Find Engaging Content with KnowAboutIt

The most awesome thing about social networks is the ability to share stuff with friends and loved ones. And it is really ironical that the same sharing feature is fast becoming the most annoying thing as well. From over enthusiastic peers to professional spammers, people just mindlessly click away the retweet and like buttons, overwhelming the social stream.

It took decades to reign in email spam, but thankfully, spam in the social stream is getting the attention it deserves from early on. KnowAboutIt is an app that helps you fight all the social noise and spam by highlighting stuff worth looking at. The web app makes sure you know about the best links passing through your social streams. Interested to learn how it pulls that off?

Overview

KnowAboutIt helps you discover the most engaging and relevant content lost in your social stream. It’s one of the very few apps that explain what the service does in so few words, all the while keeping the visitor curious about trying it out.

Overview

Overview

The app is free for everyone and you can log into KnowAboutIt with either your Twitter or Facebook account. Sadly, the integration isn’t one click. You will have to submit your email address before getting access to the app. The developers inform you beforehand that it can take up to 45 minutes for them to fully index a source after it’s turned on. However, in my case the indexing process took more than 45 minutes.

While you wait, they suggest you to check the ‘Compare with friends‘ and ‘Outside your network‘ features. These sections of the web app start off with general data and become more personalized and relevant as KnowAboutIt collects more information from your streams.

User Interface

User Interface

User Interface

From the homepage to the dashboard, KnowAboutIt sports a peppy look that screams web 2.0. It would really be useful to have a status message or a progress bar indicating how far across the indexing process has come so far. No wonder the developers explicitly state which sections to browse while the indexing is going on – there isn’t anything at all in the rest of the sections!

Compare With Friends

So I thought I might as well check this section out before my own content suggestions kicked in. Content listed in this section are links that were found by the app for your friend and not for you. This is a great place to start finding things that your friend likes besides what you already know. And this feature also is a great way to discover new content for yourself.

Compare With Friends

Compare With Friends

The manner in which the links are displayed is just brilliant. You have the original message from the user, followed by a summary of the link the message carries. Options to bookmark, share, like or dislike the content are available. The profile pic and the icon of the social network from where the message originated is another nice touch.

Recommendations

KnowAboutIt recommends content from two different sources. First, it recommends content that is worth checking out from your own network of friends and then it displays useful content from elsewhere – out of your network.

Recommendations are displayed in both these sections just like the way they are in the Compare with Friends section. The major difference is the source from where the recommendations come from. I found the recommendations to be relevant and interesting.

Recommendations

Recommendations

Recommendations from outside the network are colorful and cover a variety of topics. All you have to do now is to click the links and read away! The other two sections to watch out for new content are the Popular Now and the Hidden Gem sections. For your convenience, there are options to separate video-only and image-only content.

Other Features

Adding Multiple Sources

Adding Multiple Sources

Twitter isn’t the only supported social network. A lot of popular ones – Facebook, Tumblr, Disqus, RSS feeds – are available for you to subscribe to. Twitter lists and Google buzz support is available as well. You can add them all from the Settings page and again the indexing takes a bit of time.

Setting Automatic Summaries

Setting Automatic Summaries

Automated Summaries are turned on by default and as the name suggests, a summary of recommendations will find your email inbox at the preset time. The developers deserve a pat on their shoulders for allowing the users to select what type of content should be sent in the summary.

Final Thoughts

KnowAboutIt is a cool, new social aggregator with immense potential. If you are fan of reading and are always looking forward to discover fresh, topical and trending content, this might be the latest online destination for you. The app does take a whole lot of time for indexing just a single social network. Not very many people will be patient enough to stay on board idle for 45 minutes. But if you choose to look past this shortcoming, you have got yourself a new content suggestion powerhouse. And, you could always sign in, then check back again in the evening to see what KnowAboutIt discovered.

Share Your Thoughts!

Think KnowAboutIt could do a better job making sense of all the social noise? Is there another web app that does a better job?


Summary

KnowAboutIt helps you discover the most engaging and relevant content lost in your social stream.

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  • http://knowabou.it Kevin Marshall

    Hey thanks for such a great overall write-up!

    I agree that the wait time to get going really sucks and it is something I’m working hard on improving on the backend (the current system just dumps you into a queue and so you have to wait for your turn through the loop…as we are scaling up this is of course not working out well…so I’m busy implementing some new priority queue systems for new users to get going faster)…until we release that part though – the delay on setup continues and is a real pain…sorry.

    So I promise it will get much much faster very soon! ;-)

  • dtmp

    You might want to consult KnowAboutIt for grammar, that first paragraph is a doozy.

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