Fast Company

All the News That's Fit to Click

Here's Fast Company's analysis of five popular Web-based news sites.

Do you suffer from information overload? You're not alone. It's easy to get tangled up in all the technology news on the Web. Here's our in-depth comparative analysis of five popular Web-based news sites: They'll take you straight to what you're looking for.

Site Slashdot
www.slashdot.org
CNet News.com
www.news.com
Wired News
www.wired.com
Redherring.com
www.herring.com
Industry Standard
www.thestandard.com
The Scoop Hard-core news for nerds. This site is organized into eight sections (from features to book reviews to interviews) and covers a broad range of topics, including specific companies, the media, and technology. Just the facts, ma'am. That's what you'll find at this site, which is the best place for breaking news on technology and the Internet. Net-culture news with an insider's perspective on how technology is changing business, culture, and politics on a daily basis. This site isn't affiliated with the magazine of the same name. Like its dead-tree counterpart, this site caters to the venture-capital and startup communities. An electronic version of the weekly trade magazine that covers the news makers and deal makers of the Net economy.
Inside Dope This site's most valuable resource is its collection of comments from its users, who are truly plugged in to every new techie wrinkle, especially about the open-source movement. If you're into email newsletters, you're in luck. This site offers dozens of 'em. Some are as specific as the "ICQ Tips Dispatch." More than 10 teach you how to download, work, and shop smarter. IPO Outlook (www.wired.com/news/ipo) is a great way to track the markets. This site lists companies that have just recently gone -- or are about to go -- public. Need to know more? Just one click gives you a full prospectus. Don't miss Rafe Needleman's Catch of the Day, a daily column sent via email that gives a short take on an issue, trend, or business model in the startup world. Media Grok, a daily email list that reviews press coverage of technology events, is by far this site's most useful feature. It analyzes how other media outlets cover stories, providing links to all of the articles.
Staying Current It's simple to stay on the cutting-edge here, because this site has more than 38,000 comments in its database at any given time, and it is refreshed every 60 seconds. This site promises round-the-clock coverage of technology news, and it's updated accordingly. Email newsletters range from daily to weekly to biweekly. You'll never miss a beat. This site is updated numerous times a day. This is not just the magazine online. It offers daily, original business-technology news, analysis, and research. Not only is the site updated several times a day by the Industry Standard's own editorial staff, but it offers wire stories provide from Reuters and IDG News Service.
Kill That You have to be a member of the elite geek club to find your way around this site. The search engine and icons aren't the most intuitive. Although this site does offer some analysis of events, ideas aren't News.com's strong suit. The Wired Service News has got to go. Who visits this site to find out about the latest earthquake, the winner of the World Series, or financial advice? Less is more. See above. If you're using this Web site as a substitute for the magazine, you'll be a bit behind the times. Print subscribers are likely to get their copies in the mail well before the issue is posted on the Web. You'll have to slow down a bit if you want to keep up with the Web on this site. There's lots of content, and the page-loading is a bit sluggish.

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