Thanks for stopping by. I’m Jason Butler, and I am the founder, software engineer, information architect, copywriter and janitor here at Serendeputy. Thanks for letting me share with you what I’m thinking and what I’m building.
What is Serendeputy?
Serendeputy is a personal newsfeed engine. It reads the open web and then organizes and scores it for you. It learns what you like and helps you find something interesting to read. If you're curious, here's a little bit more on how Serendeputy works.
But, here’s what’s different. Unlike your favorite search engines and social networks, Serendeputy is entirely transparent, putting you in control. You choose what gets in. You twist the dials to tune your feed. You can read using whatever tools you want: on the open web, or through email or RSS. Nothing to download. Nothing to lock you in.
I've been working on the open web since 1997, and I'm trying to recreate (or reclaim, I suppose) its spirit. It was once fun for people to follow links and explore gardens outside the walls. I'm trying to design Serendeputy to encourage that exploration.
The basic application (the open index) is free to use and explore. It's generally around 10 million articles from the past week or so, indexed over about 80 million tags. I hope you find it useful, and that it contributes positively to the web.
It's also free to connect your Twitter account. When you do this, Serendeputy will index the links tweeted by people you follow and organize that index for you. You can go through any topic and see what your Twitter feed is thinking. If you want, you can connect your Twitter feed right now.
It's impossible to know the future, but I plan on keeping the free tier up forever. Through the magic of software, it costs me effectively nothing to provide Serendeputy to new people. I'd like people to use it.
I should probably make money at some point, though. I'm a solopreneur, sadly lacking those millions of venture-capital or hedge-fund dollars.
This is what I'm thinking: rather than sell you out for a tenth of penny, I'm writing a set of pro tools to help you slice and dice your index like Bobby Flay, training your own deputy to help you sort the open web. If you're an information maven and news junkie like me, you'll get your $5/month's worth, I hope. Stay tuned.
Ads are a useful way to keep a free version of Serendeputy running, but I refuse to jump into the Ad Tech swamp. I just have links to contextually-relevant products where it makes sense: If you're on the Chemistry tag, you'll see a link to buy books on Chemistry. Right now, these are mostly links to Amazon; if you buy something through one of the links, I will get a small commission.
And, that's it: Earn money by selling people tools that help them be more awesome and enjoy the web a bit more. Pretty simple. No surveillance. No ad-tech stalking you. No selling your data.
And, if nothing else, you'll feel good about supporting an independent small business, pushing back ever so slightly against the Silicon Valley behemoths -- and helping me build up the college fund for my daughters.
Serendeputy is currently in beta four, which means that the software basically works and the underlying math has checked out. Now, I'm focusing on the user experience and helping people get started. Normally I'd be running usability sessions around Boston right now, but that's a little tough in the Covid era...
Please let me know what you think and how I can update Serendeputy to make it more useful for you. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you've read this far, a) thank you; it's a little lonely here in solopreneur-land sometimes, and b) you should link your Twitter account and get started.
Concord, Massachusetts, USA
P.S., I went to find a picture of myself, but almost all pictures from the past 15 years are of my children. So, this is me, back when I decided to freeze time in 2004. This picture is from my honeymoon, on a beautiful day at Lake Louise. I still look basically the same, just a little more gray...