Online News: Thinking Prospective

This weekend I've been trying to think of ways to push the prospective experience aspect of this project further, but after some time, I realized I was asking the wrong questions. In the previous concept stage, I decided to combine two of my directions together so maybe now I need to take a moment to re-articulate my concept and allow the prospective experience to stem from the concept rather than trying to pull an idea from mid air.

Right now there are a couple of sites and apps that I feel are currently redefining how online news is being accessed and read: Flipboard, Facebook, Reddit, Spectra, Newsmap, and Wired Magazine.

Flipboard is a social magazine application that pulls content from various established institutions into readable, coherent, and bite sized pieces of information. It even pulls from social media sites such as Facebook and visually translates them into preset magazine spreads that makes your social media a part of the news you consume as well. I feel like this inclusion of social media brings up an interesting question. Do we approach social media sites with the same mentality we do when we approach an established newspaper like USA Today? I think we do. We're just as concerned about the recent stories of our friends  and family as recent news in the world.

Besides being visually stunning, there are elements of the Spectra Newsreader that I find very useful. For instance being presented with a blank space in which the user is allowed to select their interests and curate their news. Other small detail I enjoy is how they list out the amount of articles in each category and allow different arrangements to consume the news. I think it helps the issue of the web being overwhelmingly infinite and gives it a start to finish feeling. This space is a great individual space, it lacks community interaction.

Newsmap is an interpretation of the constantly changing landscape of news in a visual format. Because it's pulling from a variety of sources, it is a bit questionable in regards to credibility. Yet because it's pulling from a wide variety of sources it almost also seems credible because there is less biases.

Reddit is a social news website where users can submit content such as a link or a text "self" post while other users control the hierarchy of the site's pages by voting the submission's rank up or down. I think it's a great example of a holistic view of the inter-webs, user-generated content and participatory culture, but lacks in credibility.

WIRED Digital Magazine
I only bring up WIRED Magazine because I feel they do an amazing job at combining different types of content to create a richer experience compared to it's print counterpart.

I feel like there needs to be a balance between user-generated content and credible sources, community space and individual space, tailorable spaces and non-tailorable spaces, quick reads and long reads. Because we're working with an established newspaper, the credible aspect already exists so I guess it'd be a matter of playing it up or down. I think it's now about bringing in some of the concepts I explain above into this USA Today space.

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