As the years roll on and more sources for news keep cropping up online, I find it difficult to find high quality sources of headline news. Part of the reason for that is that I usually like to have multiple sources for the same story. You can always search out Google News, which does aggregate major news sources, but it’s not always easy to get news stories geared toward specific interests or topics without searching Google News for what you’re interested in.
Rather than searching, you could set up news aggregate sites like News 360, which Saikat reviewed, or DailyMe, which is great for blogs. Then, there’s always Netvibes – one of my personal favorites – that you can use to create an integrated page of news feeds and personal information like email and Facebook feeds.
What all of these resources have in common is that they take some initial work. You need to find the feeds that you want to follow, or you need to spend time specifically finding and subscribing to news feeds. Or, in the case of the two news aggregate sites listed above, you can only search for news keywords and then take whatever the service gives you.
An interesting new service called Enliten seeks to offer itself as a news aggregate service like News360 or DailyMe, but what makes it unique is that it’ll use an algorithm based on your reading behaviors to determine what news stories are the closest match to your interests.
Let Enliten Set Up Your News Pages For You
When you first sign up for an Enliten account, set up is only a matter of creating a “channel” to organize specific interests, and then listing keywords that fine-tune what news stories are displayed on that channel.
The “filter scale” at the bottom tells you how many recent results from news sources are relevant to your keywords. The more accurate keywords or phrases you use to describe the content you want, the more relevant the search results will be.
When you’re done with the keywords, you’ll see your news channel filled with news content in the form of small boxes that include headlines, text and sometimes images as well. I found that the news feeds – even without the “learning” feature – were already pretty relevant to the type of stories I wanted to see.
However, you can fine-tune each channel page by rating the news stories. The smiley face off to the right means that you feel the news article really applies to what you wanted to see on this channel. Clicking the red face tells Enliten that you don’t feel the story is relevant at all.
Over time, you’ll find that the returned stories on the channel are carefully fine-tuned so that they are highly relevant to not only the topics you’re interested in, but even the type of stories within that niche that you like to read about.
You can see how much progress the channel has made in learning about your preferences by looking at the percentage bar at the top of the channel page. As you rate news stories, you’ll see this percentage slowly climb as Enliten figures out exactly the type of articles you want to see on the channel.
If you want to make a news channel for a group – like a charity you run or a religious organization – you can share out your carefully crafted channel by clicking on the “Published/Private” status icon at the top of the page. Just type in the page title you want to use, and Enliten will give you a specific URL to share out that channel with people.
On each channel, you’ll see its current status – private or published – highlighted at the top of the page.
If you’d prefer browsing for larger news categories rather than searching by keyword, just click on the “Browse” button in the menu and then start browsing through the category that you’re interested in. You’ll see a sample of the most recent news stories within those categories.
As you build more channels, you’ll have a collection of news feeds right at your fingertips, with channels that apply specifically to those areas of interest, but most importantly, fine-tuned with the type of stories you want to see, based on how you’ve rated stories over time.
The beauty of this is that you are tailoring each channel to your interests without any work. All you have to do is rate stories as you read them every day, just as you normally would. After a while you’ll find that your channels return more and more stories that you’re really interested in.
To browse through the channels you’ve created, click on the “My Channels” button in the menu bar and you’ll see all of the channels listed. You can quickly go to that channel by clicking on the channel box.
When you click on any of the news stories that you want to read, Enliten will provide the full article within the site, with a linkback to the original news article.
Overall, Enliten offers a much cleaner, easy to use information aggregate page that’s easier to organize into channels, and a whole lot easier to “train” so that you get the news stories you really want, minus all the garbage you don’t.
Give Enliten a shot and let us know what you think of it compared to other services out there. Would you consider using it to get your news? Share your thoughts and insights in the comments section below.