Paul Sawers was a reporter with The Next Web in various roles from May 2011 to November 2014. Follow Paul on Twitter: @psawers or check h Paul Sawers was a reporter with The Next Web in various roles from May 2011 to November 2014. Follow Paul on Twitter: @psawers or check him out on Google+.
Don’t you sometimes just wish you could drown out all the background noise on the World Wide Web and get back to basics? If your answer is yes, then read on.
Just the News is an experiment by Max Temkin, a Chicago-based designer, to capture the big news of the day “without any gossip, sports, or distracting bullshit.” In short, it cuts through the cacophonous crackle of the white-noise Web and brings you a selection of the top news stories of the day.
“I’ve always wished I could get my news on a plain white page with a few well-curated stories; no ads, no social media, no comments,” says Max. “I got tired of waiting for someone to build that page, so I made it myself.”
Just the News is about as simple as a website gets. No banners, logos or any other distractions – just a short, hand-picked list of links to 4-5 news pieces, plus one ‘long read’.
Whilst we now live in an age where everything we consume has to be ‘tailored’ or ‘personalized’, there’s a lot to be said for being presented with an easy-to-digest selection of tidbits from around the world.
There are, of course, plenty of news curation tools out there already, such as Scoop.it which recently launched an iPhone app, and it’s difficult to ignore the lure of mobile-focused curation services. That said, Just the News does display perfectly well on a mobile browser, and I’ll be bookmarking it to see what it comes up with over the next few days.
“On days where there aren’t five important stories, I’ll post less,” says Max. “Some days, I’ll also link to a single great piece of long-form journalism.”
Of course, as Max himself says, “I’m no reporter”, so the true value of this site and the curation skills on which it is built, remains to be seen. Also, the only way of ‘following’ this site is through Tumblr, so if you’re not active on that specific micro-blogging platform, then you’ll have to remember to visit Just the News each day.
This experiment will continue every morning during March, and then Max is open to what happens next.
H/T: Basheera Khan
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