There has been much said about Google’s decision to shut down Google Reader, and while for many people it is just another closure of a little used service, for lots of others it means losing a valuable source of news.
If you had come to rely on Google’s news reader to keep up to date with the latest news and posts from your favorite websites – including Web.AppStorm! – you could turn to Twitter to plug the gap. Here we’ll take a look at Twitter lists and show how they can be used as a viable alternative to RSS feeds.
It’s been a tragic week for the US with the Boston Marathon bombing, as well as the events that have unfolded over the past few hours with gunfights and more in Boston. There’s also been a factory explosion in Texas, ricin-laced letters sent to the president, an even worse bombing in Iraq, and more. Scary stuff.
There’s so many ways to get the news, and you’d always figure the internet would be the best way. Often it is; cable news seemed incredibly slow compared to Twitter, say, in the events of the past few hours. But local TV — which, incidentally, I watched over the internet — had some of the best coverage, as did Reddit, a site most of us wouldn’t trust for authoritative information (sorry!).
And then, if you were actually in the area of the disasters, authorities were requesting that cell phones be turned off, and during the marathon bombing the networks were nearly overloaded with calls, making internet use, at least from your phone, not such a good option. Suddenly, old-fashioned FM radio made the most sense.
It made me wonder what you turn to first when you need immediate news. Do you turn a dial on a radio still, or are you more likely to turn on the TV? Or is Twitter the first place you’d think to check?
It’s pretty much considered common knowledge that most people just don’t get RSS, and that people would rather follow your site on Twitter or Facebook, add you to an app like Flipboard, or just visit your homepage for updates. Email newsletters, people get, but not RSS. Now, RSS can’t be too complicated, seeing as thousands of you follow this site via RSS, but most RSS readers – even Google Reader – make it too complicated.
If Skimr had always been around, though, perhaps complicated and confusing wouldn’t be the first thing people think of when they hear of RSS. Skimr is a beautifully simple new online RSS reader that makes it simple to browse the headlines from your favorite sites without feeling like you’ve got an overloaded inbox to clear out. If you’ve never found the perfect RSS reader for you, it’s the one you should try. (more…)
Paying for content online continues to be a contentious issue. Online publications need to make money to keep servers running and writers fed, but readers are so used to getting news online for free, it’s hard to fund journalism online. From the New York Times to sites like AppStorm, we all have to find ways to make money while still providing value for our readers.
Back in the day, many of us would have purchased a paper subscription, and then would have had to deal with getting rid of hundreds of pounds of paper each year. Then, along came the internet, and we swapped a paper subscription for a net connection and free news sites. Publishers were more than happy to oblige, making money from ads online and print subscriptions.
The ad equation worked out fine for some online-only publications, but for larger organizations, there was no way to, say, pay to send journalists to Afghanistan on ads alone. The past year has seen more sites start to work behind a paywall, making it necessary to buy a subscription to read articles. Most, including the New York Times, give you a certain number of free articles, but then you’ll have to pay to keep reading.
That’s why we’re wondering: have you ever paid for a news site? Have you bought an online newspaper subscription, or perhaps paid for an indie tech blog membership?
We’re excited to let you know about the latest addition to the Tuts+ family — Mactuts+!
Mactuts+ is focused on teaching you how to use your Mac more effectively, efficiently, and powerfully. You’ll learn about the basics of OS X, how to switch, how to use accessories and time-saving software, work with your Mac in an enterprise setting, and how to save time with advanced productive tips and tricks.
Read on to find out more about how the site will complement Mac.AppStorm, and learn about our $1,000 competition!