Thursday, January 3, 2013

News websites

Often, when a new technology becomes available, people try to use it as much like the technology it replaced. In general. Preferring to skim over the technology and use it with the limited functionality of the outgoing technology until at some point, someone shows them how to use the breakthrough functionality.

The first time I experienced this was while I tried to make a debtors report at my first job. And the report was maintained in xls – but no better than a ‘physical register’. It took us a few weeks to clean it up to use it like an xl sheet with group, sort, sub-totals and such like.

Digital cameras are another thing. I read somewhere that nowadays a photograph is very unlikely not to be digitally retouched – and the possibilities are endless. Earlier, that was reserved only for magazine covers and portfolio shoots – but now anyone can do it. And while on that, do see this commercial on Adobe Photoshop.

And that brings to my latest idea – that newspaper websites are still stuck to make their websites appear like a physical newspaper – give or take a few. They are tagged also in a similar manner. And why now? Rather even now? Including google news! I can understand, when the internet started, access (and bandwidth and design) was limited…but not anymore.

So, here is a thought on news websites. With map technology being so prevalent – why can’t  a website open up with the country map you are accessing it from (or choose to see it as – I mean, Indian from the UK, for example). And then once you zero in your location, it shows news around you and then you can zoom up or down to see news by city, state, country and then onto global headlines and stuff like that? Today, local news is hard to find – indeed it perhaps best to find it on twitter, if at all. So, why cannot I get translated version of news around me based on my location? (I know this sounds very sketchy, but I think it is possible and just one of the many ways in which news will be viewed in the future.)

And this applies to facebook as well…why view your friends as a list? Why not view them on a world map or some such other grouping?

Anyway posting this idea here to record that ‘I said it’!!

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