NewsBlur is intended to help users spend less time reading through news stories and more time getting to the good stuff. The internet is a vast place with plenty of information which is updated every day. Even more often than that, media outlets post new articles, current events are covered, developments followed and more. It can be a challenge to keep up for the average reader, who may only have a short time to spend paging through stories online. NewsBlur lets users intelligently filter their news. The user visits the original site and can filter stories they like and dislike. Users can also import feeds from Google for a centralized location to store all of their most important news outlets. NewsBlur is an open source application. It is constantly growing and improving to offer a better experience tailored to the user’s personal preferences.
NewsBlur was created in New York City, New York by Samuel Clay in 2009. Clay is currently working on numerous projects along with NewsBlur, including the photoblog New York Field Guide, and Storybird. Clay’s past projects include the Brain Explorer, CaseLife, Scheduler Jones, SunRayLab, and the Raphael Vector Library.
Many individuals and companies work hard to offer a better way to read the news online. This has become tricky because of the many options users have. Feeds alone can be cumbersome, and they are meant to streamline the process to some degree. NewsBlur takes it a little further by allowing users to narrow down choices with a sophisticated system that understands what they like and dislike by what they are already reading.
As soon as a new visitor arrives, they can access the sign up form. This is positioned along the right hand side of the page, in the upper corner (under the header “Sign up”). The user can immediately import from Google Reader by clicking the link below the form or enter a desired username. As soon as text is entered in the username field, the password and email address fields appear below it. These are optional. After entering the information and clicking the grey “Create Account” button, the user is taken to their blank NewsBlur page and can begin adding stories.
Anyone can use NewsBlur for free. Email addresses and passwords are completely optional, which only leaves a username (hardly enough to bill visitors with). The free standard membership is automatically chosen for the user. There is a paid premium membership that is available on the user’s dashboard page after creating an account. The paid membership upgrades to include updates performed ten times more often, unlimited number of sites, and access to future premium only features which include starring, sending, search and insta paper. The premium account costs $12 per year.
NewsBlur is ideal for users who need a better way to narrow down the stories they read. The site is a little confusing, and doesn’t do a whole lot in terms of simplifying or lowering the amount of time needed to browse. It will help filter stories so the user can cut out some of the navigation that is often necessary when consulting many news outlets at a time.