Since Google Reader saw its end last week, many of us have been searching for a new reader application. The nice part about this is that it has given us the chance to find something that could be better than Google Reader. Not only that, but it has made developers create some great Reader applications. Although I have settled on using Feedly myself, I found another interesting app that does things a little different than most of the replacements that are out there. I was able to take Newsle out for a test spin to see how it would work for me and I was very intrigued by it and how it worked.
Newsle takes a somewhat different approach to reading news in that it doesn’t use your RSS feeds to get articles to read. Instead it relies on your friends and other important figures to give you the news. It took me a little getting used to, but I can see how it could possibly meet a need for people. Let’s take a look at it more to see if could possibly work for you.
There are two different ways that you can get content into Newsle. The first way is to connect to Facebook and/or LinkedIn. If you want more news, you probably want to connect to both social networks. Then what Newsle does is that it scans your friends and connections in both networks and tries to find news articles that they are mentioned in. So, for example, I had a friend recently get promoted at his job and the local newspaper did an article on him, and Newsle picked it up and put it in my feed for me to read.
The second way to get content would be to search for specific people that you would like to read about. You can search for famous people or whoever you would like to. For example, if I did a search on President Obama, I could “follow” him, and then I would get news stories from a variety of sites that mention his name.
Reading and Sharing Your Content
Once I am done subscribing to the content I want to read about, it all appears in my feed. It is organized in different sections where I can see news articles about my friends and then in another section I can see their news as well as people that I subscribe to. I can click on the title and it will take me to the actual site where the article is located. Articles can also be shared to both Facebook and Twitter as well as emailed to others. Newsle also has a Awesome button that you can click if you really like an article.
Interesting Take On News
It took me a little while to really get a good handle on how to use Newsle, but once I started to understand it better, I really saw it as an interesting tool to have. In my opinion, it is best using as a sort of research tool. For example, if I wanted to catch up on current events on a particular famous person, I could just type in their name in the search field. Then I could find a lot of relevant articles about them, which could be useful if I was trying to do some research. From a social aspect, it is also a neat way to see how your friends are in the news.
I would love to see Newsle expand their search to not only people, but also possibly topics. I would love to be able to use this web app to be able to research specific topics and have it bring up relevant and current articles about it. I think that would make it that much more powerful.
Overall, I really liked using Newsle and I thought it was a cool service to try out. It took me a little bit to figure out how it really worked, but once I was able to do that, I could see how it could be really handy. The service is currently in beta, so there are a few minor bugs here and there, but nothing that would stop you from using it and getting around.
I really think that they are on to something here, but at the same time, I still feel like there are a few things missing. I can’t really pinpoint what those things are other than I would like to see the addition of being able to search topics. I am not sure if you would want to have more interaction within this app as I think that would cause more noise than anything else. Newsle at this point, I think, is stuck between being a news reader, which they are not really, and also a research tool. They do a little bit of both, but don’t really do either one well just yet. In my opinion, I think they need to commit one way or the other because I don’t think they can try to do both and be successful. For now, I am going to stay interested and keep a close eye to see where Newsle is going to go.