If you’re a regular reader, you’ll know that I’m suffering from Zite withdrawal. I really enjoy the half hour or so before the dog gets up in the morning to do my own reading so I want to make sure that I’m finding the best stories. I know that Zite was acquired by Flipboard and, certainly, Flipboard is the first place that I start reading. I have many categories (it would be embarrassing to give the exact numbers) defined and yet, I still think there’s something missing.
I equate it to getting the best results from internet searching. There are times when your favourite search engine is bang on with the results. But then there are times when you know there are better answers. So often, turning to another search engine or another tool yields what you want.
It’s so bizarre since they all have the same raw materials in front of them.
And yet, it’s the algorithm behind them that helps percolate the results to the top. It’s like various newspapers that have their own editorial bent to them. The interpretation can differ. This differing can open new insights but it can still be frustrating.
So, I do have a good quantity of news searching resources bookmarked and at my fingertips.
Into the mix, seriously now, is News360.
And, I almost missed it.
It came pre-installed on my Windows 10 tablet. The tablet also came with a year’s worth of Office 365 and my first glimpse made me think that it was part of that package.
In retrospect, I guess I should pay more attention.
So, like so many applications or web resources (News360 is both), I went about adding the categories that are of interest to me. Just adding the categories doesn’t necessarily do it. They need to be refined.
The standard thumbs up, thumbs down and bookmarking features are there.
And, of course, what good is a learning environment if you can’t share what you’re reading?
Now, I just have to teach the program to find what I want. A typical challenge is to encourage a news application that I want Ontario/Canadian content where it’s available. You’ll see from the big image above that I’ve asking for Windsor, Canada as a category. At present, almost all the stories are from Detroit. Hopefully, that gets better over time.
It’s tough to explain why when the reasons are negative. It’s not that the stories are bad; they’re just not appropriate for the category.
I’ve used News360 for a while now and quite like what I see, for the most part. It’s fast, responsive and seems to yield good results. With time, I hope that it gets better at finding the types of stories that I’m most interested in.
After all, that’s the true test for resource like this.