In the age of an Edward Snowden-influenced Internet, it would appear that users are becoming far more conscious of their online activity, and how it’s being tracked.
Alternatives to Google have gained ground in the wake of the revelations by Snowden about how the government tracks online activity, and the role companies like Google play tracking your activity. Most often, you’ll find suggestions for alternatives to Google search, but we thought it was time for a list of Google News alternatives.
Privacy concerns aside, there are a lot of sites out there that are doing a great job of aggregating the news and doing it well. While Google News is convenient and easy to use, there are other ways to get your mainstream, niche, or even personalized news, delivered to you on your desktop or on the go.
Mainstream: Bing News
It’s true that there are some things that Bing and Yahoo do better than Google, and Bing News might just be one of those things. Using a lot of the same mainstream sources as Google, Bing News offers a decent cross-section of the news, in addition to, view local news around your location.
Like Google News, it also highlights the trending stories of the day from wires, national papers, as well as smaller local or niche subject papers and websites.
Bing also shows users the trending stories on Facebook and Twitter, and like Google offers the option to personalize your news feed to a certain extent. To do this on Bing, click the Settings button, and click on Interest Manager. These topics will appear in a menu at the top of the page.
Yahoo News is also similar, but one difference reveals itself when click on an original Yahoo news story. Yahoo will suggest related stories from other sources — Google and Bing on the other hand simply send you straight to the original source.
If you’re looking for a completely personalized news feed in your browser, Flipboard offers you a customizable news experience. Much like News360 and Zite, Flipboard allows you to add topics of your choice.
When you first sign up for a Flipboard account, you’ll be given the opportunity to choose what to follow. Once you’re account is set up, you can always add more topics, sources, and magazines, simply by searching for the terms of your choice.
On Flipboard, apart from topics, you can also follow sources (if you use Flipboard, don’t forget to follow MakeUseOf), and can also follow Flipboard magazines created by other users.
If you prefer to keep up with these stories on-the-go, Flipboard offers some beautifully designed mobile and tablet apps for iOS, Android, and Windows. If your preference is a purely on-the-go experience, I would highly recommend Flipboard for its ease of use.
If you’re looking exclusively for tech news, look no further than Techmeme. The aggregator, which Dave included on a great list of websites where nerds reside, highlights the biggest and most important stories out of the industry for the day, offering multiple sources per story, and at times more than one angle.
Use Techmeme’s ‘river,’ which you can access from the menu at the top of the page to check out the top stories from the past few days.
The archives are unfortunately a little challenging to navigate as you’ll have to choose a specific date to see any content on Techmeme that is more than a few days old. That said, if you’re checking in with Techmeme on a daily basis it’s not such a big deal.
If tech news isn’t your thing, Techmeme actually has a sister site called Memeorandum. Here you’ll find all the latest in politics and current affairs. The site operates identically to Techmeme, and also offers a ‘river,’ but one that is admittedly harder to navigate to.
Rather than include it in a menu at the top, Memeorandum has opted instead to bury it halfway down the page, right under the ‘Who’s Hiring’ section.
As if that wasn’t enough, Techmeme and Memeorandum have a third sister site, Mediagazer, which as you might guess from the name offers up all the top stories of the day on the media industry. I would highly recommend using all three sites as a way to get a sense of all the important stories across industries on a daily basis.
If you’re looking for less mainstream, more alternative news, Digg is your best bet. The resurrected version of the website is quite different from its original predecessor, but it still offers an eclectic roundup of news, stories, and videos from around the web.
Using what they describe as “proprietary data sources and a crack editorial team,” Digg curates popular and interesting content from around the web. And since you sign in to Digg using your social media account (and can link it to other social media accounts), you also have the choice to include the most popular stories in your own social networks.
A large number of the stories available on Digg are very different from the mainstream news you’ll find on Yahoo or even the niche topics you’ll find on Flipboard. Pulling in content from everything from user-generated content on Medium, to journalistic giants like The New York Times, to lesser known sites like Hopes & Fears.
You can also browse topics on Digg by going to the tag page. You can find these right under the story title, next to the source, when browsing your newsfeed.
How Do You Get Your News Fix?
Of course, there is a whole other way that you can consume your news without the use of specific websites at all. Instead, you could turn to social media sites like Twitter to get the latest news. Choosing the selective best sources for news has become important because we are drowning in information overload.
What do you think? Do you prefer to use Google News or can you think of other decent alternatives? Let us know in the comments.
Image Credit: FreeImages.com/Brano Hudak