Search engine Ask.com just launched a news aggregation site called BigNews. The difference is that it integrates voting with what it calls “BigFactor.” BigNews is like Yahoo News or Google News except it’s broader – it includes video, images, and blog posts related to each story.
If you click through to the actual story you’ll see related stories from Digg, sorted by number of votes. I also noticed Wikipedia content relating to the story.
If you mouseover the “BigFactor” vote you’ll see a score. It also shows a quick rundown on how the story rates according to criteria like how new the story is, how much discussion has resulted from the story, and other measurements. BigNews feeds in top stories on Digg as well as Digg stories with no votes – so you can be the first to vote on them. Click “track” and you can subscribe to the newsfeed or put it in “MyStuff.”
Here’s an example of a story:
It’s not clear how to submit news stories. Vanessa Fox writes: “As noted in a recent PEW Research Center study, Yahoo! and Microsoft (via msnb.com) lead the pack for search-engine powered news sites. Google News is used by only 9% of web searchers (compared to 26% for msnbc.com and 22% for Yahoo! News).” Like the other top news sites there are no comments accepted on stories.
Note that you can’t get to the site typing in www.bignews.com, instead it’s a subdomain of Ask – http://news.ask.com.
On one hand, the space is crowded. There is Netscape and there are plenty of voting sites each with its own twist. On the other hand, as a marketer I’m interested in the site if it sends traffic. As a blogger I wonder how to get included on the list of blogs. I noticed Search Engine Land and TechCrunch and a lot of news blogs are included. I also think the history feature could save me time when I’m trying to get some background on a story.
My vote – thumbs up. Ask.com has done well integrating social media with news in a clean, easy-to-use interface. Features like story history could save me time. I don’t care for their story ranking stats and why include Digg stories with no votes – is this a pitch for the underdog??