With news and content now being thrown at us from all angles and via multiple channels, how do you decide what to read and what to ignore?
Over the years, in various conversations with executives across multiple clients, the one thing that keeps coming up is how to efficiently manage news so that you can actually use this knowledge. This is where content aggregators come in.
Simply put, aggregators are apps/websites that gather content from online sources, based on your preferences, and collate them into one place. To make life easier, here are my top 5 picks.
Suitable for both extensive reading and quick browsing, this news aggregator promotes itself as a personalised news magazine. The only prerequisite is choosing 7 topics of your choice when you register. It also allows users to select articles and photographs to create their own magazines, which can be shared with anyone. Those looking for a quick fix can browse the app’s Cover Stories section, which includes a round-up of the top stories of the day.
USP: Attractive design
Feedly is a simple and effective aggregator that claims to gather news feeds from about 40 million sources from across the Internet. What makes it stand out amid the incessant chatter of news updates is its simple interface and design. Available free of charge for mobile and desktop, it also has premium versions for both individuals and teams, available for purchase.
However, do remember, once you add your favourite source – be it a website, YouTube channel or blog – you’ll receive everything from that site. You can’t customise it further – although sorting is possible with the “collections” folders.
USP: Simple and effective
Another minimalist content reader, Inoreader’s functional RSS archive enables users to keep track of their preferred blogs and news sites. Another interesting feature is that users can create multiple dashboards – as per their job demands, hobbies, etc., – to keep all news items neatly tagged and segregated. Users can also directly import subscriptions from other readers to store all content in one place, as well as integrate their Google, Twitter, Facebook and many other social accounts.
USP: RSS archive
With innumerable sites touting style and suave designs as their USP in a bid to attract readers, Google News and Weather finds its way into the list due to the sheer scope of its reach. More than 70 editions make it a one-stop shop for those who want to read both regional and international news. While there are no registration requirements, it is not as customisable as some of the other apps out there.
USP: Multiple regional editions
It’s one of the best tools for people who like reading articles, but don’t have time there and then. It allows you to literally pocket (save) stories and websites for later, even offline, reading. In addition, users can integrate various accounts such as Feedly and Flipboard, with Pocket, and also simply send articles they like to their Pocket account (in case a website does not allow saving for later use).
USP: Can be used offline; great for saving references
We’re constantly being bombarded with stories – some which interest us, others that are a waste of time, a few that may have already been shared by friends, and still more that you may miss out on altogether. While the Internet is the great maze that created this problem, a little help from aggregators can go a long way in combating this information overload crisis to help you get the news and information you need.