Joshua Schnell, January 17, 2011
Flipboard may have been first to market with their Twitter and Facebook curated news service, but they certainly won’t be the last. The popular news application scours your Facebook and Twitter streams for links and then builds a personalized news feed for you based on what your friends were sharing online. Flipboard is pretty amazing, and now we’re starting to see some real innovation in the field with Sobees‘ NewsMix. Flipboard still rules the roost when it comes to socially curated news, but having newcomers in the field is a great idea. We’re glad Sobees took up the challenge.
NewsMix is very similar to Flipboard and provides a similar experience despite the UI differences. If you like what you’re getting out of Flipboard but want to try something else, NewsMix won’t break the bank.
Video of NewsMix in action
Thoughts on social curation
When Flipboard originally launched, I thought that it would take over the digital news cycle. It’s pretty obvious that a lot of people use Twitter as their primary news delivery mechanism. Why would someone read 500 words on something when they can get the basics 140 characters at a time. But, the more I play with Flipboard and other social curation applications, the more I realize that there’s a huge problem with the paradigm—most news gets left out.
Flipboard is great at getting tech news for me, and it should be—my Facebook and Twitter streams are filled to the brim with techies and geeks—but everything else gets left out. Current events, local news, sports news, and arts news are all absent from my personalized news streams, and that’s a pretty big problem for me.
It’s got a lot to do with my personal social network demographics, but that shouldn’t mean that I miss out on the news I want in a news application.
Apple related news is by far the best represented in my feed. That got me to thinking a little bit. I should be able to import other professional’s news streams into these applications under different banners. If I want to keep up with hockey news, maybe letting me subscribe to Bob McKenzie’s Twitter stream would be better than following hockey fans. If I want world events, maybe I could get the links that come from CNN’s stream. Wouldn’t that make more sense? I want to be able to build a personal newspaper with entire sections based on particular social media contacts. There’s more value there than there is in the current fire-hose we’re getting in Flipboard and other socially curated applications.
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