Do people want to read content by topic?

We live in a world where content is not sorted by topic.

  • Tweets are sorted by person. You can’t view tweets by topic.
  • People on Google Plus never post to topic-based circles.
  • Pinterest automatically subscribes to you to all boards by individuals you follow. You can clean up your pinterest to have just the boards you want, but Pinterest will constantly add new boards created by people you follow. I spend 75% of my time on Pinterest unfollowing boards about weddings, recipes, and hair styles.
  • Facebook sorts posts by some magic formula of time and popularity; certainly not by specific topics.
  • One of the sites that allowed us to somewhat organize content by topic was Google Reader. That product was killed this year.

It seems publishers and social media don’t want us to read by topic.

Oh, but we have newspapers. They still produce sections like Sports, Entertainment, Local news, Business, Arts. But newspapers don’t let me subscribe to their content by topic. I have to go to their site manually and visit each page.

Zite has a plethora of topics for people to choose from. Zite is nice, but I can’t pick my sources.

The entire library system is organized by topic. The library’s book resources are nice, but they don’t have a notification system for new books in the topic areas I like.

Why can’t we have a reading platform where the reader determines which sources he/she wants to read along with which topics? The magic mix is two parts.

  1. The reader determines the source they wish to subscribe to.
  2. The reader determines which topics they wish to receive.

There is no reader platform that can do both of these things…. yet.

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1 thought on “Do people want to read content by topic?”

  1. Pingback: Does targeting content make people ignore it? | Matt Maldre


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