The Facebook Times

Do you like news? Do you like Facebook? You can reduce the number of web stops you need make to satisfy these cravings with two great “news” applications within the Facebook ecosystem. Why within Facebook? Because you can be more efficient if you can glance at the news and the reactions of 400 million plus Facebook members without having to actually leave the Facebook site.

The two applications are highlighted in this blog post at MakeUseOf (link here). To summarize here, they include Facebook Headline News (link here) and the aptly named News On Facebook (link here)

Although Headline News is not strictly within Facebook (it is a standalone site), it collects all of the news released by major news outlets on Facebook. This allows you to keep your Facebook news reading segregated from your “news” feed.  The news is broken out into twenty or so categories. You can click on the news outlet to go to their Facebook page or click through to see the original article.

News on Facebook is the lighter option – a page which features the headlines from the major news outlets, curated by Facebook employees.

While there are certainly more intensive ways of consuming news online, you can’t beat the ease of one-stop shopping. Using these apps while you are already perusing Facebook will give you just enough information to delve deeper if you wish.

Happy reading!

More Social Curation with Storify

Here’s another one for you, sharing ilk with the likes of curated.by and Keepstream. It’s called Storify (link here) and it allows you to collect tweets and other media on a topic or “story” that you might want to publish out to your readers, followers or connections. Storify distinguishes itself by allowing you to collect source material from across the web (rather than just tweets or Facebook shares). You can search and add content from YouTube, Flickr, Google search results and more. Reorder elements and add text to provide context to the story. Once you have collected your information, you can create and share your story via your Storify URL or embed your “story” into your blog or website, and even send notifications to your original sources advising that you have clipped and re-published their content.

While it is possible to duplicate this kind of effort manually in your own blog, Storify’s drag and drop interface makes it beyond simple to create media-rich versions of events. Stories with Storify are interactive, and  readers can re-Tweet or reply to the people quoted in stories. You get curator-attribution in RTs.

I can see lots of uses for this. In the professional context, you could collect all of the content surrounding a presentation or conference and republish it following the event for posterity’s sake. Or, start a discussion on Twitter and collect all the replies. Check out this clever “Storify” created by @tcarmody about lobbying for Twitter follows.

By the way, Storify is an actual verb – it means to form or tell stories. So, what are you waiting for? Go sign up for an invite and get your Storify (noun) on!

Social Search, Please, With Everything On It

Keywords aren’t enough anymore: searching across interests and social circles is becoming the rage as we move from Web 2.0 into whatever the next version will be called. As the tracks of likes, shares, recommendations and social connections begin criss-crossing and overlapping, smart algorithms can begin to paint a more accurate picture of what we might really be interested in. Gravee (link here) offers a package deal on search, piled high with bookmarking, personalized recommendations, and social components. First and foremost, it is a metasearch engine, that pulls results from the top engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing (did I just say Bing twice?).  However, if you actually complete a social profile on the site, state your likes and interests, and use the site’s bookmarking, tagging and voting features, your search results start to get even more interesting. You can import existing bookmarks from Google, Delicious and Stumbleupon, as well as links from your Facebook account. These past impressions (and new impressions you make via the Gravee bookmarklet) will modify how certain results will rank in your search efforts.

Social is achieved by filling out a profile on Gravee, as well as by linking your other social profiles from Facebook, MySpace, Hi5 or bebo. You can friend or fan other Gravee members, and like or dislike their bookmarks or add them to your own. Each activity you engage in through Gravee affects your search results. So, in essence, the more frequently and broadly you use Gravee’s features, the better your search results should be. Gravee will also pull information from people with similar interests to yours, making this social search mechanism even more global.

By the way, it’s pronounced “gravy” and comes with a definition: variant(s0: gravy (a): something additional or unexpected that is pleasing or valuable.

Burning To Get A Tablet?

Shiny new and tempting MacBook Air aside, 2010 has been the year of the tablet and 2011 promises more of the same. If you are tempted to procure or intent upon procuring one yourself, you are no longer limited to the iPad. There are several competitors out or imminently arriving. And there are definitely differences across the spectrum. Which tablet is the one that will do it for you? I myself am pretty smitten by the iPad. But Crunchgear has published an infographic on some of the other most likely candidates that might help you decide: