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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Newsle: making it easy to follow real news

Are you a news addict?  If you are seeking a degree in public relations, hopefully you are a junkie.  Staying informed about current trends and events is essential for a PR practitioner.  However, many stories have several different angles and one news outlet might overlook the details of a story that another does not.  That is why it is wise to follow a variety of news sources.  Newsle, a curation service, makes the task easier.

There are many features that make Newsle an ideal tool for news tracking.  The service updates its members whenever their Facebook or Linkedin connections are mentioned in the media.  After signing into Newsle for the first time, I was able to scroll through dozens of online news stories and blog posts and each one mentioned one of my personal and professional Facebook connections.  For example, I did not know that a colleague of mine, Sarah, was recently featured in a popular online magazine article.  Unless I was specifically searching online for Sarah, it is probable that I would not have discovered the story without Newsle.  

In an interview with the Huffington Post, Newsle co-founder Axel Hansen said, “With Newsle, there's no social news, only real news.  There's so much news we don't care about, like what friends have to say about themselves or what they had for breakfast, but if someone else took the time to write about them, that's more real than a tweet or status message."

To join, you simply need to sign in using your Facebook or Linkedin account.  Newsle will instantly find your social connections in the news and provide you with the article links.  Newsle allows you to organize the feeds in either a feed view – like Facebook - or a grid view that has a similar layout to Pinterest.  You may also create a Newsle profile.  

Newsle uses a feature that is similar to the Like button on Facebook.  However, on Newsle, it is called the Awesome button.  The Awesome button provides users with the ability to keep track of what is trending in the media. 

Not only is Newsle an efficient tool for PR practitioners, it can be useful for anyone who needs to keep track of media happenings.  Professionals can follow specific content writers that are related to their business.  Often, these members will be the first to know about trends and they can use that knowledge to their competitive advantage.