Sunday, June 22, 2008

Daylife: a guide to today's news

Jon Fine's article in this week's issue of Business Week discusses a new news provider, Daylife. As a devoted fan of the news and someone who believes that the plethora of new media channels can help to reinvent traditional media, I am intrigued by Daylife's business model. 

Daylife is a news aggregator that splits revenue with news sources based on the link and not on the destination page. Big deal - I can just set up a bunch of Google alerts on topics that interest me and get a nice stack of emails with daily news stories and blog posts on the subject, right? Yes, I could do that. Or, I can just set up Google reader and collect my information that way. Yep, that's an option. 

Here's the trouble: I love Google, but its alert search is far from all-encompassing and it makes no effort to relate one story to another, save for a common keyword. With Daylife, ordinary people like me can build highly-tailored news sites on any topic of interest, or variety of topics,and post them up on my own website. Essentially, I make my own little newspaper, and Daylife scours the enormous world of news on-line to get me the content and package it up for me in a neat format. This customizable feature is set to roll-out some time this summer.   

To be sure, there is tension that exists between traditional media and this constantly morphing world of digital information. Today we get news from a variety of sources as it happens. It has never been easier to be informed on events that happen around the world. And this fact has created a world of complexity and information overload beyond our wildest imagination. While Daylife may not be a quick-fix or even a complete solution, it's a start toward simplification and efficiency. In this case, even a modest improvement packs a punch.

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