Tracking People in the News with Newsle, a web app that tracks people in the news, has released a new version featuring instant news alerts about users' friends, colleagues, favorite public figures, or themselves. The startup also announced $600,000 in seed funding from Lerer Media Ventures, SV Angel, and an independent investor. According to the company website, "Newsle's private beta launched in January 2011, and was covered by TechCrunch. The current version is a major evolution of the original concept. Newsle now combs the web continuously, analyzing over 1 million articles each day - every major news article and blog post published online, as well as most minor ones. Newsle's core technology is its disambiguation algorithm, which determines whether an article mentioning "John Smith" is about the right person."

Co-founder Axel Hansen stated, "The Internet is evolving into an ‘Internet of people.’ The web began with handles and pseudonyms, but Facebook set in motion the trend of using your real identity to interact online. Newsle is part of the next trend: using algorithms to process the vast amount of data that exists online and derive meaning from it. Using natural language processing, we are establishing real identity online, creating a semantic web of people."

Image: Courtesy Newsle