News You Can Reuse
In the interest of full disclosure, as I was writing today's column I could not help thinking that: a) it would get picked up by the news-aggregator sites that I describe in the piece, b) the users of those sites would then discover other things I've written, and c) that, in turn, would increase the odds of my next piece getting Dugg.
In fact, the column seems to have been utterly ignored by those sites today. Shows you what I know!
But anyway: I've been using these aggregators to get a quick read on the news for a couple of years now--mainly through a site called PopUrls that puts the top stories of Digg, Reddit, Newsvine and other aggregator sites, as well as highlights from other major sources of user-generated content like Flickr and Del.icio.us, on a single page. That's a good way to get a quick read on what's on the Web's mind at the start of the day.
It's also in my own professional interest to keep an eye out for the stories getting the most attention at Digg and its ilk, considering all the traffic news aggregators can send to a Web page. If a blog post gets far more comments than usual, for example, it helps to know if that's because the regular readers reacted to it strongly, or because a flock of new readers just got pointed to it.
(BTW, "news aggregator" doesn't exactly roll off the tongue. Anybody have a word or phrase that doesn't reek of consultantese?)
I've also seen these news hubs become part of a story themselves, most famously when Digg's users flooded the site with stories featuring the same 32-character key used to crack the encryption on HD DVD and Blu-ray high-definition video discs.
But over the last few months, I've found myself interested in how this hive-mind approach to news works. I think these sites--along with blogs--perform a valuable and necessary service when they spotlight the important stories that get buried on page A17.
Then again, these sites also often offer a silly and strange view of what passes for news. As I was writing a draft of this yesterday evening, one of the most popular stories on Digg concerned some clues found in a test release of an expansion pack for the game World of Warcraft. At Reddit, "How idiots pull down palm trees" was among the top 25 stories. (Not that The Post's taste in stories is perfect either!)
Perhaps because I can't tell if these sites will work over time, they're a compelling read. Now back to you: Do you hit the likes of Digg to get your news? Do you also submit stories and links to them? Tell me in the comments--or in my Web chat today, starting at 2 p.m.
Posted by: Mike | March 6, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: jp | March 6, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: wiredog | March 6, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: JimGoldbloom | March 7, 2008 7:36 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Steve | March 7, 2008 9:01 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Jim Griffith | March 7, 2008 5:15 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Richard Waddell | March 11, 2008 4:39 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.