Mike Arrington thinks that as launched Newsvine is perfect. I’ve been using it off and on for a month as a beta user, and I stand by my earlier commments. I must be super dense because I can’t tell what makes it more than barely, marginally better than any other news portal full of wire stories, if indeed it is better. Take the newswire stories of Google news, add in the general insight level of Slashdot comment threads, and then the nomination and voting process of Digg. It doesn’t feel like more than the sum of its parts to me. It feels like exactly the sum of its parts, which doesn’t do much for me.
Right now, primarily I feel really stupid looking at this project others call so wonderful and just not seeing it. It just seems like if it is so good, it shouldn’t be a lot of work to identify the goodness and that I shouldn’t have to have it explained to me. Maybe I’m too old-fashioned for Web 2.0, in which things are great but only certain people are equipped to appreciate that fact. I keep returning to it periodically thinking that this time, it will jump out as superior and thus far it hasn’t happened. Maybe more users will make it more obviously wonderful, or maybe at some point I’ll come to believe that this is a thing not meant for me.
I received a Newsvine invite a few weeks back and joined up. I haven’t used it a lot, partly because like tonight I log in and I just can’t tell what to do to make the wonderful happen. I mean, I see the list of stories and stuff and perhaps I’m just dense, but I have to date failed to see what makes this better than any of the umpteen news portals that already exist. I know there are zippy Digg-like features and such, but I don’t even see how you invoke them. As of this writing, I have failed to comprehend the wonderful part.
I’m also not sure of the legality of parts of it. I just read an article on Dick Cheney’s response to having shot one of his friends in the face. It came from the AP and at the bottom has this notice:
Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
It wasn’t a link to someplace else, it was contained in Newsvine. Is this not the redistribution that is expressly prohibited? Does Newsvine have a distribution deal with the AP? (Update: I have been thoroughly notified that this is normal. There is no need to tell me any more.)
All that said, I have invites. If you want them, email me. First come first served, while supplies last, offer void where prohibited, ask your doctor if Newsvine is right for you, don’t stop till you get enough, amen.