Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Taming the beast...

Let's face it, news in its current state is kind of a beast. With so many people reporting their own versions of a story, and so many stories existing from small-town America to sprawling investigations into international topics, its hard to keep up with the news.
But one site attempts to tame the beast and deliver a daily dose of news in the form a sleek pussycat that is easily manageable.
It's called the Daily Beast. The site is a news aggregate that, according to their site, is: "a speedy, smart edit of the web from the merciless point of view of that interests the editors. The Daily Beast is the omnivorous friend who hears about the best stuff and forwards it to you with a twist. It allows you to lead the conversation, rather than simply follow it."

The site's best feature is it's Cheat Sheet, which offers "Must reads from all over." This the feature that makes it a news aggregate.
But they go further, working to connect big stories together through a feature called the Big Fat Story. Offering a version of the brainstorming cloud, the site connects the most important little stories that fill out a specific topic. The cloud is displayed as representative images connected with lines. The topics are changed whenever a big development or two happens in the story.
Craig Stolz over at Web 2.0h...Really? has a great comparison between Daily Beast and Huffington Post (another news aggregate). As he says (among other observations):
"DB (The Daily Beast) views the world with a cocked eyebrow. HuffPo is
wide-eyed. Skeptics are more interesting to spend time with than

The Daily Beast is a really smart example of online journalism and is quite enjoyable to explore.

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