Services|August 12, 2011| Author: James Johnson|Tags: , , , ,

5 New Media Discovery Services You Should Be Browsing

Regator Screenshot - Homepage

News aggregation means big business these days, that fact became apparent when AOL purchased the Huffington Post for $315 million. While HuffPost does offer many excellent original news stories, at the time of sale more than 3,000 bloggers helped aggregate content to the service. As a reader of various news and blog sites, I personally appreciate it when I can find the original news story for articles, if I can’t find the original I at least want to discover blogs and news sites that provide excellent writing with insight into the topics I choose to read, for those reasons I have compiled a list of the five News discovery services I use on a daily basis.


General News Content Discovery – Google News


Google News tops my list of general news finds because the company is always bettering their product. In the past week alone they added “Editor’s Picks” which allows top publishers to show their best content to readers, while also launching a column layout and navigation overhaul that makes browsing Google News via Tablet devices (iOS and Android) a far easier task. Not only does the site provide news in just about every category imaginable, their quality guidelines means bad and duplicate content is weeded out and users receive the best content from top tier publishers. I also respect the simple fact that Google News can attract millions of visitors to news sites through top search placement on Google search results. Google News is a top notch news aggregator because they help publishers and make news discovery far easier for web searchers.


Top Blog Content Discovery Service – Regator


I’ve known the team at Regator for a little over one years time and I’ve been always impressed by the content discovered by their blog aggregation service. Whether I want information from an entertainment website, political blog or tech review company I’m always able to find up-to-the-minute content from Regator. I particularly like that I can sort posts as “New” and “Popular” and also find only blog posts that have “Video” or “Audio” clips present in the articles. Chris Turner, lead programmer for Regator has also created a highly touted trending program located in a tab at the top of the site that often churns out discovered content before it even reaches Huffington Post, CNN and other big media outlets. Regator also allows users to monitor keywords as they see fit. For example I could receive information about the “Chicago Bears” and “London Riots” all at the same time.

According to Regator Co-Founder and CEO Scott Lockhart:

Our combination of editorial and algorithmical curation makes it easy for people to find interesting, relevant stuff without all the noise, duplication and crappy blogs that are out there when searching for interesting and useful content.

For publishers Regator even offers a paid program called “Breaking News” and through that program a newsdesk with constantly updating stories can be setup, the program even offers an Adobe Air desktop app which provides users with pop up notices about topics and search terms they follow.


Discovering The Media – MediaGazer


Have you noticed how much media organizations (news and blogs) have been reporting on happenings in the media industry lately? MediaGazer takes top stories about news based media organizations and streams them across their website. For obvious reasons I use this site on a daily basis to learn more about the industry I work in, however MediaGazer isn’t just for people in the industry, users can actually discover some great information about their favorite media outlets, for example, has an editor been fired from MSNBC for fabricating a story or maybe the HuffPost has added a new mainstream editor to a section of the site you read on a regular basis.

MediaGazer focuses on all aspects of the Media, not just “New Media” which means a lot of content is generated and shared by the site. One recent example of a MediaGazer discovered article: News Corp. Analysts, Who Are These Guys?.

Readers of Medacity will appreciate this site since many of you probably work in the New Media and MSM industries. Sure the site isn’t focused solely on “New Media” but they have some great stories about the New Media industry thrown into the mix.


Discovering Content With A Built-In-Community – Reddit


I have a secret, with all of my experience in new media and content aggregation I only recently started exploring Reddit on a somewhat regular basis, not because I doubted the website’s ability to discover content, I simply didn’t have the time necessary to join the community.

Reddit does something none of the content services listed above have attempted at this time, they encourage users to interact with one another in regards to stories that are posted on the website. As many of our readers are probably aware the voting system is highly touted since both up votes and down votes are weighed in the company’s equation, for example 10 upvotes and 5 down votes give a score of 5. Users on Reddit love to comment on posts via the Reddit website and stories can be posted in tons of Reddit topics ranging from “New Media” to “WTF” and even “World News.”

I love that a user might choose to submit a link under “TodayILearned” (which actually exists) and it can become a top discussion group on the website if users take to the site, while other boring or ignored topics are banned.

A quick warning for new users, there are a lot of rude people on Reddit to go along with the cool supportive people you’ll meet and many times you won’t find a link to news stories on the site but instead questions being discussed directly on Reddit which helps the site create their sense of community.

There’s a lot more I could explain about Reddit but the truth is, jumping in and contributing is the best way to see if Reddit is for you.


Trending Topic Discovery Service (Multimedia Focus) – TrendHunter


There’s a very specific reason TrendHunter.com has more than one million Facebook fan page likes, the site is pretty amazing. The trend based website uses user input and web analytics to create stories surrounding the webs best photos, videos and stories all of which can be voted on, shared and created by the sites users. The site is constantly creating new ways to discover content, for example users can use a slider to “Show All” trending stories for each day or they can slide to the right to show “The Best” upticking trends on the website. With 16 topics to choose from that include Art & Design, Fashion, Lifestyle, Unique, World, Social Media and various others the site offers something for everyone. I should mention that the articles written on TrendHunter are typically not that “involved” because it’s usually the multimedia content that goes with them that tell the story.

One of my favorite parts about TrendHunter is that I can see how many clicks have been received in “X” amount of hours and find user scores on a 10 point scale.

My one complaint is that users must pay to use TrendHunter Pro which offers a lot more topics, with that being said, if you like to read about internet trends or perhaps you’re looking for more content for your own website it may be worth the cost which can range from $80 a month for additional topics to nearly $2000 for full trending reports and other analytical information that website owners can use for reporting and publishing purposes.


Conclusion


I can’t stand sitting on a single content discovery service all day long, Google News is too formal, Reddit is too informal, TrendHunter offers cool videos and photos but lacks the news I want, while Regator is great for blogs but lacks some of the MSM sites I can’t live without and MediaGazer is great but staring at a bunch of news articles, even as I write about New Media can become boring quickly.

With that being said, by combining all five of the sites I’ve listed above I’m able to discover all different types of content from all over the web without navigating away from five competent content discovery services.

Do you have a favorite content discover service? Leave us a comment and let us know why you use the services you love.