A while ago I was invited amongst a lot of other people to beta test the new service Newsvine. I know that the title of this post might imply pessimism, but it’s not meant like that; it’s a rhetorical question.
So, first, what is Newsvine? Basically, you have a number of options as a user. You can:
- Read articles collected from around the web
- Write your own blog
- Seed articles, i.e. have a list of links with description to news that you find interesting
Then you can either comment on a post/article, live chat about it or endorse it so it gets a higher ranking. You tag all your posts and articles, and you can search or browse pre-defined categories in a top menu of the web site, or through a search at the top where you can specify a certain tag to look for. You can also add authors or tags to a personal watchlist.
One of the things I miss as a user is a way to only search through the links I’ve tagged as, for instance, “technology”; as of now, if I click such a tag link, I get to see everyones’ posts and links with that tag. Sure, I guess they can implement a so-called tag cloud, but visually, to me they’re mostly annoying.
At first I had a hard time finding any usage for it; there are a lot of different services out there to track news and other information, especially in the technology department, and most people have an abundance of feeds they also follow. I think one of the fundamental ideas of Newsvine is to gather a lot of new and, not to say the least, useful information in one place. So I spoke to one of my Dutch vatos, Mr. Ates, who was trying to convince me that it is indeed a useful service (also, make sure you read his Newsvine: the organic web, organized).
Now I like it a little better, however I’m not really sure I use the service as intended, though. To me, it’s more like a better version of http://del.icio.us/ where I can collect and tag articles, mostly my own that are published here, than for following news. Not sure if this is frowned upon as self-endorsement, but I guess we’ll have to see about that one.
So I guess I feel a bit ambivalent about it all. It might happen, and then again it might not. So far I’m not addicted, but maybe the future and using it some more will change that. I will say one thing, though: I’m really interested in if this will be a hit or not!
Are you already a Newsvine user? Then let me know what you think of it.
PS. As of now, Newsvine is invite-only, so write a comment if you want an invitation to check out the service. DS.