Tuesday, August 18, 2009

New project

I've always got a few of them knocking around. This one is definitely in embryonic form, but hey, might as well get it out there:

The mission of five point lede is to provide busy readers with the "five Ws" (Who, What, When, Where and Why) of important news stories. No frills -- "just the facts, ma'am."

Why? Because you shouldn't have to wade through two pages of search engine results and ten column inches of background, analysis and innuendo to learn those basic facts. You can decide whether or not you want the rest of that stuff (and we provide an outgoing link to help you find it if so) after you know who did what, and when, where and why they did it.

I spend a lot of time manually aggregating and blurbing Other People's Content, and you'd be surprised (or maybe you wouldn't be) at how hard it can be these days to tease what used to be the solid foundation -- the first paragraph -- of any news story out of what passes for journalism these days and make it into a usable "pull quote."

I figure there's probably an audience (busy people, people browsing from their phones, etc.) for news without the frills, especially at a "first pass" level: One paragraph with the essential facts.

I'm servicing the "second pass" level (subsidiary facts, analysis, reaction, etc.) with a Google News search result link at the bottom of each story for the moment, but I'm eyeing plugins or possibly some custom scripting to break things out into multiple links to specific sources. I'm sure the tools are already out there (memeorandum does something similar with blogstuff, for example, although they seem to automate the top level as well), and probably in eminently usable form by now.

Anyway, have a look. Or not.

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