Most news outlets, including TV news shows and networks, newspapers, news websites, and blogs are targeted at news junkies: they never want to miss a story, and they want to be the first to report it to you.
If you look back on these stories even one week later, the majority of them seem unimportant or redundant in retrospect. And if you stop consuming the firehose for a few days or more, you’re lost — there are very few publications that give a general overview of what has happened, especially when venturing outside of mainstream front-page news and into a subsection, such as technology news.
I want last week’s news, but only what I need to know, and only if it has proven to have relevance beyond the day it was published.
I had an idea in this vein a few weeks ago, but neglected to blog about it. I called my idea permanews. Instead of being delayed arbitrarily, the news would stick around until it genuinely started to become irrelevant.
On the Permanews site, every story becomes one story, wiki style. As the story develops, the article grows and changes. There are revision histories and links to related stories etc, but at any point you should be able to visit the story and get a chronological breakdown of what happened.
Critically – and this is key – stories with pending outcomes are flagged for follow-up. If some MP promises some reform by ‘this time next year’, then 356 days later the algorithm promotes the old story as fresh news so it can be checked and updated.
Stories are promoted as headlines based on importance (activity/upvotes), not because they are current or ‘breaking’. (Presumably though, you could filter the stories any number of ways).
The algorithm would be key here: ‘Importance’ would need to trump ‘popularity’ somehow (if that’s even possible).