I recently got invited to try out the beta by the Newsvine team. Newsvine seems to be an interesting product with an interesting interface to support a interesting mission, but sadly, there’s one thing missing from it: interesting people. Newsvine is a new startup by some of the old-dotcom-news folks (ESPN, etc.), and it can be pitched, quite simply, as a “better Yahoo! News” (and replace Yahoo! News with any online general news source in the planet). Because it literally is.
Newsvine is a site that gets the news from AP (Associate Press) and without any human filters, almost like Google News, categorises it to the appropriate category. This makes it the fastest news source to get the AP news out, well, so they claim. Of course, Newsvine is a cross between News 2.0 and Web 2.0 so that’s not all they do. Users can comment on any story. If they like it, just like in digg, help move it to the homepage, and also “seed” their own stories (get it? “Seed” = Newsvine) and something else that is cool is that each user gets his or her own column (johndoe.newswine.com) which is almost like a blog but for news-related things. It also supports tags and tagging, another plus.
The concept of Newsvine, basically, is flawless and well-executed. The future of Newsvine really depends on the people, who are what set the service apart. Newsvine is currently in invite-only but they say they’ll open the door up soon. Until then, the idea is that you get invited, and taken from the whole GMail thing, you can invite 20 others. They’ll invite more, and so on. Which reminds me, if you want an invite, I have about 15 to give away, so drop me a mail.
Getting to back my main point, what Newsvine is lacking and the only thing it is lacking is really a good, average, general news crowd, and because techies are the early adopters of such services, it’s becoming more tech-dominated. Sure, I like tech, but in some places I would love to talk about just general news events with widely opinionated average people. This may of course change in the future, if Newsvine is to succeed, but as of now with my limited use of it, I haven’t seen this.