A while back, I wrote about the virtues of my home page: MSNBC.com. The site drew its content from all sorts of credible journalistic enterprises, mixed in with original reporting and lots of video, and had the wherewithal to continually update the page throughout the day.
Isn’t that the Utopian news model that Jon Landman described to Beet.TV when explaining how The New York Times’s integrated newsroom worked?
“If something is ready, you publish it. And you publish it in whatever form is…forum is available at the moment. Usually that’s the web because it’s available all the time.”
I recently upgraded my home computer, and thought the new machine might want to have a new home page. (No I don’t see RSS readers doubling as news home pages.)
I had heard about the Michael Wolff-Caroline Miller concocted Newser, mostly because my buddy Laurel had created a franchise with the same name, e.g., TV Newser, PR Newser, etc.
So over the last several weeks, I’ve defaulted Newser in a test drive as my home page. Now I kind of enjoy its Hollywood Squares interface that not only allows the viewer to adjust the number of squares (remember L x W = A), but there’s also a bar that adjusts the content from hard news to soft, as in today’s lead story — from Bush’s mortgage freeze to Jennifer Love Hewitt’s bathing suit size.
Nonetheless, my verdict is now rendered. Newser is a snoozer. Worse. I can’t even have my beloved MSNBC.com back since the someone decided to do a massive re-design that left me wanting more. Geesh, they could at least make the type bigger, and I’m on a 20″ flat panel!
The biggest issue I have with Newser is its update frequency, or rather lack thereof. For example, today, sitting prominently in the Charles Nelson Reilly square, is yesterday’s news that the stock market is falling on credit worries. Yet, the market today is experiencing quite the opposite on hopes of another Fed rate cut.
If Mr. Wolff’s editorial team is too busy to keep the site’s home page current, I am forced to look elsewhere for a more dynamic news aggregator to greet me each morning when I boot up, and during the day to keep my information appetite fully satisfied.