Technology

News Aggregators: Problems and Solutions

News aggregation technology has resolved the problem in news monitoring. When news aggregators came in, the usual checking of news updates from one website to another has been made easier and faster.

A news aggregator is a tool or system that collects news contents from different new sources. Today, there are several news aggregation sites that people can use to get the latest news. While this is web-based, aggregators can also be used in web browsers, email applications, or it can be a desktop application.

Software-based aggregators are installed in web browsers and email applications to deliver news updates right at these applications, which can be viewed in a panel composition. In this manner, a user must subscribe to an RSS feed, which is integrated in websites, and then updates of these sites are sent to his email browser, email application, or the aggregator desktop application itself.

Although this sounds like a good technology, it’s still plagued with various problems. Here are some:

Some news aggregation sites have unorganized news contents. To solve this, these sites may use a system that automatically classifies news contents into their appropriate news categories (national, global, crime, political, environmental, etc.). This will help users find their preferred stories right away.

News sources are misleading. This can be attributed to broken links or simply, links that do not direct the users to the right story. Aggregation websites collect their contents manually therefore sufficient attention must be given to the collection of data to avoid errors.

In the case of web feed subscriptions there are times when a person can receive a great volume of news contents especially if he had subscribed to many sites. Although, he can always un-subscribe to his feeds-what if all of them are relevant feeds-he can instead use the tagging system. He can tag his feeds with keywords so that he can sort and organize them. This way, he can easily find which article he wants to open and read. This process is called feed filtering.

Other problems faced by users are:

* News aggregation sites do not contain local news (although others do) or community news stories seldom get included in the list.

* In the case of RSS feeds, other web sites do not support RSS.

* Not all software-based aggregators are free.

* Not all software-based aggregators support any operating system.

* Free software-based aggregators are muddled with banner advertisements, which are quite distracting.

Amid all of these, one thing’s for sure. News aggregators will be a trend especially because technological advancements are being favored by many people.

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