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New Way To View News

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[qi:066] Dave Winer, whom I have dubbed “The Constant Tinkerer,” has come up with yet another way to consume information in a simple and easily navigable manner. Well known for his work on RSS and OPML, he is now shifting his attention to finding new ways to consume news from large information sources such as the New York Times — in a style that is common to blogs.

Blogs almost always display the latest posts at the top, making it easy to get a quick bite of the latest information, and is one of the reasons they have gained in popularity. Using that framework, he has come up with an outline view of news.

A flat completely chronologic view of news probably isn’t enough. And earlier this month at a meeting in NY, two engineers at the NY Times set me off in a new direction, with a very simple bit of advice…[T]hey had applied a taxonomy to their news flow, and this opened the door to what I would like to show you today — an outline view of the news.

Winer likes to call his new experiment a “river,” but I prefer to call it real simple navigation. Using The New York Times’ taxonomy, he has come up with an example that allows you to easily find the latest news from the Times’ vast media machine. I think it is a format that should be adopted by other media companies — it is simple, and more importantly it translates into easy discovery of what’s new and hot. It helps you find related information rather easily, too.

It can also be easily adapted to mobile devices and other non-PC devices, without making major changes to their internal content management systems. Now all that the news organizations have to do is figure out how to make money off this new news view.

11 Responses to “New Way To View News”

  1. I am curious to how the taxonomy is applied. If the taxonomy is applied by the news provider, it is no different from the categorization that providers like CNN already do (World news, sports, football etc..). As a consumer of news, i would like to create a list of keywords that i am interested in and then apply it across news feeds and read the most popular news feed on a specific topic.

  2. The outline view is good – more blog like, but the categorization using keywords don’t make sense. After watching that “Information R/evolution” video I realized categories suck! They should just have an outline listing and have a different site for sports, technology, business, politics etc or maybe just one site with a navigation structure that takes you to different lists of articles by subject.

  3. Interesting, but seems like it needs some fine-tuning. For example, there are numerous topics that are related to the NFL (teams, players, etc.) but only one story under the “National Football League” heading. Shouldn’t they be linked? Maybe I’m just not getting the concept…

  4. Thanks for very interesting article. I really enjoyed reading all of your posts.
    It’s interesting to read ideas, and observations from someone else’s
    point of view… makes you think more. So please keep up the great work.