Lindsay Stanford is Director and Group Head, Content & Community, at Social Media Group. Follow @lindsaystanford
Lately, I’ve been feeling a little uninformed. It sounds crazy I know, in a time when there’s a virtual fire hose of information aimed at us, you would think that I would be overwhelmed with knowledge. Like many people of my generation, I don’t have cable or listen to the radio, I get all of my information from word-of-mouth or online.
Here is my biggest challenge with this method of data collection: I have such little time to dedicate to reading the news and there is so much to sift through, how can I possibly get the most relevant, valuable and important news in that time?
I recently scrubbed and listed all the accounts I follow on Twitter, reorganized my reader, added several apps like Flipboard to my mobile in an attempt to categorize the information for easy consumption. There was a slight improvement but I still have to check 3 to 5 places for information, so it hasn’t really cut down the time overall, just the time on each tool. I’m still finding that at the end of the day there are stories of importance that I have somehow missed.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately and what I think I need is a completely customizable curator that will pull from various sources and give me the option of how I want to receive the information. I know I’m not alone and I honestly think we’re close to seeing something like this in the very near future. In the mean time, I’m checking out apps and tools that are presently available in hopes of get closer.
My most recent discovery is news.me (they are owned by betaworks who recently bought Digg). News.me is a service that collects the links to the top stories from your Facebook and Twitter followers and distributes them to you in an email or gives you the option to view the feed on their app (IOS only). They determines identifies top stories as those which are shared the most by your Facebook and Twitter communities. In that, there is this whole assumption of trusting your communities to determine what is worth sharing, and in this case, what is news. As well the assumption that you are going to have similar interests in the informaiton you are seeking. I guess you could say the old ‘birds of a feather, flock together’ notion.
I opted to only have my Twitter account activated as that is where the majority of the relevant information I want is, and chose to download the IOS app instead of receiving emails. So far I’m really enjoying the experience. The interface is really simple and clean, the stories are what I would deem newsworthy and it’s got some really cool features that make it worth checking out.
One of the features I like is called ‘Paperboy’. If you choose to activate it, you will get a refresh and push of new articles when you leave your destination of choice. Essentially, you could get the news when you leave your house to read on the train. Brilliant! It also has a ‘Reading List’ feature, so if you’re someone like me who has little time in the day to read a whole article, you can easily add the article to your Reading List for reading when you have more time. The app also allows you to share the news through Facebook and Twitter if you like.
I’m quite impressed with news.me and will see if, over the next few weeks, it gives me the information I’m looking in what little free time I have available.
Give it a whirl and let me know what you think. Additionally, if you have other tools you would like to suggest, I’m always up for trying out something new.