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3 Reviews by Sean

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Newsvine

Newsvine

7/12/12

Web 2.0 tools have made sharing tastes, interests, and more than anything stories more possible than ever. Social news and networking sites are the primary vehicles for this exchange of information, with different sites geared toward different methods of distribution.

In order to disseminate information and stimulate conversation on the news, Newsvine pairs the usage of established news organizations like the Associated Press with user-generated content, allowing account holders to start their own columns for interested readers to follow. Also, users may "seed" stories from outside sources across the web to Newsvine, submitting them for viewing by the community.

Not content with being merely a crowd-sourced RSS feed for news, Newsvine also allows users to comment on each story and vote on others' comments. These comments and votes along with original content show up in users' columns, showing a history of their interaction on the site. This level of community contribution and interaction paired with reliable content from established journalists means Newsvine is truly a Web 2.0 newspaper, with other news sites lagging behind. Its biggest weakness is probably its layout which could be more intuitive and aesthetically pleasing, but is quickly navigable once figured out.

Tumblr

Tumblr

7/12/12

Web 2.0 tools have made sharing tastes, interests, and more than anything stories more possible than ever. Social news and networking sites are the primary vehicles for this exchange of information, with different sites geared toward different methods of distribution.

Tumblr delivers content through a "dashboard", an aggregate feed of any tumblelogs subscribed to by the account holder. Users sign up for an account, which includes the creation of a blog of their own. Tumblr's approach to content is interesting as it is not simply just following other blogs and posting your own original content. Tumblr allows you to "reblog" others' content, which conveniently copies whatever the content was, with an option to add new text. Additionally, if enabled on a tumblelog's settings, users may submit questions to the blog which can be responded to privately or published on the blog.

This direction in content publishing means Tumblr is best served as a way to communicate personal information such as taste, stories, and multimedia. Essentially, Tumblr takes the format of a blog, and pairs it with the social networking aspect of Twitter. Just like Twitter though, Tumblr is increasingly being used as a method of spreading more than just personal information with groups and companies as well as individuals, such as GQ, Barack Obama's re-election campaign, and The Economist running very active tumblr accounts.

Reddit

Reddit

7/12/12

Web 2.0 tools have made sharing tastes, interests, and more than anything stories more possible than ever. Social news and networking sites are the primary vehicles for this exchange of information, with different sites geared toward different methods of distribution.

Reddit accomplishes this by focusing on separating the wheat from the chaff. Rather than subscribing to and individual's account and following their postings, you subscribe to groups called "subreddits" focused on areas of interest. Claiming to be the front page of the internet, they allow you to control what content you see on your personalized homepage by which subreddits you subscribe to. Subreddits vary wildly in size, seriousness, and topic of interest (with everything from the general r/funny sub-reddit to r/hardcoreaww, which hosts content of normally terrifying animals like lions being adorable).

In order to separate the wheat from the chaff, Reddit uses a point system it calls karma. As long as you have an account (which is free and doesn't even require an email address), you can either "upvote" or "downvote" a submission signifying your approval or disapproval. If the submission is a link to another site on the internet, an upvote earns the author positive karma and a downvote earns negative karma, ensuring quality content. In addition, each subreddit has its only rules regarding what can and cannot be submitted, with dedicated moderators enforcing them.

Reddit is best used as a resource for discovering information and crowd-based opinions. Its weak points are arguably in its poor interface for viewing a specific member's contributions, and re-posting of content by users in an attempt to gain more karma on their account (even though it has no real world value).

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Sean C.'s review of Tumblr earned a Very Helpful vote
Sean C.'s review of Newsvine earned a Very Helpful vote

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