The Wichita Eagle
I have seen what's touted as the future of news, and I hope my bosses don't follow it over the cliff.
User-news sites offer diverse stories, some questionable sources headlines a San Francisco Chronicle story about a Project for Excellence in Journalism study of "social bookmarking" sites.
With straight faces, both report that these reader favorites are not the stories found on mainstream news sites.
No, they're the stories favored by young geeks competing to become "top Diggers," consequently accumulating more "friends" and fans. There's even a new Firefox extension called Social Media for this single purpose:
When browsing any of the mentioned social news sites... you will see icons appear next to each story Title with the submission information. If you are scanning Digg it will actually check the story url for you without you having to click through to the actual story. This is what will help you sky rocket your account. You can see every stories details without visiting the story...This is not readers, recommendations or traffic, it's just clicking for points.
The 24-hour news cycle doesn't exist on rapidly growing user-news sites like Digg, Del.icio.us or San Francisco-based Reddit. Neither do the small cabal of editors who decide what news readers and viewers should see on traditional print and broadcast outlets.
Instead, the readers of these user-news sites collectively and continuously contribute to the creation of a digital "front page" of their favorite stories - pushing to prominence news that may get scant airing on traditional print, broadcast or cable outlets, where space and airtime is finite and, they say, risk-taking is more rare.
I cruise these sites every day looking for stories and art sites that are under the radar. Sometimes I find them, usually buried among stories about game consoles, Ubuntu ( an operating system), RIAA and somebody's morbid local news.
It's deep geek, deep guy and way too unrelated to most adults' lives.
You'd better hope your local news site doesn't buy into the wisdom of the crowd with the narrowest interests, lots of free time and the best voting tools.
Below is a sample -- 12 consecutive stories from the top of page 2 of Digg River early this morning. It's pretty typical.
Compare these to the New York Times News River -- each section's stories as they are released. These may not be all you or I might want or hope for, but it's not like getting your news from Dave and Buster's.
Top Reasons to Get Hyped for Halo 3 (497 diggs) The wait is almost over. Halo 3, the third and final installment in the first-person shooter trilogy, releases in two weeks....
Wikipedia's Most Unusual Articles (Oodles of Oddities) (710 diggs) This page is for Wikipedians to list articles that seem a bit unusual. These articles are valuable contributions to the encyclopedia, but are somewhat odd, whimsical, or something you wouldn't expect to find in Encyclop ædia Britannica. If the article in question meets one or both of these categories then it could possibly be deemed unusual:
Football player's cooling treatment is experimental, but tried for strokes (247 diggs) Doctors are following the playbook in treating Buffalo Bills football player Kevin Everett's severe spinal cord injury except in one notable regard: pumping icy cold saline into his veins to try to prevent further damage. Although the treatment is experimental, it is more science than science fiction, and also is being tried on stroke and brain..
Kanye Thrashes 50 Cent in First-day Sales Race (566 diggs) Looks set to win the closely watched duel to see who retires.
Openmoko Phone (linux-based) New UI Screenshots (485 diggs)
Start of phone is nice — first you get full screen OpenMoko logo, then few kernel messages (about 10 lines) and psplash starts so all messages are hidden. When X11 starts there is another full screen OpenMoko logo with text informing that UI is starting. Then OpenMoko-Today2 is started. BTW — to get back to Today you only need to press AUX button.
Jelly Battle - New game by Logitech (393 diggs) Remember Jelly Jumper? Well, the glowing jiggly dude is back, and this time he ’s brought his friends. Use the mouse to jump around the playing field, landing on weapons and power-ups, while hopefully avoiding the mines. You should go through the tutorial first as this game is a little more complex than the first one.
"When Pigs Fly?" [Pic] (2,462 diggs) I guess I should start saying "when hell freezes over" now...
(1,660 diggs) Microsoft has begun patching files on Windows XP and Vista without users' knowledge, even when the users have turned off auto-updates.
Greg Oden to miss entire rookie season (374 diggs) Celebrated Trail Blazers rookie center Greg Oden, the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft, will likely miss the 2007-2008 season after undergoing knee surgery Thursday, the team said.
American PSN releases for September 13th (210 diggs)
Sony has updated the PlayStation.Blog with the full list of new releases for the North American PlayStation Store. Once again they've pulled out all the stops and have released a pretty damn big update. New releases include High Stakes Poker, Pixeljunk Racer, NHL 08 demo, Tony Hawk demo, and much more!
10 Ways a Programmer Can Improve His or Her Sex Life (713 diggs) Everyone could use a little help in the dating and sex department, however, so we ’ve compiled this list to help you get lucky in the bedroom – as well as the chatroom.
Fortress Forever Released (HL2 Mod) (615 diggs) Fortress Forever is a Half-Life 2 Modification based on the wildly popular 'Fortress' Games. If you liked Team Fortress Classic, or can't wait to play TF2, this is a must have. Click the link to download from fileplanet, or visit www.fortress-forever.com for more information. Have Fun!
The key is to get a real, diverse population doing this, bringing the best from the interests they follow closely to the rest of us. This is a killer app I haven't seen yet.