provenance: unknown

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This is the news

Specifically, this, though, just to be sure, you can also find it at thisisthenews.com. (Which isn't its name (which is Today's News), but which is less cumbersome than http://todaysnews.provenanceunknown.com/.) It's a thing I've been working on, that I'm still working on (that I'd love to have your thoughts and feedback and heads-ups about bugs on), that I am by no means adequately prepared or qualified to manage, but that what the hell I'm crazy and unemployed and so I may as well do it anyway, right?

None of which you care about, of course, because I haven't even said what in the world it is, yet.

Today's News is a sort of a news digest, plus some links. Originally, I wanted to do some modest little page on this site mocking the news and politics and all that stuff. I had that idea because they do it on TV late at night, and late at night also happens to be a great time for dreaming up all sorts of things you could never actually pull off but sure do sound great at the time. Alas, I also thought about it during the day, and was reminded, Matt, you're just not that good at funny.

But the idea kind of stayed with me, and it occurred to me that the fact that it's delivered so sincerely when in fact it's often so (often painfully) funny isn't the only thing that sucks about the news. The worst thing about the news is that it takes so much effort to get so little. (And if I thought that before, boy do I think so now.) Your typical news article, with rare exception, is written to keep you reading (the continuing legacy of decades of advertising-driven news publications), not to deliver information efficiently, or even tell you which information is most important. And your typical website writes headlines and teasers to get you to click, not to read and understand.

Which is fine, if you like reading the news. But what if you don't? What if you don't have the time, or the inclination to spend it? What if you just want to know what's going on, and not have to work your way through all those piles and piles of headlines and teasers and bloated news copy?

I thought it might be worth trying to fill that need, and I'm trying to do it with Today's News.

Now, I know what you're thinking — What is this guy, nuts? He must think it's 1999 or something! And, well, you're sort of right. I've set myself up for an obscene amount of work, and it's all on spec. But, I confess, I wonder if it just isn't a worthwhile idea. It could be, couldn't it? I hope I'm not the only one that likes it. I checked the clock, it's 1 in the afternoon. I hope I'm not dreaming.

January 21, 2003 1:07 PM

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