What’s Wrong With Newsvine?


OK gang, it’s question time.

I spent the first half of 2005 doing a lot of thinking about online newspapers — specifically, about what newspapers needed to do to stay relevant in an age when people are abandoning print in droves for the Web.

One thing that seemed obvious to me was that an online newspaper could do a lot of stuff that a print version could not; and that no papers at the time were really taking advantage of that opportunity. Most papers didn’t even have hyperlinks in stories, much less more advanced features like letting users write their own content, tagging stories, blog aggregation, and so forth.

Then Newsvine launched, and it looked like the complete realization of everything I’d been thinking about. It’s a news site, but with a ton of unique, innovative features, including all the ones I noted above and a lot more. They’ve even extended their innovation to the business model — if you write something on Newsvine, you get 90% of the ad revenue that they gather through that page, creating a strong financial incentive for people to participate.

Here’s the paradox, though. Newsvine looks like everything I dreamed of in an online paper. So why don’t I read it?

It’s not like I haven’t tried. I periodically throw their RSS feeds in my aggregator and remind myself to check their site. I even dipped into participating, setting up a Newsvine column of my own to play around with. But after a little while I inevitably fall away from the site.

Why is that?

I can’t figure it out. So I thought I’d ask you, my Teeming Millions of readers. Is there something about this site that I’m missing? Why doesn’t the practical experience of using Newsvine seem as cool as the idea of Newsvine? Help me figure it out, leave your thoughts in the comments…



June 22, 2006
2:45 pm

Does it do anything that WaPo or CNN don’t online? The problem may be that the established players are good enough that there’s no Killer App there.

Jason Lefkowitz

June 22, 2006
2:51 pm

It does a lot that the other sites don’t do; Digg-like voting on stories, automated send-this-to-my-blog, RSS feeds out the wazoo, and a lot more.


June 23, 2006
1:11 pm

I don’t find the colors pleasing, maybe your eye just doesn’t take to it.


June 23, 2006
1:18 pm

I just read the article “World Banks Brace for Dollar Collapse” (http://ets.newsvine.com/_news/2006/06/23/265426-world-banks-brace-for-dollar-collapse), and to me it read almost like an editorial, not an unbiased piece of news. An editorial, or a BLOG ENTRY… and who needs more of those? 😉

Sandy Smith

July 9, 2006
11:21 pm

After looking at it for a bit, I think it just misses the mark. I wanna scan the news, and CNN does that just fine. BBC if I want better international coverage. Both have RSS feeds. Hell, even the NYT has that.
I don’t want to go vote on it–it’s not narrow like Slashdot or dedicated to quirks like Digg or Fark. I just wanna know what happened, and if CNN or WP does it Well Enough, then it’s like Microsoft winning the computer wars: it’s not the best solution, but it’s close enough for government work. And who cares if we crash a couple of stealth destroyers in the process? 😉