Newsweek’s newsreader: Mind the Gap

So Newsgator‘s powered a new custom My RSS newsreader for Newsweek. Big whoop.
A year ago, I was running around New York, convinced customized newsreaders were a smart move for publishers and everyone should have them. Now, a year later, I find the Newsweek reader a yawn–a yet another application noise.
What changed in the year?
Well, for one thing, it’s the realization that Americans who can download podcasts, post photos on flickr and read blogs probably don’t need it dumbed down as much as I might have once thoughts. The digital parade marches on and we all get smarter–and smarter.
Also, I’m realizing that one of the biggest problems Americans have is too much information–solutions that don’t offer sorting mechanism are basically unsustainable–so why bother building them?

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  1. Andrew Nachison says:

    Branded readers – snore. Then again, they’re also easy. Low investment, low return. Maybe they expose more people to RSS which, let’s not forget, is still on the fringes of normal experience.
    Newsweek online is part of, which is part of MSN, which means the Newsweek reader *could* reach a lot of people – unless it bumps into an MSNBC reader, or an MSN reader, or a Microsoft reader, or an NBC reader, etc., etc.

  2. Marshall Kirkpatrick says:

    Susan, I just found this post via a search feed for links to the Social Software blog (why did it take so long, I wonder? Oh, RSS for all your promise! :)
    I am really surprised to read your comments here! Presuming that people need a feed reader (an assumption I hold for sure) then I think that Newsweek’s announcement is big. I think Newsgator is the best online feed reader available. As for information sorting, I think that having basic level feeds made available that are selected by “experts” in a field is fantastically helpful. If I’m interested in any of the topics that Newsweek covers (or any other media organization) then the best sources for ongoing updates on that topic are something I would really appreciate an expert recommendation on. If the recommendations are disingenuous, then that’s not a customized feed reading experience I will appreciate. I can’t imagine, though, why the best tool pre-seeded with the best options for information sources wouldn’t be welcomed and help build brand loyalty for the organization that brought it all together.

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