USA Today interactive - click for larger image
Here’s a hugely rich interactive from USA Today which does a number of things very well.
Firstly, it’s an intelligent use of resources: the recession is likely to last for some time, and be the biggest ongoing story of our time. With everyone talking about it, you need something with that ‘wow’ factor, that will not only attract a great deal of attention now, but also a long tail of repeat visits.
Secondly, it’s personalised – not only can you get information on jobs growth in your state, but your particular industry in your state.
Thirdly, it’s dynamic – the graphic promises to be updated each month “with revised data from Moody’s Economy.com.”
There’s one major element missing – interaction. Find a way to capture users’ experiences (value) and you have an extra dimension that really capitalises on all the attention your interactive is getting.
Still, I’m not complaining…
Terry Heaton’s PoMo Blog is saying that MySpace has a news offering planned in the next few months “according to inside sources and the company’s own sales materials”:
- “MySpace News takes News to a whole new level by dynamically aggregating real-time news and blogs from top sites around the Web
- “Creates focused, topical news pages that users can interact and engage with throughout their day
- “MySpace is making the news social, allowing users to:
Rate and comment on every news item that comes through the system
Submit stories they think are cool and even author pieces from their MySpace blog
- “MySpace users previously had to leave the site to find comprehensive news, gossip, sporting news, etc. With MySpace News, we bring the news to them!
It will be interesting to see what MySpace can bring to the idea – it’s already been tried by The Sun (MySun) and, more recently, USAToday (as Heaton explains in his post), but it’s one thing for a news organisation to try social networking; quite another for a social networking company to try news. I’m hoping for intelligent agents that suggest RSS feeds, or automatically subscribe you to your friends’ blog feeds (I’ve never used the MySpace blog but that might persuade me otherwise), or their RSS feeds, in an Amazon ‘people who liked this also like this’ kind of way.
Given the critical mass of MySpace, could this be the tipping point (I hate that phrase) to bring RSS to the mainstream?
UPDATE: Matthew Ingram has posted his take on the announcement, with some interesting questions:
- It “could give News Corp. lots of ideas about pushing its news content into such an aggregator, giving it priority of some kind, etc.”
- “Will News Corp. use its MySpace News as a kind of jungle drum, to pick up stories that might be under the radar?” (my view: sadly, I don’t think so, as this assumes that News Corp. sees journalism as a priority, rather than making money)
- “News Corp. is also trying to get other video content owners to bring their stuff to MySpace.”