Reuters Insight Beta Project

I was recently sent log in information from Maud Larpent, of Reuters, who have developed a new beta-project for information consolidation named Reuters Insight. Naturally, this would be a good product to create from one of the world’s largest media companies. According to the information I saw inside:

Reuters Insight – Insight exists to help you when:

**you want to track what’s happening in your overseas markets
**you need to find new contacts
**you are researching new markets to source from or distribute in

Reuters Insight is a community of international business people who are sharing information, connecting with each other and keeping abreast of key events impacting their supply chains, their regulatory environments and their markets.

Key features of the website you may want to try are:

**Searching the news for key topics of interest
**Researching a country
**Connecting with other individuals on the site who may be interesting to you

Personally, I think this is an interesting idea and I have seen a few things like this recently for blog and article consolidators. This site has potential because of the vast resources coming from Reuters itself and is early stages, so it will improve. There are little things that can be corrected, such as: no log in/password help and some navigation/settings are not intuitive, but I expect that right now. Since I registered last week, I did set up some quick preferences which then started a daily email stream about the topics I expressed interest in.

Conclusion: Wow! Slow down, I am getting a daily email with hundreds of stories from Reuters that are classified to my topic settings. However, I felt like I started a nuclear chain reaction that is in runaway mode. This is obviously my fault by not defining the filters more specifically, which I was able to finally change after poking around enough. Again, there was not enough explanation on how to do this or definitions of categories that I am subscribed to. When I am potentially going to get 1-1000 articles on everything I selected, I would like to know a profile of what type of story is coming.

All in all, I think this could be interesting and will continue to look in and review the emails. When dealing with this much information, setting my profile correctly will be the key. This is where I think Reuters can really improve, by giving the users the visibility into the categories. Great, I am subscribed to Sourcing and Procurement – what does that mean?? I am sure they will start subcatogorizing these which will make it even more useful to the reader. I commend Reuters for productizing (I have no idea if this is free) their deep wells of information and my critiques should be taken from the aspect of this beta release with improvements clearly coming.

If you know the information you have interest in, Reuters Insight will be very useful. If you cast a wide net, be prepared for endless reams of information that are essentially unusable. Now that I have begun refining my search more, I am interested to see the results.

3 Responses to Reuters Insight Beta Project

  1. Hi David

    I really appreciate you joining the Insight community at its early stage, your comments are of great importance to us at this point to determine how the product is going to evolve.

    Apologies for the overflow of news in your daily alerts… Regarding the filtering we are integrating in our next upgrade (next week) a grapeshot technology (http://www.grapeshot.co.uk/) which will improve the relevance of the articles you receive. Hope you see the difference!

    We will also very shortly be releasing new features focused on improving users’ experience of the community.
    A major emphasis is on facilitating communication between users and letting users create ‘favourites’ and ‘connections’ from the networks.
    We will also be adding a leaderboard and a “Today’s Top User” to highlight those individuals who are making the biggest contribution to the community. Polls and blogging features will also be added so the community can make its opinions well known.
    These elements will all be released within the next month and we have an extensive roadmap beyond that. But we are of course continuously seeking new ideas fom our users about what they’d like to see next.

  2. Maud,

    Thanks for the follow up comments. I am sure the new information will be helpful for people that use the site and I look forward to seeing the product continue to be enhanced.

  3. I agree with you that this is an interesting idea and a potentially valuable resource, but I am of the opinion that it is still not ready for prime time.

    First, I couldn’t even register – I had to have them set me up. Easy fix, but still.

    Second, as you noted, right now selecting alerts does nothing but flood your inbox with news stories that appear to have very little correlation, if any, with the sectors / topics in your profile. (Definitely has country down pat – but, as you pointed out, you get everything!)

    Third, there appear to be a number of small bugs throughout the site. I had to update my countries / sectors / topics of interest twice for the changes to stick. Then, after updating the areas of expertise, I clicked on my profile. After updating that, I found that my areas of expertise had been cleared. Then I realized this still didn’t update alerts, which I thought matched areas of interest – so I ended up updating the same information for the fourth time in a row.

    Fourth, the purpose of some parts of the site is not clear – even after poking around. For example, what is favorite users for and why does it dynamically change on every refresh of the page?

    A great idea, but I’m of the opinion that it’s not yet out of alpha. With more features being slated before the current ones are fine tuned, I’d guess it will be a few more months before it’s really ready for prime time. However, done right, it could definately be a hot spot in the latter part of this year.

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