During BarCamp, I talked to Arun Ram for a while. Along with his brother Arjun, he is working on an â€˜innovative’ news aggregator called Taazza.com.
Taazza as you all know means fresh, but there is an extra â€˜z’ here, so don’t leave that out or you might land up with something else altogether!
The brothers have been working on the application for a while and are looking at giving it some kind of a defined route map now as it’s nearing its completion. The feedback so far has been encouraging, says Arun. They have been getting a lot of feedback and the challenge is to incorporate the relevant feedback into the system.
Before I go onto the tool, what is it that we want from a news aggregator? Some of the features that come to mind:
1) Search facility
2) Ability to get to the news quickly
3) Get alternative / many different views to the news story (complemented by blogs, Wikipedia)
4) Clean, easy-to-use and interactive interface (that does not scare of an ordinary layperson)
So how is Taazza different from yet another news aggregator you might ask?
Well, many things as Arjun Ram points out in his presentation and demonstration.
From the brief view I got of the system, the interface itself is extremely clean and pleasing to the eyes. Having said that, I would definitely look for a little more colour to the site though. The uncluttered design is a welcome change from the usual interfaces offered by many other news aggregators like Samachar.com, for example.
Some cool features – Integration with Wikipedia and Google Maps!
While the news will be pulled from mainstream news sites online (Yahoo! Google etc.), what’s interesting is the integration with Wikipedia and Google Maps. So when you are looking for a news item, not only are you directed to related stories on the Wiki interface, but you can also zoom in on the geographical location of the news through Google Maps. These definitely are ‘innovative’ additions to the aggregator.
This is actually quite awesome and I must say that it looks really impressive. From my standpoint, I’d be even more excited if they can get blogs incorporated into the system. However, what they will have to look at (as a participant also pointed out) is not let it get too noisy as the blog world is large and diverse with many opinions and views floating around.
A system like Digg.com, where only the popular opinions / blogs come to the forefront or bubbles up is a feature that can be incorporated to ensure the cream rises to the top.
The local flavour
The side panel of the aggregator allows you to view news within a certain specified timeframe and allows you to scan through the recent and up-to-date stories.
On the user front, I would definitely look forward to this kind of an interface, especially because it gives me new of a local flavour and additionally incorporates a well-rounded view of that particular topic.
When is it coming?
While services like Newhound from Rediff.com have experimented with news aggregation, what Taazza is trying to do is way beyond. Right now, what Rediff.com does is serves you links. Taazza is trying to break these limited boundaries and is working on an idea that promises to be interesting and useful. And it definitely will, if they can launch it soon! It could be a few weeks away, says Arun.
While the brothers admit that the business model has not emerged as yet, this could be something that will emerge from the launch. Business implications will definitely be a factor at some point of time. The brothers have been working on the strength of their passions and I hope that Taazza breaks new ground in India in the online world. Best of luck to Arjun and Arun in their venture! I’m looking forward to seeing it.
So get ready for Taazza, folks! Coming soon to a desktop near you!!
5 thoughts on “Fresh and new – Taazza aiming to break new ground!”
Great commentary, Anita. I also think the Indian internet using population is quite ready for a new degree of sophistication. I think you will soon see a proliferation of the ‘social web’ to Indian internet space. Exciting times, indeed!
Here is one system like digg.com for Indian community.
Taazza.com become a front page story there few days ago. I will post your article and see whether is gets to the front page 🙂
Very nice article and there will definelty be a DOT.com boom in India in the next few years.