I know better than to click “Open All Bookmarks” on any of my regularly used Bookmark Folders. That would unleash a flood of sites that would probably slow my computer to a grinding halt. If I had unlimited time every morning, I’d love nothing more than to visit all 70+ News websites that I’ve carefully curated, but in reality, I get my news and discover interesting things in three minute spurts in between work and projects using the following sites (none of which require an app or mobile device).
Guzzle.it for Customization
Guzzle.it gives just enough customization to search multiple topics without complicating things. You can add and save as many topics as you want, but better yet, you can organize them by category. Because it saves your topics, every time you visit the site it’s like opening a newspaper created just for you.
The downside is that while it’s great at searching multiple sites, it is limited in some topics. For example, if you’re searching “Social Media” you might as well just read Mashable because the majority of stories will be from there.
NowRelevant for Timeliness
You type in a keyword or topic and NowRelevant.com delivers only articles and blogs posted in the last 14 days, so you know the findings are current. It features a “Trending Topics” section on its Home Page, but I generally skip that and go directly to the Search Bar.
Unfortunately, you cannot save your searches. Every visit means you need to type each and every topic that you’re interested in, one at a time. Because of this flaw, it’s better suited for occasional research than as a daily news source.
Digg for Popularity
Who doesn’t love Digg.com? It posts the most popular content on the web by subject. You can customize Digg to your own preferences. The only downside is that it takes a little time to “train” the site on what you like by burying and saving stories. If you’re in a hurry, I recommend skipping straight to the “Top News” page. Every time I click click on Business or Technology, I’m bound to find something interesting.
StumbleUpon for Leisure
StumbleUpon.com is the place to visit when you have some time to kill. Spend 5 minutes on the site and I promise you’ll find something worth posting or forwarding. They let you choose from an array of topics and then combs the Internet looking for content related to them. You teach the site your preferences by clicking “Thumbs Up” or “Thumbs Down for each page it recommends. The more items you rate, the better it can gauge what you like.
You will find some seriously interesting and entertaining stuff here, but this is not the site to get caught up on the news or to do any targeted research. This is where I go when I have a couple minutes to kill, not when I’m trying to cram the day’s news or some research into 5 minutes of free time.
Ironically, my bookmark overload was probably caused by sites like these that recommended articles from sites I hadn’t heard of, but wanted to revisit. In reality, you don’t need a lot of time to find interesting and newsworthy content on the web, you just need to know where to go to get it.