Rootly, a news aggregator site, has relaunched with new site design and additional features. With the help of Marshall Kirkpatrick who has been guiding Rootly looks much improved. It now looks like a news start-page.
The new and improved Rootly offers highly customizable RSS feed powered vertical news search based on about one thousand preselected sources plus sources added by users. As a number of users add the same source it gains trusted status and eventually enters the general index. Rootly offers some decent search result feeds as well as internal bookmarking. Additionally, Rootly has added the ability to accept OpenID. The site reminds me of the old version of Topix (minus images) before its recent relaunch.
According to Marshall, Rootly looks to continue to roll out new features which include OPML import - which has a whole lot of implications - and a customizable widget for personal startpages. One thing I would like to see though as they continue to improve is the addition of thumbnail images to each result.
Interestingly, Rootly sent me review request via ReviewMe several months ago and I had to decline. Back then, I just did not find it compelling enough to write about. The UI was terrible and it has some usability issues. I am happy to see Rootly has come a long way and offers a much improved its product. It is just proof that if you create a compelling product experience and people will talk about it.