The Internet is an ever-growing source of information, and with this constant growth comes increasing difficulty in finding helpful, relevant information quickly and efficiently. Businesses in particular feel the crunch, losing hours of productivity a day to employees searching for the information they need. This is exactly why Filtrbox, a business-grade content monitoring system, was created.
One year ago, founder and president Ari Newman decided it was time to design a new system that would allow businesses to easily monitor information online. Newman describes the reasoning behind creating Filtrbox as coming "about out of frustration on my own part around information overload, and not being able to keep up with sources or places where information I needed was popping up online. I had no idea where to start, and couldn't believe there wasn't a better tool." So, he designed one.
Released on June 30th, Filtrbox addresses the complex issue of knowledge overload by making it easier to track online content for mentions of companies, competitors, or industry. According to Newman, "The fundamental problem is that business professionals don't know where the next piece of news is coming from, or who is writing what." To address this issue, Filtrbox persistently searches mainstream media outlets such as blogs and twitters to find the most relevant information for a business, providing noise control, and by helping business owners tune their focus to something that matters to them.
Filtrbox features the custom FiltrRank technology, which allows users to control sensitivity, relevance, and the scoring of their searches. The ranking system, based on contextual importance, popularity, and feedback, allows users to obtain the most credible and relevant information for their needs. During a search, Filtrbox displays the highest-ranking articles (highest being a 10) at the top of the user screen. If users do not find what they are looking for, they can change their ranking preferences by easily adjusting the ranking slider.
Filtrbox also has added intelligence around keywords, such as the ability to detect dictionary words. Filtrbox will detect general terms and then generate a list of sample articles with corresponding keywords. Since Filtrbox is a rich media application, users are able to identify displayed terms and drag them into search boxes, choosing either to include or exclude information in their search. As users make these changes, either by manually checking subtopic boxes or choosing search terms, Filtrbox sorts the articles and refines the list in real time. If users see an article they like, they can share the article, type a comment, post to Facebook, or give feedbacks.
A key feature of Filtrbox is its briefing emails, which are delivered daily. The briefing email shows up at 6 a.m. and users can sift through newly posted articles, find out where critical buzz-worthy stories are coming from, and track their company and competitors. Newman says, " People grow accustomed to reading these emails and having the confidence that they didn't' miss anything the night before." Users can also control what articles are sent by Filtrbox's ranking technology.
Other important features of the product include the ability to create "hotlists," which are custom filters designed for the user. Once created, users can share articles, mark their favorites, and send invitations to other users to subscribe to their hotlist. Filtrbox also offers a graph version of a user's article history. This feature allows users to click on any point on the graph and instantly view what happened on that day and review saved articles.
Though there are other products on the market doing similar things, which Newman considers a good indicator of how much demand there is for products like Filtrbox, he also explains that "Filtrbox is unique due to the combination of source coverage, powerful technology, FiltrRank scoring, easy-to-use interface, and its aggressive pricing model. " This pricing model includes $20 per month for 25 "Filtrs" (Filtrbox Pro) and $100 for 100 "Filtrs" (Filtrbox Team). Users can also set up a free account supporting up to five Filtrs at Filtrbox.com.
Targeting small and medium sized businesses, Filtrbox's main goal is to reduce the "noise" and bring the most important information to the forefront. Newman describes the goal of Filtrbox as simply "living out the mission to deliver more knowledge and less noise, and to get to a critical mass of users." For the future, Newman's hope is simple: that the product will evolve so as to solve the problem of knowledge overload. As he says, "Nobody needs more stuff to read."