I don’t think of myself as a news junkie, but I do like newspapers.
I find the stream of content that newspapers provide pretty irresistible. I’ve now found a site called PressDisplay that aggregates content from “350 newspapers from 65 countries in 35 languages”.
OK, there are plenty of news aggregators out there, but there are two (main) elements that make this one stand out.
First, it pays full respect to the format of a print newspaper. PressDisplay reproduces entire editions of the newspapers it lists. Select a newspaper and you are shown the front page. Depending on your account limitations, you can choose to see each page of the paper displayed on screen (including all the ads). Click on a page to zoom in and display the content in a readable size.
This is much the same way I scan a paper in my hands then focus on a story to read it in detail.
Secondly, PressDisplay is an exercise in using ALL of a screen. At my most-used screen resolution of 1280×1024 it is a very busy display of five columns packed with detailed user options, site facilities, story headlines, photos, horizontal scrolling, vertical scrolling, hover balloons and endless links to more detailed displays of words, words, words.
What I find interesting is that a) it’s not a mess – it’s well structured and comprehensible, b) it looks good – the balance between text, images and (admittedly not much) white space is well-judged and c) it’s tech smart – if I resize my browser window to 1024 x 768, the display omits one entire column, producing a four column display that looks as busy but no more cluttered than the five column display.
It is, inevitably, the content that makes or breaks a site like this (and the revenue model), and there are still inroads to be made on that front. The New York Times isn’t there, nor is The Times of London or the Sydney Morning Herald. But the Washington Post is, and The Guardian and The Australian. And there is a link to The Times online. Quite an impressive selection, on the whole.
At this stage, I’d say if you like newspapers and have an interest in news on the web, PressDisplay is worth a look.