Is Google, Twitter, iPhone, Yahoo and Microsoft news the only hot topics in on the Web? If 69% of the most popular Web news sites is dedicated to those 5 giants, how will start ups ever be seen or heard? Are news resources being fair with new, creative start ups with original ideas and well-executed implementations?
Looking at OriginalSignal‘s page, I can’t help but wonder: How does well-reputed news resources fall into the trap of allowing their supposedly “high-quality” news content to be sometimes redundant and at other times even ridiculous or simply just not worth reading?
At this point, I asked Amer to do some geeky work for me and this is what he did: he put the headlines and abstracts from 9 of the top news sources of Web news: Mashable, TechCrunch, Read/WriteWeb, ProgrammableWeb, 37signals, CenterNetworks, eHub, O’Reilly Radar and Webware. The total articles compared was 188 articles. The following are the results and a visualization to make things clearer:
- “Google” mentioned in 68 out of 188 articles (and more specifically “Google Wave” was mentioned in 11 out of 188 articles)
- “Twitter” mentioned in 31 out of 188 articles
- “iPhone” mentioned in 11 out of 188 articles
- “Yahoo” mentioned in 10 out of 188 articles
- “Microsoft” mentioned in 10 out of 188 articles
Five keywords dominated about 69% of all the Web news *abstracts* on the 31st of May 2009. Try using the keyword cloud below to see for yourself. [Note: We picked the 31st randomly. We know Google's Wave announcement may have made it a bit inaccurate, but even thought, it's still a massive percentage!]
To further explain my point, allow me to give some examples. As far as I see it, the Web’s news on the net is now mostly divided into two major categories:
1. Good yet repetitive news:
- Google Wave news, features, bugs & more
- Twitter polls, tools, news, scams, comparisons, guides & more
- iPhone news, buzz, applications & more
- Microsoft news, updates, stories & more
Yes, it is true that most of us are interested in the topics the above yet, does that mean they are the only relevant news we want to hear about? Why not combine each service/company news together in one comprehensive weekly report? Why not agree on a certain news flow to make the overall user experience less redundant?
2. Ridiculous, half-witted news:
- Kutcher’s Hits 1 million Twitter followers – (I’m glad they didn’t make a grand celebration for it!)
- 104 Year-Old Woman on Twitter - (Next we’ll see the youngest kid on Twitter!)
- How Twitter Helped Save a Dog’s Life – (What about children slavery? Poverty? Natural disasters? Don’t these have value any more?)
- CelebrityTweet – (Seriously? Tell me something: What makes a person famous in your book?)
Most of the above items are tweet worthy rather than being actual news worth reading! They can be fully told in 140 characters and do not need to be articles posted to million of readers!
Finally, I urge you to think about this: If 69% of Web news and articles is reserved for the 5 aforementioned topics, what is left for newly established start-ups? How can they ever have a chance to float in world wide news pools?