Asked

News aggregator beta

Hey everyone,

I'm making https://diagram.news, a news aggregator that helps people find articles on current news topics and catch up on news events as they happen.

Other aggregators (Apple News, Google News, MSN, etc.) are run by editors and AIs, meaning that you only see what they think is important. Diagram is a firehose, and is open to users themselves to decide what stories are good and what ones aren't.

Features include:
  1. Upvote/downvote news articles by topic
  2. A "News Guide" tab for every news topic, containing event descriptions, person biographies, and other background information
  3. In the future, a forum for each news topic where people can come and discuss major events
  4. Also in the future -- original articles, by users, so they can "compete" with or complement the coverage from large news orgs

Known bugs and shortcomings:
  1. Voting works but isn't regulated -- you can upvote a story a hundred times if you want (please don't 👻)
  2. No user accounts. I want journalists to be able to use Diagram the same way developers use Stack Overflow -- as a place to help others and show your expertise
  3. "News Guides" are just Wikipedia articles right now. I would like to put a search bar on top of the news guide tab and let people add Wikipedia articles they think are relevant to each topic
  4. No original publishing functionality. That's the end goal -- to let people publish articles on topics, and turn Diagram into a new kind of citizen journalism portal

🧙‍♂️ Making diagram.news 🌶 Frontend at the Boston Globe 🇷🇺 Code editor at Practicum 📰 Prev Washington Post, NYU
Maker of WIP amongst other things.

First impressions:

  • There's a lot happening on the page. Not sure where to look. Might be okay once I become a returning visitor and get used to it, but initially it is a bit disorienting.
  • The two visible "above-the-fold" topics are "Belarus Protests" and "TikTok", neither which I'm interested in. I'm not sure you need to fill the whole screen with news about just two topics. Perhaps it might be more useful to show a diversity of topics and let me dive deeper into the ones I like.
  • The headlines are a bit hard to parse. I'm not sure why. Maybe because there's so much, there isn't a clear visual hierarchy (most font-sizes are the same for example), and there isn't anything yet that tells me what headlines are the most important. Once you've got some upvotes and can rank by that, that might help solve it. But you haven't gotten that yet, so you might need a temporary solution.

Overall impression:

I like the fact you're experimenting with a new approach here. And while I'm not in love with the layout yet, I do like that you're experimenting here as well. It's something new which is refreshing.

Personally though, I don't feel like I need another news source. Especially for news that';s covered everywhere else already. I don't find these topics very compelling.

I'd be more interested in a news site that is specifically about the things I care about, and aren't covered elsewhere. Random example, but I'd be curious to see Hacker News posts that aren't popular enough to get on the front page, but still curated by the community (e.g. more than 10 votes).