:::: MENU ::::
Posts tagged with: News

Facebook Newspaper – Create your own Newspaper

If you have lots of friends in your Facebook then going through all the news articles/videos/pictures from the facebook newsfeed can be overwhelming.

But a new web service from Tigerlogic called PostPost plans to change that.

PostPost – Your own Social Newspaper

Postpost may seem like any ordinary news aggregator that you may have seen or used before. But the big difference here is, instead of gathering links from all over the web, PostPost only looks at stuff that your friends have shared.

So PostPost is essentially a newspaper made from all the links, videos, photos your friends have shared. The reason I keep calling it a ‘newspaper’ is because it does look like one. The formatting & layout looks very much like a magazine, and the recent/important stuff tends to appears on top of the page.

What I have found most useful about this service is it’s search feature. Not only you get a really nice magazine like feel, you can also perform search on all the items your friends have shared. PostPost is integrated with TigerLogic’s yolink search-enhancing technology thus the results it returns is really powerful and accurate.

Use of PostPost is absolutely free and as the service grows I think they will add new features. There are a number of things that I personally want in the service:

– Ability to reorganize the layout (drag-n-drop).

-Marking certain source “Important” so that they get higher priority.

Check out the video to get a better idea of PostPost:

Try out PostPost and let me know what you think about the service!


My Thoughts on Twitter @Anywhere

In the recent South by Southwest (SXSW) conference, every single soul was expecting the twitter CEO Evan Williams to finally stand up and announce Twitter’s business plan and how they plan to monetize this sleeping monster with such a big user base and mainstream adaption.

But instead, @ev threw a brand new thing to the crowed called – @anywhere (“AT ANYWHERE”). Now what is this @Anywhere? Well I can hardly tell you much about it as twitter themselves didn’t reveal much about the service other than a very vague intro and some logos of partners who are already on board with this brand new feature of twitter.

twitter-at-anywhere (@anywhere)

What is Twitter @Anywhere?

Twitter @Anywhere is basically a platform that hopes to bring the functionality of twitter on different websites & portal rather then keeping them all confined in one place (Twitter homepage). You can compare this with what Facebook has already done with Facebook connect. Basically facebook connect allows developers to build community around their websites by seamlessly integrating Facebook using the facebook API and leveraging the 400 million users base that Facebook already has. But integrating Facebook connect does require a bit of technical skills and its not everyone’s cup of tea.

However, it seems like Twitter @Anywhere would be very easy to implement. You don’t have to be a developer or need to work with APIs to make it work. They clearly mentioned on their post that Twitter @Anywhere will work by simply throwing in few lines of JavaScript on your website. So sounds like this is going to be more like an embedded object (like the Facebook Fanbox Widget) that will probably be located at the end of articles/blogpost or can even be at the side bar. Using this object, site visitors will be able to follow you or your brand, write a comment about your site or an article, and participate in discussions with other readers. Whatever interaction your readers perform via Twitter @Anywhere, will obviously go back to twitter thus creating possibility of your content to be exposed to a much larger audience.

Twitter Co-founder Biz Stone writes:

Imagine being able to follow a New York Times journalist directly from her byline, tweet about a video without leaving YouTube, and discover new Twitter accounts while visiting the Yahoo! home page—and that’s just the beginning. Twitter has proven to be compelling in a variety of ways. With @anywhere, web site owners and operators will be able to offer visitors more.

So what do you think of Twitter @Anywhere? I know this isn’t a new concept, however I don’t see any reason for anybody to NOT use it.


Personalized News Dashboard from Guzzle.it

If you are a news junkie like me then you will love this brand new personalized news dashboard service – Guzzle.it.

Guzzle is a free web application that allows you to define some topics (say – design, technology,google and apple) and what it does is – it goes through a intense process of collecting all the latest feeds and news on your topic of interest and lists them all in front of you in categories for easy reading. So if you are particularly passionate about any topic or you want to stay up-to-date about a particular story that has been running on the web, Guzzle is an excellent way for monitoring those topics and being informed at all time without you having to manually check your feeds for news. In order for Guzzle to work and deliver you personalized news, all you need to do is a bit of simple configuring – like letting Guzzle know what sort of stories/news would you like to read, what are the topic of your interest and guzzle will do the rest for you! The interface of Guzzle is pretty soothing and sleek, check out the screenshot of the homepage below:

guzzle-screenshot - Social News

How to Setup Guzzle

Well Guzzle pretty much works out of the box. I didn’t even had to sign up to make it work! But probably signing up with Guzzle (For free) would be a good idea if you want Guzzle to remember your preferences.

But anyway, I’ll show you a simple three step process to make Guzzle work for you in no time. Step one, you go to their homepage- guzzle.it and add topics – this can be anything from iPhone to Google to Gardening, because you type in the term rather than choosing from categories. So what you are basically doing is telling guzzle the “Keywords” to look for in a news story.

Second step is to arrange topics into columns and organize them using separators. You can easily do that from their drag and drop User interface. And the final step is to choose your display option – I personally set my guzzle page to see both the story title at the source. Confusing? Well it won’t be if you visit Guzzle.it right now and follow what I just said! Its extremely easy to use Interface so there is no way in hell that you won’t be able to get yours to work. Below is a screen shot that briefly shows you how you can add topics:

guzzle news dashboard

The best thing about Guzzle news dashboard is the way it gathers news – it’s really a social aggregator. It can pull news stories from a variety of sources including: Yahoo News, Reddit, Delicious, FFFFound, and more. it’s checking these feeds all the time, so the news that you see on your page is always up-to-date and customized to your preference.

Do Like Guzzle? Then share your love, Tweet and let your friends know!


Create your Own Social News Site in Seconds

slinksetlogo

Ever wanted to run your own version of Digg.com, Reddit.com or other social news sites? Slinkset lets you do just that! With this cool service, you will get your own social news running in a matter of seconds.

After looking at some of the examples, I am pretty impressed by Slinkset’s ability & customization options. The best part about using Slinkset to develop your own social news site is – you can actually host this whole thing under your own domain. So if you have a big community driven blog, I believe you can just create a subdomain like – news.yourname.com and run slinkset there where people can vote up/down some of your stories (along with some other stories from external sources). And if you can do things right, I believe this can actually turn into a very useful addition for your site and a great source of traffic + links too.

How to Create your own Social News site using Slinkset

Let me briefly go over the simple steps that you can follow to create your own social news site. Firstly do sign up with Slinkset (it won’t even take you a minute). After signing up, you will have a blank news site (duh!), so you can add sources of stories easily via specifying their RSS feeds. So for example if I want to make a Social news site around the “Technology” niche then I’d probably add feeds of all the popular Tech blogs that are out there.

So as you start adding RSS sources, you will notice that your News page will start showing stories from all those sources. The page layout looks almost like reddit.com with a vote up/down button and also button for comment, edit and kill. Here is an example layout:

social-news-site

How Does the Social Influence Work?

Well, just like any other social news website – when people starts to comment and vote on the stories, it will influence the position of the story. Stories voted “up” pushes their position more towards the top and stories voted “down” will naturally go down. If a story is voted down many times then it gets pushed out of the page – buried! The commenting area is very similar to what you have probably seen in reddit.

News Story Submission & Moderation

There is a “submit” button for the users of your social news site to submit their articles. If you are worried about spam then there is a editorial mode where you can appoint editors who will only have the privilege (apart from you) to add new stories.

Some Highlights of Slinkset

User Management: You have complete control over your users. You can ban a user if he abuses your service or for whatever reason you like. (You are the boss, remember?)

Custom Design: Slinkset allows you to use Custom CSS to really change the look and feel of your new social news site. If you are not very good with CSS, no problem – they also have options to play with the basic design elements like colours and all.

Story Management: You can add categories to keep your stories in logical groups. You can also force your submitters to use categories during their submission. By default the stories on your home page doesn’t have any thumbnails, however you can turn on the “show thumbnail’ option to show little thumbnails right next to each story ( just like digg).

Advertising / Revenue Opportunity: You can use the sidebar section and insert your own own HTML Code. So definitely the sidebar would be a nice place to display some adsense block or other advertising in order to monetize your news site.

Slinkset is currently looking to add more cool features! If you have an idea, you can shere them in their help site which is also powered by Slinkset, Check it out at – http://help.slinkset.com/. Oh, and don’t forget to Follow @slinkset on twitter and let them know how awesome they are.


News Aggregator from USA Today

news deck - Headline Aggregator from Usa Today

Techcrunch today reports that The USA Today has launched a site called “NewsDeck” that sort of aggregates the top news stories from their site and nicely puts them in different categories/Sub-section. Currently the site features stories on 8 different topics, including News, Trave, Money, Life, Sports and many more.

Each of the section on the page works like a widget that allows you to auto scroll down with your mouse for more headlines. The widget cards can also be flipped by clicking on a ‘flip’ icon on top of each widget to view headlines between the USA Today’s top stories and most popular stories. USA Today says they are looking to test products like this on the web to see what users really need from a news site when it comes to finding headlines and top stories from a news site. NYtimes has a similar service called Article Skimmer, that lets you quickly skim through their stories.

Personally I don’t know whether these sort of services are that useful for the general public. Honestly, If you have a good RSS reader like feedly and you have subscribed to USAToday & NYtimes via RSS, you actually get even a far better reading experience in one single place.

But do try Newsdeck, it does look pretty cool.


News Alert Service from Live Search

Microsoft’s Live Search Blog recently announced that they have started a news alert service which will enable users to get the latest news delivered directly to their email. Currently the delivery options can set only as daily, twice daily or weekly.

This service is indeed very similar to Google Alerts, which allows you to get instant update whenever any news stories that are related to your your search term hits the net. But the likely downside of this new feature of Live Search is they only let you choose top headlines or subject-specific news headlines.

live-news-alerts

To activate Live Search news alert, simply visit news.live.com and sign in with your Live ID, click on the News alerts link, and then click on “Create Alert.”

The thing I hate most about Microsoft is, most of their products are very “US” centric. This News Alert service is also for US users only.


Keep track of the Latest Tech News

Do you want to stay ahead of the technology world and get access to all the breaking technology news without driving yourself crazy by tracking hundreds of different websites? Today, I’ll be covering some of the easy ways of keeping track of the tech world. You have probably heard of some of them already, but are you using them to their fullest potential? Lets find out!

1. Techfuga

techfuga

Techfuga is a relatively new website that aggregates technology news from other tech news aggregator (like – Techmeme) as well as other hand-picked technology sites, blogs etc. If you go to techfuga, you will notice that they have special tabs for each of the technology sites that they are monitoring (e.g. Digg, Techcrunch, Slashdot etc). So if you click any of the tabs, the news from that particular site would be displayed on your screen. This will definitely come handy if you want to browse through the top technology sites quickly. At the bottom, they also have a popurls like design where a user can glance through all the top technology blogs. What I found most interesting about techfuga is its actually monitoring social sites like – twitter & friendfeed and adding related feeds directly with the news.

2. Alltop: Technology

alltop-technology

Alltop is a nice site that is inspired by Popurls. The creator Guy Kawasaki took the concept of popurls further by making dedicated pages for different topics. So for instance, if you are interested in technology just visit – Alltop Technology category, and you will find all the latest blog posts and articles from over 100 top tech sites.

3. Megit

megite

Megit is yet another news aggregator that works like techmeme. But Megit has not limited themselves to technology news only. They have dedicated pages to cover news on – Entertainment, Politics, Business etc.

4. Techmeme

techmeme

Techmeme is the most famous Technology news tracker that probably has the nicest interface. Their design is very clean and readable without any ‘ads’ around the news. The only thing they have is “Sponsored posts” which are all relevant, technology related posts from some of the big industry players.

5. Digg – Technology

digg

I’m sure you all know about the popular social news site – digg.com. If you are interested in Technology news, there is no better place to find them than the Technology category in Digg – http://digg.com/news/technology. Digg has a very strong & active community. So within minutes of a news/story posted somewhere, Digg is usually the first one to pick that up. Digg’s Upcoming section lists all the news that are upcoming and still not popular. Usually you should keep an eye on this area for finding the ‘fresh’ tech news stories.

And thats not all! There are tons of other sites that can get you all the breaking technology news in your fingertips. Such as: Reddit Technology, StumbleUpon Technology Tag, Mixx Tech, Yahoo Buzz Sci/Tech, Propeller Sci/Tech.

Did I miss any? Share your favorite tech news sources in the comments!