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How Zite's iPad Magazine Is Bringing Browsing Back A hit from the start, this Vancouver, B.C.-based company delivers an (increasingly) personal reading experience for tablet-toters. Plus, a look at other ground-breaking businesses in the media space.

By Jenna Schnuer

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Amid the swirl, mania and hype of just-in-time-for-SXSW launches, there was Zite. An iPad-only magazine app that gets smarter and more personal over time, Zite took off with 120,000 downloads in its first week. After years of Googling ourselves silly, this app serves up a modernized version of that old chestnut from the internet's inception: browsing.

"In the early days of the web there was sort of an attempt to create the browsing experience," says Ali Davar, founder and CEO of Zite, based in Vancouver, British Columbia. "Then search came along and people said "Who needs browsing anymore?' But with the iPad you don't want to search--you want to browse."

Built on top of technology developed at the University of British Columbia's Laboratory for Computational Intelligence for his first product, a search plug-in called Worio, Davar explains that Zite automatically learns what you like and gets smarter as you use it based on a wide range of signals that tell it something is interesting.

"Are people sharing it? Are they commenting on it? Are they tweeting? Are they tagging?" he says. "That tells us there is some social interest."

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