Sunday, September 24, 2006

Finding news and blogs on the internet

[ this article was published in my summer newsletter ]

A lot of us read the news on the internet. From the Washington Post to the Baltimore Sun, we can easily read up to the minute news from our desks. Most of the major newspapers publish on the web and there are various websites that help in making it easier to read news from various sources.

Newspaper websites (news.google.com, news.yahoo.com)

Google News (news.google.com) and Yahoo News (news.yahoo.com) do a good job of presenting news from various newspaper websites and organizing the headlines by topic. So instead of going to numerous news websites, you can just go to one site and see a snapshot of news coverage from various sources.

In Google News you simply click a headline and you can be reading a story by the New York Times or by the Irish Examiner. It also provides various versions of a headline story from multiple newspaper websites, so you can read more about the story from other sources.

Yahoo News organizes the stories by the news provider so in one click you can see the top stories from cnn.com and in another click you can see the top stories from usatoday.com.

Want to know what others are reading? Google News and Yahoo News have a page that show the most popular stories people are choosing to read from the links off their news sites.

Community driven news (digg.com, reddit.com)

A couple sites are going one step further in allowing us to choose what to publish and what to read. Instead of relying on editors to choose which stories to publish, sites such as Digg.com and Reddit.com allow us to vote on stories we like best.

They also allow us to submit stories we want people to read (and vote on). So news from a small town can possibly reach a much wider audience if people find the story newsworthy (and interesting).

Blogs (technorati.com, blogpulse.com)

Another medium for community driven news are blogs (weblogs). Sites such as technorati.com and blogpulse.com organize links to blogs and also show what topics are currently popular.

Reading blogs can be very informative, fun and insightful. Because anyone can write a blog, the stories often reflect a personal opinion unlike most traditional news stories that have to stay neutral.

Blogs are usually open to comments from readers, so if you agree or disagree (or want to share some additional information), you can add in your two cents.

Happy reading (and blogging)!

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