Flipboard is essentially an RSS feed,” Trapit co-founder and Chief Product Officer Hank Nothhaft told me. “It’s not bringing anything new to the table. It’s not highly personalized or relevant. We’ve taken the opposite approach. We’re all about user-generated interest, being selfish and really reveling in the things that you like.” Trapit scours content from about 120,000 sources, up from 100,000 last year. In the past few months, the company also cut about 10,000 sources based on user feedback.
We believe in Ongo’s unique approach, blending aggregated news sources with the curation only a professional editorial staff can provide. Unfortunately, we may be too far ahead of the general market’s readiness to adopt such a solution, and business realities leave us no option but to close our doors. (Ongo announcement to subscribers)
But it’s important to note that Ongo drew skepticism from media watchers from the start. Its business model rested on the belief that people would value an ad-free, curated experience enough to pay for it, despite both the availability of the (mostly) free web and other free apps like Flipboard.