create good topics.

Thoora is free but the company behind the product intends to lunch a premium service later that will target content marketers at very low cost.  As the project gets developed and stabilizes over time, analytic tools and integration with external analytic software will make up one of the features running on Thoora’s premium service.

Whether you’re a blogger or journalist, an academic, or you’re just interested in something, a machine learning-powered tool like Thoora could be a powerful alternative to a purely social service.