TPUTH launched yesterday, an electronic newspaper that strikes a balance somewhere between Matt Drudge and Jon Stewart but specifically for geeks, designers, and venture capitalists.
I caught up with Craig Mod, editor and partly responsible for the concept. He answers some of my questions by email from Tokyo:
Where did the idea come from?
Craig Mod: This is an idea we’ve had for half a year (since launching webtrendmap.com). We even went so far as to pitch a subset of it to VCs in San Francisco in November. With the Web Trend Engine, we get a stream of great links all day. These are curated (by Twitter users posting them), but not all of them are superb.
TPUTH takes our raw Web Trend stream and applies a light human touch on top of the machine processing to present that ~10% subset of the great articles that are superb.
This is where “machine filtered, hand polished” comes in?
CM: In essence, we’re cyborg editors. By leveraging 1) the natural curation that happens when people post a link to Twitter and 2) the machine produced aggregate and filtration of those posts we are able to 3) apply a final, humorous, human touch. Making sure readers only see the best.
I’d be surprised if the most important tools we build going forward aren’t directly tied to some form of curation and filtration.
What’s the etymology of the name?
CM: Oliver breaks it down wonderfully on his blog post:
Typographically, explaining TPUTH is somewhat like explaining a live Tetris game. We used letters from the Russian word Pravda and molded them according to our aesthetic-alphabetical logic. To fully understand the puzzle, you need to have a look at the original Russian typography of Правда (”PRAVDA”, which means “truth”) and труд (”TRUD”, which means “work”):
We used the russian R which looks like a P in the western alphabet We inverted the Russian P — which looks like an aggressive U We mutilated the Russian D — which looks like a strange A — into a scary looking H.
Thanks Craig, and best to the TPUTH team!