Your personal newspaper in less than 5 minutes.
Custom news sites are nothing novel. Google itself has a Custom News feature. Then there are a host of other news aggregators like Meehive and DailyMe. We have top lined quite a few ourselves. These web services allow you to personalize your news just the way you want it. Choose from the news categories you want and there you have it – personalized news service culled from some of the top sources around the web.
NewsCred is not exactly the new kid on the block but its recent avatar is. Originally founded in 2007 and launched in 2008 as a socially powered aggregator, NewsCred has turned a new page with its current motto. NewsCred now lets you create your personal online newspaper in less than 5 minutes. Just like a newspaper, you get your own editorial to write. The Pro version is an upgrade with a price but will let you run ads, have your own domain and give you more designing options.
But the free version sounds interesting if it can really help me set up my newspaper in less than 5 minutes. Let’s start the clock”¦
The log-in is absolutely straightforward with the first field asking me for a name for my newspaper. The name also decides the URL where my personal newspaper gets parked.
With my newspaper created, I step into the page where I have to make a few choices regarding the content I want in the pages. This is where NewsCred lives up to its claim of “˜under 5 minutes’ by giving me an easy checkmark solution to selecting the news topics. But content is not sacrificed as there’s a huge list to select and click through. All news segments are well covered.
A click on the large green Done button and my newspaper is launched with a typical online newspaper feel. The default look reminded me about Reuter’s last web look. It’s very neat but if you want to add a bit of color to the background, pick out a Color Theme from the left placed dropdown.
All my selected content is arranged on the left hand column. I can reorder it or add and delete to it. The Front-page is the landing page of my newspaper.
NewsCred follows 2500+ news sources. That gives me plenty of choices to select from if I am not satisfied with my first selection. The Add News button adds any new categories to my list to personalize my news feeds.
Here is where I would have liked to go back to the initial wizard just to see the topics and sources I could select from. But I have to make do with the field box and the suggestions that come with it. I can also add a feed URL.
NewsCred also lets me create more than one newspaper in the same account. I have to give it a new name for the new URL. This is a plus as it lets me have content without cluttering up one news page. For instance, I can make one newspaper for the serious topics and another one for fun activities like movies and sports. Also, I can flip quite easily from newspaper to the other.
Each topic page also gives me other options. I can filter news sources, watch related videos and also take another look at the other topics related to my selected one. Below are the news sources for my technology page.
The one unique feature in the free service is the addition of a self editorial. It helps the news junkies because one can share an opinion with the rest of the community. You can also view other newspapers created by community NewsCred members.
Is NewsCred worth a read?
In terms of news readability, the answer has to be a yes. It doesn’t try to do anything fancy, but underlines its goal of letting anyone start a news page in less than 5 minutes. I did it in less. What I liked about the site was the control it gave me and the collection of news from many sources including blogs and Twitter. Some sections like sports could have done with more choices.
A newsstand has many offers competing for our attention. So it is with the web and the gamut of news offerings. As a web application like NewsCred demonstrates, there is a lot of news out there. We just have to pick a way to read it. Is NewsCred the way for you?