12 October 2009

Sensible Reading

I appreciate effective combinations of quality products and good service. While it’s often more entertaining to excoriate companies that fall down on one front or another, the folks doing good work deserve recognition tooso here’s a short item of support for the creators of the my6sense app for the iPhone / iPod Touch.

I first learned about the my6sense app through a post on Mashable back in August. They gave it a rave review for its combination of features: feed reader; information sharer; and a feature called “Digital Intuition,” that over time learns your tastes and suggests other reading material based on those tastes. For me, the initial draw was the feed reader component. I have discovered, though, that the “Digital Intuition” feature works quite well: having added my own feeds, and spent time reading different items (or not), the app has learned some of my interests, and the main feed page now provides a range of different, interesting items to look at, in addition to the feeds I added myself.

Adding or importing feeds in my6sense is easy, as is creating folders to combine multiple feeds into one reading page, so users can cluster technology items together, arts items together, etc. The top 20 items loaded are available offline, which is perfect for paging through on a subway ride where there’s no internet access.

BUT, the thing that really got me committed to continued usage was the response I received from the company when I did have a problem. Early on, two feeds that I tried to add would not go through. It was odd; everything worked fine except for these two specific, unrelated blogs . I got a range of error messages, some telling me that the items were there already, others just a slightly-too-cutesy “Oh noes!” Oh, noes indeed. On the verge of giving upthe app was free, after all, so I wouldn’t lose muchI submitted feedback through the app’s own feedback tool. That generated a reply within a day, with a person who was terrific on follow-through. She asked for more detail about the problem, and proposed a few different solutions; none worked. She was apologetic and, when she said that the developers were looking into the issue, I believed her. And, indeed, a subsequent update to the app fixed my issues.

At this point, there are a few small tweaks I’d like to see my6sense make, to improve the usability. One is to add side-to-side page scrolling, as in the Wall Street Journal’s app; right now, my6sense makes a reader go back to the top of the screen to change items. Another is just a little more flexibility in controlling the font size. A better automatic information category for the arts would be nice, beyond the celebrity-driven items that are built in. And the real stretch nice-to-have would be a “save” or bookmark feature, to keep track of a few things one may want to remember for later.

So there you have it. Great product, great price, and great service: if you’re looking for a feed reader and information aggregator, check out my6sense.

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At 9:55 AM, Anonymous Ilana said...

Thanks so much for the rich and wonderful testimonial! Wow!
beyond the expert story telling (which I personally enjoy immensely), the detailed feedback is really helpful-we'll definitely be discussing those features internally (save/bookmark already under consideration for future versions and
regarding an 'arts' category-what do you suggest?)

We're happier than ever that you enjoy our app, digital intuition, and most of all we're glad to support you throughout the journey :-)

All the Best,
and thanks again for your warm support,


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