4. News Sources: Use Personalized News Services
Select News Sources
These services allow you to create a customized online newspaper by collecting news stories from a variety of different online sources. Although they are provided for free, you must register in order to use them.
Here's how they work:
- First, select the broad topics that you wish to receive stories about (for example: business, science, technology).
- Choose your news sources for each of these topics from a list of available sites.
- Then select a format for displaying your news articles.
An example of this type of service is CRAYON (illustration below).
Select News Topics
Some personalized news services allow you to enter your own key words in order to set up a custom topic search (for example, all current stories containing the search words global warming). Your search terms will be matched against their news database.
Both Google News and Yahoo! News allow you to customize your news search. When you set up a personalized page, you can select the news sources you wish to view and also set up custom news topic searches to display on the page as well.
Some news sources also allow you to create e-mail alerts for various topics that can be sent to you on a schedule you determine. For example, Google Alerts, shown in the illustration below, lets you specify what kind of content you want to receive alerts for (news, blog posts, web pages, video, etc.).
Use a News Aggregator
RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is a method for distributing and aggregating Web content (such as news headlines) that changes frequently. Using RSS, Web content providers can easily create and disseminate feeds of data that include, for example, news links, headlines, and summaries. When a site offers a feed, you may see one of the symbols shown here.
Many news sites and blogs also offer RSS feeds. In order to receive this information, you can use:
- Feed reader software, which can be downloaded and run on your own computer.
- Web browsers, such as Internet Explorer 8.0 and Firefox, can also be used to read RSS feeds.
- A free Web-based service, such as Bloglines, allows you to pull together updates from news sites, blogs, online magazines, etc. Create an account, subscribe to as many RSS feeds on various topics as you wish, then use Bloglines to organize and read them in one place. See the illustration below for an example.
Google also provides a free Web-based reader for RSS feeds. For more information, view this video tutorial: