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Sunday, January 02, 2005

The Future Of News : In the Covergence, RSS And iPod Age

Simon Waldman, Director of Digital Publishing for Guardian Newspapers writes, We’re moving from a world where for reasons of time, effort and general sanity we have relied on a relatively small number of sources to tell us what’s happening in the world and to find out information that’s of interest to us. Our information consumption is more like a sightseeing tour: visiting as many or as few places as we have time for. And, if we don’t go there, we simply don’t know what we’re missing. The means of consuming media: ie visiting websites, dictates what we actually consume. Now, this is much more promiscuous, wide ranging and possibly global than most of us have ever been in print…but it is simply the start.
We are moving to a world where - from a single interface - we can keep tabs on many, many, many more sources of all different types of information (as long as we can understand the set up proceedure). And this is a much richer mix, than saying, say - one wants my UK news from The Guardian, my US news from the Times and a sprinking of sport from ESPN; we’re talking about having dozens of blogs and aggregation services. It’s friend’s Flickrstreams and del.icio.us links, and Craigslist listings chuck in few podcasts why don’t you?. We’re seeing is the creation of personalised information hypermarkets. And as with the creation of any hypermarket, we are all struggling for shelf space. Young people typically buy up hundreds of TV channels and happily keep a dozen IM sessions going at the same time. But, the development of they hypermarket isn’t as important as how people use it. When you use RSS in this way for a while, you find - as John Udell pointed out in the piece - that you start to develop patterns of dependence on all sorts of sources. You might still trust the Guardian/ NYT/ ESPN whoever, but you realise that following the feeds of some of your favourite bloggers or aggregators is actually taking you to content - even content on those sites - that you might never have seen before.

Greg Linden , founder and CEO of Findory.com takes a different view. Greg writes,It's an interesting vision, but it sounds too time consuming for all but dedicated news junkies. Most people don't want to spend hours hunting down good sources, setting up RSS readers, and skimming tens or even hundreds of web feeds every day. Most people just want to read news.Simon needs to look beyond the current generation of aggregators. They're designed for early adopters, not the mainstream. There's no prioritization, no filtering, no sorting. Almost all of the work of hunting down quality sources and good information is put on the reader.
In Future, news shouldn't require any effort to read. We think your newspaper should adapt to you and help you find the news you need. We think a newspaper should help readers discover important articles and sources buried deep in the long tail of news.People need information. People need to know the news that impacts their lives. We should help them My Take: I totally agree with Greg - Aggregation, Personalisation, Adaptability and Deep Degrees of contextualisation along with pervasive availability shall characterise content distribution of tommorow - news shall be an instance of this.

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Sadagopan's Weblog on Emerging Technologies, Trends,Thoughts, Ideas & Cyberworld
"All views expressed are my personal views are not related in any way to my employer"