Firefox puts the web back in order


Firefox is trying to add more context to the web with a browser extension called Advance. From The Verge:

There are two parts to Advance: a “Read Next” section, which recommends related articles based on your current tab, and a broader “For You” section, which uses your recent history to populate its recommendations.

For any page on the web, Advance suggests stories on the same topic. This is a great way to keep things together thematically, a need that isn’t being met right now. Much of the news we consume spreads through Facebook and Twitter, where feeds are presented without any attempt to keep material in context. Without doing research off the platform, there’s no way to be sure how much a topic is getting covered, whether the first article we click on has been debunked or not, or whether there have been updates that we should be aware of. We can never be sure we’re getting the full picture.

With a tool like Advance, though, the pieces get put back in place. Rather than showing you a big pot of unrelated material, Advance respects your ability to choose for yourself. Rather than trying to guess what it is you want, the extension puts its computing power toward more accurately finding what you say you want.

If these sorts of recommendations take off, they’ll give publishers a new avenue into finding an audience. They’ll reward differentiation over cookie cutter blog posts, since all the competition will be stacked up next to each other. They’ll let readers fall down the rabbit hole on a particular topic, or find a new favorite website, two things that are difficult in the social media feed model. Advance advocates a different model of how the web should structured, and its ideas could make the media landscape healthier.

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