In this age of “You” media, it’s not unforeseeable that new and unique news mediums would pop up attempting to capitalize on an increasingly changing national consciousness for and about how we consume news. The big news sources have finally picked up on the new trend and in traditional mass media style are scrambling to catch up, with more interactive websites, an influx of reporter blogging and the inclusion of bloggers as part of the national debate. Video is as easy to access as ever and everyone has a camera – so much so that written news is dying its slow death, with the exception of the blogosphere. Podcasts, photo blogs, and YouTube have created a world in which the second you see or hear about something you can – with a few simple key strokes – find every video, photo, and word ever written about the subject.
It’s into this evolving atmosphere that DayLife.com launches, attempting in so doing to become a standalone news source on the internet. After a quick and easy registration, one notices first off that the site is heavy on bright, beautiful photography. The “front page” is a slideshow of images in fairly high resolution displaying the biggest and most important stories from the last day or two. It’s a smooth interface, though if you’re running on a slower connection you may have trouble.
Moving on, to the Top Stories page, you’ll find a collection of text based feeds from top news sources throughout the nation, each with a link to every other source found that matches that story. Each story is tagged with related news items as well, allowing for a quick and easy search for news related to the persons and places involved in a particular story.
Each topic contains ten or so Top Stories and a compilation of photo tabs to the right to brighten up the droll text of it all. Essentially, it’s a smooth, polished news feed hub streamlined and laced with pretty features to attract readers. And for those that it does attract, DayLife has instituted a feature Google has used to much acclaim in their Beta services. The favoriting via star function is intact here, allowing you to quickly and easily favorite any news story you read with the highlighting of a gray star. The story is added to your “My World” section, in which you can return and read up on any changes and developments in the story.
Aside from simply reading stories, if you click on a picture or a topic related to a picture, you’ll be greeted with yet another sort of Hub page, on which you’ll see a sidebar brimming with pictures of related people. There’s a wire listing currently breaking stories as well as an archive of news from the past 24 hours, and a chart of how often that particular topic has been mentioned in recent days. There’s a gallery, quotes, old news, and archives. They’ve got everything sectioned off neatly and slap it all on a single page for you to peruse.
For a Beta project only recently released, DayLife.com has managed to put together a variety of interesting features that are promising for a flashy, all encompassing news site.
– The presentation is slick and clean, media heavy, and tries its best to be all inclusive.
– Saving favorite articles is a nice idea, the kind born of blogosphere news gathering. I enjoy the ability to star Al Gore for example and receive every headline directly related to him.
– The site is very media heavy, a possible problem for any older connections.
– The attempt at full inclusion of news sources remains closed in its focus on established American news media. Hopefully we’ll see the future use of foreign media and established blogosphere voices.
– Pages tend to be very content heavy, slightly distracting.