Once post are there, other Meshly users can vote to decide which ones are interesting. Stories that have piqued enough user interest will be promoted to the … Read more
The much-anticipated Digg-like news service from MySpace launched early this morning. The front page combines popular stories from the service's 24 categories and a user-democratized voting system for promotion and demotion. Stories are pulled from various sources by using technology from Newroo, an aggregation service MySpace acquired last year.
The voting system isn't based on simple thumbs-up or thumbs-down, as on Digg, Netscape, and Reddit. Instead, MySpace News uses a five-star rating system, with "loved it" and "hated it" on opposite ends of the spectrum.
MySpace News also features a local events section for 12 major cities. We tried out the San Francisco page, and there were a number of events listed, but no dates or locations for them, just small text summaries.
Any time you click on a story, MySpace will redirect you to the site where the story resides, and add a small navigation pane to bring you back to MySpace (like Netscape did when it launched its community news site). The navigation pane has a rating tool, a listing of three related stories, and a link to the story's URL to send to friends. Interestingly enough, MySpace will take over the site's URL and give it a news.myspace.com designation, so if you send that link to friends, the MySpace News branding will come with it. Very sneaky.
Tuite a few things are missing from MySpace News. The first is integration with MySpace proper. There's no way to show which stories you've been rating (or reading) on your MySpace profile. Likewise, you can't see what your friends have been up to, something that is critical for a social network. There's also no way to submit stories. According to the FAQ, this will be added later down the road. For now, stories are fed to the service from blogs or Web sites and put into a pool to be picked up by users. Finally, there's no way to discuss stories that are on the service.
In other words, almost all the features that make Digg worth coming back to are missing from MySpace News. While the service will likely flourish because of its built-in user base of MySpace millions, it hasn't been built from the start to let its users take the reins beyond just clicking buttons. It's a very thin social news experience.
For more screenshots, keep reading.
Each Tumblr user gets their own "Tumblelog," a short-form blog that contains one of six types of media: word posts, photos, videos, quotes, URLs, and IM conversations. Each type of content has its own visual style and corresponding form for publishing. It's delightfully simple, and within minutes you can add a wide range of content. There's also a bookmarklet for your browser's toolbar to post items without having to navigate to Tumblr's home page.
Tumblr comes with some pretty advanced options for power users. You can give your Tumblelog its own domain, and even set the length for stories on your RSS feed. There are five themes to pick from, and you can customize the color of every aspect of the interface. If you are integrating Tumblr into your blog or Web site, there's an option to paste in your CSS.
What really sets Tumblr apart is its speed. It's blazingly fast. According to founder David Karp, the service gets in excess of 10,000 posts an hour, something you can visually track using an in-house tool called Radar. Currently in alpha, it shows the last 20 pieces of content published to the service. It's a little bit like Digg's DiggSpy, but without autorefreshing.
If you're on the fence about blogging or just want an easy way to publish interesting tidbits you find while browsing, give Tumblr a try. Our semiofficial Tumbleblog can be found here.
This morning I came across yet another online utility for Twitter called TwitThis. It's the equivalent of the Digg and Reddit buttons we have below our posts, and allows users (like you) to bookmark things you like and share them with other Twitter users. It also turns Twitter into a social-bookmarking service, letting you share links with other Twitter users in real time.
The system uses TinyURL, a URL shortening service, to tighten up ungainly lengths so they'll fit within Twitter's stringent 140-character limit. They also provide a bookmarklet, and a plugin for WordPress users to add … Read more
Can we just stop with the new Digg-like sites? Please?
I didn't think so. Here's another new social bookmarking tool, fresh from the Silicon Valley NewTech Meetup last night. It's called coRank, and it just went into public beta this week. It's going to be compared to Digg, and it looks a lot like it on the surface--it even offers an optional Digg-like skin--but at its core, it's based on a very different philosophy.
First, here's what's similar: You can see links that other people like and vote them up or down. … Read more
Spotplex has an arguably better system for site owners to add stories and to keep track of how popular a story is without using … Read more
Clipmarks, a Web bookmarking service, launches its 2.0 version today. Previously, the service made it possible to snip paragraphs and pictures from Web pages and save them. Today, the service launches its new, supergranular version, which lets you clip out sentences or phrases--or, if you want to be silly about it, single words or letters.
The service is based on a Firefox or IE plug-in, and the new version's UI is improved: It replaces the four buttons the last version had with one. It's very easy to use. Clipmarks also makes it easy to e-mail a clipping … Read more
The similarity to Digg was driving the Digg crowd nuts this morning. The Yahoo Suggestions boards were bombed by Digg users with mean or irrelevant posts. A lot of people were complaining about Yahoo stealing the Digg concept.
But Digg and Yahoo Suggestions are quite different. Digg is clearly a destination if you're looking for cool Web sites, videos, and stories online. Yahoo Suggestions, on the other hand, appears to be a feedback mechanism that's getting rolled out … Read more