Draw in the News with Crayon

You don’t need a personal news service to gather and sort news. You can use a clever program called CRAYON to CReAte Your Own Newspaper.

CRAYON is a free editor for compiling a personalized set of hotlinks to online newspapers around the globe. It searches out your favorite online news sites, grabs the day’s stories, and delivers them to your computer.

To launch your cyberpaper, go to the CRAYON home page and fill out a form to custom-build each section. You select U.S. news, world news, business reports, weather, obituaries, sports, even online comic strips. Then save the resulting HTML document to your computer’s hard disk.

Call the paper up on your computer screen and there it is. You can click on the latest updates from CNN Financial Network, sound bites from ABC News, articles in English from the “St. Petersburg Times” in Russia, Letterman’s Top Ten List, all from a customized set of news sources. CRAYON also lets you include a feature that you could never find in a traditional newspaper: direct links to new Web sites. The links are updated daily, so they’re a good way to keep track of goings-on in cyberspace.

How does the cyberpaper itself get updated? It doesn’t. That’s the beauty of CRAYON: the HTML file that contains all your links stays the same. It’s the news sources that the file is linked to that are always changing.

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