The explosion of weblogs and niche news sites poses a problem for any info-warrior: Who the heck has time to read all this stuff?
Well, here’s one possible solution: news readers — a new crop of software programws that fetch updated dispatches from your favorite online writers, bloggers or news outfits.
Instead of the hunt and peck of Web surfing, you can download or buy a small program that turns your computer into a voracious media hub, letting you snag headlines and news updates as if you were commanding the anchor desk at CNN.
One of the chief virtues of news readers is that they propel users into an immediate online dialogue, whether through e-mails, discussion boards or blog entries. Interactivity is much more vibrant when the news is fresh. “News readers help to build community,” says Matthew Gifford, a Web developer in Bloomingdale, Ill. “You can see the ebb and flow of ideas around the network much better now.”