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Hi, I’m Brad Feld, a managing director at the Foundry Group who lives in Boulder, Colorado. I invest in software and Internet companies around the US, run marathons and read a lot.

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Filtrbox Gets Better Every Week

Comments (10)

I have a very patterned daily information consumption routine.  The left-most tab in my browser is called "Daily" and contains a set of web sites that I open up each morning and look at as part of my routine.  Recently, Filtrbox – one of the TechStars companies – graduated to be part of this tab.

I try virtually every news alerting system that I come across.  I have a set of about 100 keywords that I track daily – all of the companies we’ve invested in, a number of people that I follow, and a handful of random things I care about.  My current staples are Google Alerts, Yahoo Alerts, and Technorati.  I can only seem to get Google and Yahoo via email, so they show up in my inbox and get moved to my "Daily" email folder (which I read – er – daily.)  Technorati comes via RSS so I read it each morning in FeedDemon.

The vision for Filtrbox when they started at TechStars last summer was to create an integrated single dashboard of all this keyword alert information.  The tagline "more knowledge, less noise" says it all.  My partner Seth Levine and I totally resonated with this – Seth has a great post about Filtrbox up titled Know what you don’t know which addresses how he thinks about the problem and how Filtrbox solves it for him.

For a while I found the Filtrbox data interesting, but not really that additive. In addition, the UI was "ok" but there where lots of little things that slowed me down.  About three months ago I noticed I was finding new information from it that wasn’t appearing in my other keyword searches and that it was streamlining this information in ways that I hadn’t expected, such as eliminating duplicates (e.g. the same alert coming from Google, Yahoo, and Technorati  – which happens many times each day – only appeared one in Filtrbox) and allowing me to filter based on thresholds for each keyword.  In addition, as the UI evolved, I found I was spending less time scanning the alerts and more time clicking through onto the interesting ones.

I hit a tipping point about a month ago where Filtrbox became more useful to me than Google+Yahoo+Technorati.  I haven’t turned off the other alerts yet, but I find that I’m not getting much additional info from them anymore now that I use Filtrbox as my top level sort.

Filtrbox is still in private beta, but if you are interested in playing around with it you can get a golden ticket by clicking on the special magic Brad Feld Filtrbox link.  I’m really proud of Ari Newman, Tom Chikoore, and team.  They have reached the point where their service is very valuable to me and gets noticeably better every single week.

  • http://www.defragcon.com eric norlin

    Hey brad- couldn't agree more re: filtrbox. i “discoverd” them about 10 days ago and immediately got excited. Now if i can get through the “information overload” long enough to actually set all of my filters, i'll be really happy. Kudos to ari and team!

  • Kelly Taylor

    I had a fun talk with Ari yesterday about upcoming features and he helped me tweak my filtrgroups. I am liking this product more and more as well.

  • garyd

    Brad. I often see a headline from your blog and come read it like today, I jumped over from facebook. I love to read the posts about the new tech companies and applications that you talk about, but am often left in a difficult situation.

    I am not in the tech industry and while the new technologies and applications are very interesting and useful for my website, blog, etc… I often wonder what level of threshold to apply in regards to trying to adopt a new application.

    For example, filtrbox appears to be something useful that I could use to keep track of news in exercise physiology, marathon training, etc.. but is it a significant advantage to use in that manner. Does it pass the “threshold” of need to use?

    For the readers that are in the tech biz it probably makes sense to keep a lower threshold when taking on learning new apps… do you have any advice for those of us not in the group and that don't necessarily need to be early adoptors?

    Personal examples: still haven't found a good use for ligit or mybloglog apps, still trying to decide if twitter is worth it, but have found feedburner way beyond useful. All apps I've looked at after a post by you. Thanks.

    PS – Intense Debate is one I've looked at but shied away from out of fear of time consumption.

  • http://www.derekscruggs.com Derek Scruggs

    +1 for Filtrbox. We've been using it for a few months and find it very useful. Bonus points for Ari and the team being a great guys who've built it frugally and stayed focus.

  • tim stephens

    Amen Brother … now, if they would only take the alltop.com concept and let me mashup news and blogs on a dashboard that i could set to my home page, it would be sweet.

  • oiououo
  • oiououo

    öoiooi

  • http://www.marypurslow.com/ mary

    I guess I must be a little behind but this is the first time that I have really even considered using filtrbox. I am glad that I came across it because I can see how this will make life so much easier for me. It might still be in beta but within minutes of reading briefly about it…they have a lot of future potential. Now I just need to figure it all out. Thank you for this and the “special magic Brad Feld Filtrbox link! I am in the process

  • NickA

    Another reason to read your blog Brad. Thanks for posting the access link. I have been using Filtrbox since your post went up. After a slow start and some figuring out it is starting to work well. Best thing so far though was the rapid response received from Ari himself to the technical and features queries, I sent in to the general support email.

    Now looking forward to the full release.

  • http://www.managingio.com Nicolas

    Hi,

    Filtrbox sounds interesting and I will certainly try it out as soon as it's live.

    At the moment my team and myself are working on a web application with the same goal, i.e. to reduce the “noise” and only deliver the relevant information to the user. It will implement a couple of really new ideas and go live at http://nextfeeds.com soon (you can pre-register to get informed upon launch).

    More information about it can be found on our blog on information overload at http://www.managingio.com. We are always happy for comments!

    Cheers, Nicolas

  • http://www.livelovecoffee.com/coffee-grinder coffeeguy

    Great website. I certainly did use it before you started using it, but have had great success with it. I still have not gotten out of the routine of going through all my standard websites for news, but hopefully filtrbox will become my new routine.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/kelly_taylo4868 kelly_taylo4868

    I had a fun talk with Ari yesterday about upcoming features and he helped me tweak my filtrgroups. I am liking this product more and more as well.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/derek_scrug1878 derek_scrug1878

    +1 for Filtrbox. We've been using it for a few months and find it very useful. Bonus points for Ari and the team being a great guys who've built it frugally and stayed focus.

  • tim stephens

    Amen Brother … now, if they would only take the alltop.com concept and let me mashup news and blogs on a dashboard that i could set to my home page, it would be sweet.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/garyditsch garyditsch

    Brad. I often see a headline from your blog and come read it like today, I jumped over from facebook. I love to read the posts about the new tech companies and applications that you talk about, but am often left in a difficult situation.

    I am not in the tech industry and while the new technologies and applications are very interesting and useful for my website, blog, etc… I often wonder what level of threshold to apply in regards to trying to adopt a new application.

    For example, filtrbox appears to be something useful that I could use to keep track of news in exercise physiology, marathon training, etc.. but is it a significant advantage to use in that manner. Does it pass the "threshold" of need to use?

    For the readers that are in the tech biz it probably makes sense to keep a lower threshold when taking on learning new apps… do you have any advice for those of us not in the group and that don't necessarily need to be early adoptors?

    Personal examples: still haven't found a good use for ligit or mybloglog apps, still trying to decide if twitter is worth it, but have found feedburner way beyond useful. All apps I've looked at after a post by you. Thanks.

    PS – Intense Debate is one I've looked at but shied away from out of fear of time consumption.

  • mary

    I guess I must be a little behind but this is the first time that I have really even considered using filtrbox. I am glad that I came across it because I can see how this will make life so much easier for me. It might still be in beta but within minutes of reading briefly about it…they have a lot of future potential. Now I just need to figure it all out. Thank you for this and the "special magic Brad Feld Filtrbox link! I am in the process

  • eric norlin

    Hey brad- couldn't agree more re: filtrbox. i "discoverd" them about 10 days ago and immediately got excited. Now if i can get through the "information overload" long enough to actually set all of my filters, i'll be really happy. Kudos to ari and team!

  • NickA

    Another reason to read your blog Brad. Thanks for posting the access link. I have been using Filtrbox since your post went up. After a slow start and some figuring out it is starting to work well. Best thing so far though was the rapid response received from Ari himself to the technical and features queries, I sent in to the general support email.

    Now looking forward to the full release.

  • Nicolas

    Hi,

    Filtrbox sounds interesting and I will certainly try it out as soon as it's live.

    At the moment my team and myself are working on a web application with the same goal, i.e. to reduce the "noise" and only deliver the relevant information to the user. It will implement a couple of really new ideas and go live at http://nextfeeds.com soon (you can pre-register to get informed upon launch).

    More information about it can be found on our blog on information overload at http://www.managingio.com. We are always happy for comments!

    Cheers, Nicolas

  • coffeeguy

    Great website. I certainly did use it before you started using it, but have had great success with it. I still have not gotten out of the routine of going through all my standard websites for news, but hopefully filtrbox will become my new routine.

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