We have never had more information at our fingertips (well, when the wi-fi actually works… I’m talking about you, Dallas hotel that I won’t name here).
Here at Thinkstr, we are info junkies but we also like to occasionally look up from our various screens and maybe even go outside. This makes us big fans of news aggregators.
News aggregators deliver a curated news experience. Using an aggregator makes it easier to scan for the best articles on websites across the Internet, shortening the amount of time it takes to keep up with the latest news.
Below are our go to aggregators. We picked them based on the following criteria:
- Easy to access
- Broad sources / multiple perspectives (we try not to be bubble people)
- Wide range of topics
Here are our current favorites:
What it is: A concise daily email newsletter. NextDraft covers the latest headlines, in-depth topics and a few “off the beaten path” articles. Format is editorial summaries with links to multiple primary sources per topic.
Frequency: Daily (weekdays only)
Form: Email newsletter
Why we like it: The curator, Dave Pell, has a real knack for finding the best – and often conflicting – perspectives on any given topic. He is also a witty writer that injects some personality into his newsletter.
What we don’t like: Our inbox is full of newsletters that have fascinating topics we do not have time to read in full (like some sort of subscription to a mini version of The Economist). The curator brings his own personality & editorial viewpoint to the newsletter, which some readers may not like.
Best for: Readers who want to drill down into curated long-form source articles on major topics.
Where to sign up: Next Draft
Inside Daily Briefing
What it is: A concise email newsletter sent out daily. Major topics are summarized with links to the source.
Frequency: Daily (including weekends)
Form: Email newsletter
Why we like it: Excellent stand-alone coverage of major topics. Scanning through the newsletter will make you at least broadly aware of what is going in in the world.
What we don’t like: The summaries are great but you get one perspective from one source (even if those sources vary topic to topic).
Best for: Readers who just want to be able to scan through the news of the day with no additional reading required.
Where to sign up: Inside
Note that Inside continues to launch additional newsletters on a variety of topics from sports to virtual reality. We are sticking to the Daily Briefing for now, although we are curious how they can have a whole newsletter dedicated to Amazon… apparently we are not the only ones who buy too much stuff there.
What it is: A website that aggregates articles from major newspapers and magazines around the (English speaking) world.
Frequency: Updated twice daily
Why we like it: RealClear World is part of a bigger website that covers Politics, Energy, Policy, Science, Sports, Books, and other topics. Each topic area provides links to 10 – 15 in-depth articles per day. It is easy to scan and then drill down to articles of interest.
What we don’t like: The mobile site often has glitches in the site navigation. Some readers may be bothered that the site owners have well known politically conservative views (personally, we find the actual articles linked to be broad and varied).
Best for: Readers who want to drill down into long form source articles on major topics. Readers interested in focusing on distinct topic areas (energy policy, technology, science, etc.)
Where to sign up: Nothing to sign up for but the site can be accessed here
What it is: A website that aggregates articles that are unusual, funny or just plain odd. Users summit article links, the editor selects the best ones to post, and the community can vote the articles up or down.
Frequency: Updated daily
Form: Website and email newsletter
Why we like it: FARK provides both a dose of humor and, surprisingly often, real insight into world events that are not covered in-depth by major media outlets.
What we don’t like: The look of the site is late 1990’s chic. Expect to spend a lot of time scrolling to find interesting headlines. We find the main page to be more interesting than the individual sections. FARK headlines are often deliberately sarcastic (e.g. The amazing power of glasses on a dumbass like Rick Perry) and people who really shouldn’t be reading FARK in the first place may find them offensive.
Best for: Readers who enjoy headlines like: Seattle to stop using convicts to clear homeless camps. In related news Seattle has been using convicts to clear homeless camps.
Fuel for the curious mind.