For a long time I've lamented the lack of a "decent" news aggregation site on the web - one with some simple features that would make my life a whole lot simpler, like the ability to truly
aggregate (recognize duplicates, group sources into a single item). I even considered coding one up myself but due to the normal laze of things (read: me) it never happened. I am not one to stay up late burning the midnight oil on that sort of hobby project, especially when I know I wouldn't do as thorough a job as the idea warrants. C'est la vie.
Today, I found a new website that might actually do the trick: newspond.com
. From their about page:
As a news story surfaces across [the web], Newspond notes every detail about it - from how fast a story spreads throughout the internet, to the amount of discussion surrounding the story, to even things like the rate at which people click on or bookmark the article and the size of each of the sites reporting it. Every detail is carefully noted, sized, and gauged, reading at a faster rate of speed than any human being could ever dream of. That way, you don't need to visit multiple news sites to find out what's going on.
And yes, there is a pretty ajaxy interface with an expandable 'view sources' tab for each news item. To be clear, the real beauty here is that it doesn't track any one particular article, it tracks the actual news item
- an ephemeral thing indeed - and links the various articles on that event in one place. Bravo.
It doesn't have user ratings, it has "buoyancy ratings" that attempts to track an item's popularity by analyzing the web itself, and the number and frequency of linking and discussion that is going on in real time. Somehow, though, I am not convinced the site will become that popular, even if I'd like it to. People love them some human contact, in the end, and there is something oft forgotten about the web - while it might be transforming itself into a giant auto-generated, aggregated, pile of information, people are the primary users
. Just as users feel uncomfortable interacting with a computerized telephone system, users are likely to feel alienated by a completely electronic-brained (to use a term from Newspond's own site) entity as Newspond in the wake of such social enterprises as Digg
, and Reddit
. C'est la vie.