Posted in Rants, Technology

The Problem I have with Tech News Sites

When it comes to getting the latest Tech News, it seems there is more than enough to choose from and you probably have one of choice that you like to read from. As for me though, I like to have several sources that I read from for cross reference purposes, and because I co-host a YouTube only podcast/webcast that we like to whittle down the top tech news stories for people that don’t do all the reading, can watch and listen to. (Along with some lite humor added in.) So I would say I have a bit of journalist in me. Now that you have an idea as to why I read so much tech news, and why most of my friends and colleagues come to me with questions about the latest, I will go on with my problem.

I used to use Digg as my news source. v4 of Digg came around, and I lost interest in the site. Many people went to Reddit, but I really wanted to skip the middleman. So I started to visit every website individually, which was kind of time consuming. Then I moved onto using the RSS feeds inside of Outlook, and now I have moved onto Google reader.

#1) Being the fact that I check several websites for stories, I continually see the same headline across multiple sites. Now, I know I cannot change this, because every site that is news, has to have every headline that matters to their particular subject matter. The answer to this would seem to be easy, and just stick to just one site, and not read multiples, but then I couldn’t cross reference from multiple sources and not all of the stories make it to every website. Which in of itself, every site may have the same headline, but may have different views; so, I guess I just deal with this one, or hope someone can make an RSS reader that detects duplicates (from mulitple sources).

#2)The next is story copying but with your own words, or thoughts and then giving a link (via or source). Which sounds like the previously stated, but let me give you an example.(I can’t really say much, as even on this blog here, I do the same thing ALL THE TIME, but I plan to stop.) So let’s go with this story here:

Boy Genius Report
Facebook hires iOS/PS3 hacker geohot

which then goes to:

Apple News | Geohot is Now Working For Facebook

then says Read More:

Original iPhone hacker Geohot starts working at Facebook

then [via]:

GeoHot Woking at Facebook, iPad App in the Works

I don’t know what this is called, but I like to call it link-bating. It seems that tech site Boy Genius report actually just fills it’s sites with headlines, much like Engadget does. They really don’t write much, just give you a cool picture to look at, and a short synapsis and a link to the “original” story. Which, seems to be constantly linked to another source to another source to another source and so on and so on. I would like to be able to read the source material and skip all the other stories, but I have not been able to find a good way to do this yet without having to continually clicking the [via] links. There are some extreme examples that sometimes go 6 sites deep or more, but you get the idea.

#3)Large news websites seem to want to have multiple departments, writers and sections, so that they can cover many stories on one website. Again, this is the idea that I like, but sometimes seems to be poorly implemented. Let’s go with CNET, they are my 2nd favorite behind Revision3. CNET may have the same story two or three times because there are different writers across different departments for different sections of the website that may be writing about the same story. STOP IT!! Is there not any communication inside the company? This also fills up my RSS reader with duplicate stories from the same source! This goes back to number 1! I think they are trying to follow the old newspaper business model, and they need to stop it, or their senior editor needs to pay more attention before these stories hit the web. Now I will say though, sometimes, the mulitples may be the story in one, a video in another, and pics in another. Why not just put them all in one page?


#4)This is based off of number 3, but still pertaining to big websites.DESIGN. Cookie cutter desings for different sites, but all the same site??? For instance Gawker Media, who owns,,,,,, and They are all the same company, from what I can tell (please correct me if I am wrong), but they are all different sites with the same design: HORRIBLE. I think tried to do this better, by putting the different sections on top, but still they are completely different,,, and so on and so on. I am not a HUGE user of the website GigaOM, but it seems they have the right idea, different colors for different sections, but all the same stinking website. The same goes for Arstechnica, except they keep the same design and color fo all sections.

#5)Podcasts??? I’ll wrap up with a question. Why Podcasts? It seems (based upon my short time in tech) that Diggnation (with Digg) started this trend. This ended up being the basis for Revision3 and to this day is still a flagship show. If you have a news site, you must start a video podcast. I really don’t know who started it, but it needs to stop. I think after Digg, the next one I can remember is Engadget; they may have had and audio only before, but since have added a video. Then came TechCrunch. Which TechCrunch is still very young (they just turned 1), so I may get my details wrong here because I don’t watch all of these. Now that TechCrunch has one(TCTV), BoyGeniusReport must have one. Now BGR is just an audio podcast, but I am sure they are in the works for a video one. Now I have left out GigaOM, Lifehacker (part of the Revision3 Network) and CNET, as because I don’t know where they fit in this timeline. I know that CNET has been around quite a while, which I think is a large competitor to Revision3 and probably have a very close birthday. Now don’t get me wrong, my absolute favorite podcasts are all on Revision3, but both Rev3 and CNET have the same problem. They are out to acquire many shows to be a full on network. Rev3 has some shows that competing against each other, like TechBuffalo, Soldier Knows Best and Tekzilla. They all are some sort of tech news, but just for different people I guess. Same goes for CNET, there are so many daily shows and live broadcasts and so many hosts on so many shows, I can’t keep up with show names, I just know personalities. They both need to get it down to like 5-10 shows. Quality is better than quantity.

Any comments? Questions? Feel free to leave them below!