Daylife’s Webified Newspaper Launches

16 Comments

Daylife, a stylized news aggregator that is the closest thing we’ve seen to a webified newspaper, beta-launched this morning. Daylife is a meatier version of aggregators such as Google News, Topix.net, and Techmeme, offering tools for pivoting around information by story, characters, time, popularity, photos, and quotes, in a wide range of news categories.

Funded by old media and new media alike — “roughly twice as many investors as it has employees,” says paidContent — the company is perhaps best known for the involvement of media guru Jeff Jarvis and media bogeyman Craig Newmark.

While Daylife is engagingly pretty, it’s hard to comprehend as a whole, and it’ll take some learning to figure out how to use it. The company seems to understand this and has sent its data elsewhere to power the Huffington Post’s News Ranker and Treehugger’s grndx. This seems like a good direction, but the indexes have inadequate explanation of what makes something more newsworthy or more green, so they’re pretty much useless.

Daylife’s goals overpower what it’s doing, at least with the beta. It aims to “Make the news ecosystem more transparent and self-correcting, for the benefit of all involved,” “Develop new models for funding journalism,” and “Enable a civil discourse that is pragmatic, solutions-oriented, and doesn’t exaggerate divisions in favor of celebrating what unites us,” among other things.

Sounds great, but we don’t see any progress on these fronts so far. There’s not even any way for readers to comment on stories!

Update: Michael Arrington of TechCrunch, an investor in Daylife, pans it in a review on his site. He writes,

What makes Daylife stand out is not so much what it does well, but what’s been left out. There are no RSS feeds, even for your bookmarked stuff. Even worse, there’s no ability for users to leave comments on articles, a feature that has been wildly successful at NewsVine and Topix. And the fact that the news is gathered by humans, instead of the algorithmically determined news at Digg, means the company will always have a higher cost of doing business.

16 Comments

Marcelo Lopez

When two big name investors ( Mike A. and Dave W. ) disagree with the outcome ( and don’t let the “Beta” fool you ) of their investment, you know there’s a malodorous seepage that will be eventually rooted out.

With that many heavy hitters in tow, I wonder if in part, getting behind this wasn’t a vain attempt at self-validation. After all, several of the investors/collaborators nee consultants have been touting that something like “this” would be the next best thing to Gutenbergs press. For all the hoo-hah, it feels as though someone was trying to fund a prophecy so it would self-fulfill. Kind of like politicians and pork project ( $50 million for a bridge that goes to support 120 homes on an island 99.6 % of the population couldn’t afford to live on ? Ennngh, I don’t think so. )

Pramit

I had planned something similar to Daylife but could not find the programmers in time in New Delhi.

shadilac

Maybe it’s an acquired taste, personally I prefer more content on the page. I find myself fighting the images and quotes to find the actual content.

Ved

At the moment, daylife appears to be another news aggregator with a very little niche.

Andrew

I’ve been an alpha tester for Daylife for a while now, and frankly I love it. I don’t personally like reading only news that other readers think is important (e.g. Digg), and I don’t have time to read the typical debate/rant comments made by other readers either. Daylife seemed to me like a logical next step in reading news – styled like a newspaper, but with the enhancements one expects from a web-based service.

Tom Tercek

It’s still early stages for us here at Daylife, and there’s much to come in the way of new features and user participation. The goal is to provide a new kind of news experience, and help users make new connections and discoveries along the way. Also note, that Techcrunch has updated its post with a clarification about the service being 100% automated.
More to come soon.

Allen Stern

I have just posted (click my name) a good comparison btw Mike and Steve Rubel. Mike doesn’t love it, Steve thinks it’s a winner. Interesting difference of opinion btw two top writers.

Spud

I have just had a look at the site. It looks promising. I like the layout and design which is clean and easy to navigate. It’s missing some features in my opinion but maybe they will come later.

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