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newspaperAs the world continues its rapid movement to the Web, things are changing in the field of journalism. Where once newspapers dominated, the world of blogs and online publications are quickly springing up to take its place.

One of the cool things about the Web is that there’s nothing holding developers to a particular layout, interface or format. Anything, with a bit of clever design-work, can be achieved. In the news world, there are a few options for unique, different, and fun methods of reading the news.

Whether it’s a game, a puzzle, or an image search, here are three new paradigms for news-reading:

Spectra Visual Newsletter

spectra

Spectra is presenting a whole new way of reading the news. Instead of scanning a vertical page, you flip through headlines and images to find out what story you’re most interested in reading.  You can choose the channels that interest you – Sports, Technology, Politics, and the like – and then flip through that day’s MSNBC headlines with Spectra. If you only want news on a particular topic, you can search headlines by word. Clicking on a headline will take you to the full story, and you can save or share stories right from Spectra.

You can even interact with Spectra using your webcam or microphone for an even more immersive experience. Either way, it’s a different way to see, read, and interact with news headlines.

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Newsmap

newsmap

The Newsmap is essentially a mashup of newspapers with social media. Using Google News, Newsmap aggregates stories, and presents headlines based on the number of stories reported on a given issue. The larger the headline, the more press it’s being given. If you’ve only got about 10 seconds, but want to get a sense of what’s going on in the world, Newsmap’s the way to do it. The stories are colored by topic, sized by popularity, and darkened by relevance – dark squares are older stories.

You can sort the results by category (Business, Entertainment, Nation, etc.), or by country around the world. Newsmap’s a great way to compare what the world is talking about, and to see in a simple and visual way what’s going on in your country and around the world. Watercooler preparation’s never been so easy.

NewsBreaker

newsbreaker

NewsBreaker may not be the most informative and time-efficient way to read the news, but it’s definitely one of the most fun. Ostensibly a brick-breaker game, in order to advance levels you have to “catch” a certain number of headlines with your paddle. Each headline you catch can be found in the sidebar, and one click on it leads you to the full story.

This is both a fun game and a fun way to read the news – the headlines, at any rate. Getting a lot of people to the MSNBC site (where the game, and the stories, come from) is somewhat unlikely, but it’s at least a fun way to find out that in the news today is a story about “School kids need less work, more play.”

The news has looked as it does for a long time – now, with the move to the Web, it’s time for a change. With these sites and others, we’re seeing a shift in how we read and interact with the news on a daily basis.

Where do you get your news? Would you want to use a site like these to read your daily news?

Photo: inju

  1. Dombev
    January 28, 2009 at 12:28 pm

    You can also use alltop.com - Alltop for to track down articles from your favourite topics such as Technology, Sports etc

    • David Pierce
      January 28, 2009 at 3:34 pm

      Alltop's good stuff, but I find it sometimes gets overwhelming. So many links! Great point, though, thanks.

  2. Iri
    January 28, 2009 at 4:28 am

    Hmm. From the three, the only one worth while seems to be Newsmap. The first one is way to confusing and moves to much and the second one is a really badly made game, which is not appreciated :)

    • David Pierce
      January 28, 2009 at 3:33 pm

      What do you mean by "badly made"? I'm curious, I never had any issues with it.

  3. Rohan Jayasekera
    January 27, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    For another "way to read the news a little differently", check out spreednews.com.

    • David Pierce
      January 28, 2009 at 3:32 pm

      Nice find! I like the app, idea, and name. Good stuff, Thanks!

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