Friday, October 10, 2008

Beast Without Burden

Even as the economy continues to tank, the business of business rushes onward. Perhaps you've heard that Tina Brown's website, The Daily Beast, launched this week. Can the magic that she worked on Vanity Fair and The New Yorker (and even the short-lived Talk) be translated to the Web? Follow the link and check it out for yourself.

The Daily Beast isn't quite a full-fledged webzine. It's an aggregator, meaning that the editors cull content from all over the web. Although the site contains some original content, as well as blogs, it's main focus is distilling what's news and buzzworthy onto a easily navigated homepage and providing links to those stories.

There are other aggregators out there. Some, like Digg, are reader-chosen; the stories most often "digged" by readers top the list. Others, like Huffington Post and Daily Beast, are "curated" by editors. I go to the Huffington Post not to see what's popular on the web, but to see what's new in liberal politics, just as I would go to Drudge to see what's new in conservative politics. Most curated sites cater to particular sensibilities, particular audiences.

I'm not sure what niche TDB is meant to fill or who it's intending to reach, but in its first week, the editors undoubtedly don't yet know what it's niche will be, either. Right now, it appears mainly to be a destination for people who like Tina Brown, which I guess means people like me, in that I have always enjoyed her publications. I sense it will be a place for me to go when I don't have the time to read longer-form content in Slate or Salon, and am interested in news beyond the narrowly political, financial, or gossipy. I'll give it a shot, in other words. It beats watching my net worth disappear day by day.

Since it's new, TDB is also currently ad-free, which is refreshing. It's design is clean, and right now it can be enjoyed free of clutter. Oh, and one feature really worth checking out: the Video Cheat Sheet, an accumulation of must-see clips from around the Web. It's worth a visit just to find the view-worthy in one place. Why watch the Dow plummet when you can catch Bill Murray's SNL cameo from last night instead?

1 comment:

tunsie said...

Aggregators r subjective people in tat u can pick and choose from anywhere 2 prove your point,but r your sources reputable,have they derrived their conclusions from empirical data,or have the used CONJECTURE as thier sources.believe me there r a lot of idiots out there and stupid people lend creadence and in some instances their NAME to their websites.tunsie.tunsie.tunsie