Monday, August 06, 2007

Snark of the Day: 2007-08-06

It's the dullest thing I've seen all day, and I've been staring into a jar of pennies for the last half hour.
-- Choire Sicha, as quoted in the NYT

It's a funny line, but I don't actually agree with it. Sicha is speaking of, a news aggregation site. I've been looking for one of these. For some reason, neither Yahoo's nor Google's approach to aggregating headlines appeals. Maybe I just haven't messed with them enough, or maybe I'm just biased towards the new new (news) thing. At any rate, I had a favorable first impression of Newser.

Following a headline link from the home page leads to a summary of the story, which seems in most cases to have been written by the Newser staff; i.e., it's not just a scrape of the lede from the original story. The link to the original story is of course provided, and a number of links to related stories also appear. From the few that I've looked at so far, they seem quite relevant.

One of the site's design aspects that I really liked: You know how a lot of web pages these days have areas where if you hover over them with a mouse, a little window pops up, to expand upon the content in that area? Newser does this, too, with its headline stories, but here's the good part: In the pop-up window appears an explanation of what's happening, and the option to disable this behavior. Very nice!

They're in beta right now, but you can visit the site and browse around. No registration is required, but if you go through the free sign-up, you get additional services, like customizing what's shown and optional email alerts keyed to topics that interest you. (Some of these additional features have not yet been implemented, this being beta.)

Don't miss the NYT story that brought this to my attention, either. It's pretty good.

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