FT.com reports on the latest developments at Reader’s Digest, whose US arm recently sought bankruptcy protection.
The publication is looking to overhaul its global online activities:
“‘We were the Google News of the 1920s. We were the original aggregator,’ said Jonathan Hills, the newly promoted general manager of readersdigest.com.
“Reader’s Digest is not looking to charge for content online, he said. The new design will instead rely on a business model combining higher-quality advertising units and sales of books, CDs and other products.”
Google News has created a Facebook application allowing users to search and share stories. Users are able to create their own news categories, as well as selecting from predefined news topics, and mail news to Facebook chums.
According to Google the application is still experimental – just in the beta phase claims the Google News blog – but so far, not so good.
It seems you have to navigate to a separate page to get all your news from Google, in addition to this annoyance (which I think will be sufficient to put a lot of people off) you can’t do anything about the Top and Most Popular stories column on the right side of the page. You can’t crush them down or remove them, the only option is to ‘read more’ which low-and-behold, opens another tab in your browser to show the Google News page.
The Google News app in its current state seems to be a way to navigate out of Facebook quickly (never really a bad thing I suppose). A wish list has been set up on the apps page so that people can recommend alterations – expect changes quickly.
I have another Google News app that I use, it’s called Goonews and was developed by a guy called Eran Shir and powered by Dapper (not sure what ‘powered’ actually means in this context). It’s a bit more rudimentary (you have to define your search term ahead of time and seem to only ever to be able to have one category of news displayed) but at least its as flexible the other apps on my profile page – at least its on my profile page.
Straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak, the Google News team’s blog have posted some useful tips on how to get the most from your Google news feeds.
Worthy of note are hints on how to get news on feeds from their 41 editions round the globe:
“For instance, let’s say that you only care about articles on “Google” coming from the Italian edition, but don’t want to create a dedicated section on your Google News homepage for this topic. Here’s what you can do:
– go to the Italian edition of Google News using the link available at the bottom of our homepage
– perform a search for “Google”
– click on the RSS or Atom feed links in the results page (placed in the same location for all our editions)
– subscribe to the feed.
There’s also a reminder of how to turn your Google searches of your favourite news sources into a feed:
Type the operator ‘site:’ followed by the source you want to get your news from into a Google News search [e.g. site:bbc.co.uk].
In the results page click on the RSS link or Atom icon on the lefthand side of your screen.
A new page will appear, allowing you to choose where you want to receive the feed.