Newsvine has just released 7,000 private beta invites and are beginning to open the gates. I have been actually been testing the service for a couple of weeks now and find it absolutely great. I honestly haven’t enjoyed reading the news this much online ever. If you have missed all the buzz about Newsvine, Newsvine is a news media site that presents news, like what you would see on news sites like MSNBC or CNN, but in a much more attractive interface. Even better, Newsvine is also a community of users that can tag stories, comment on stories, chat with others, write news and add links, and a lot more. There is a lot to explain, so how about I give you a walk through Newsvine?

One of the main frustrations of reading normal news sites for me is how they all have cluttered sites with advertisements everywhere, news mixed around, and when I find a story of interest, I can’t even comment about it. Newsvine is the complete opposite and I immediately felt at home with their beautiful interface that allowed me to easily find and read what I am interested in. The design consists of a style that I feel has the unique style of its founder, Mike Davidson. The main page gives a clear overview of all the news submitted from the Associated Press and the Newsvine users, along with buttons to vote and comment on stories (more on this below).” The Wire” being news from sources like the Associated Press, ESPN, and other services. “The Vine” being user submitted content. The main page shows the featured article, top wire news, top vine news, featured writers (users of Newsvine), and then more wire and vine news split into two columns towards the bottom. At the top is the navigation, showing the top categories, and the search form, allowing you to search by tag or full article search. On the left is your accounts menu giving you quick access to write, view your history, or even view a list of saved tags and topics that you wish to keep up to date on (the Watchlist). Now, lets take a closer look at the articles themselves.

I was very impressed with how feature rich every news page is in Newsvine. Unlike normal news sites that just show an article with a few images (and advertisement), Newsvine steps it up with interaction allowing members to vote and comment on any news item. There are also two types of news items at Newsvine, but both have the same functionality. You have normal news and you have seeds. Seeds are links that users submit that will direct you to an external site. Each article has its own seperate chatroom (flash-based) that allows members to discuss the article in real-time. I was also surprised to see that some articles consist of audio that you can actually listen to using a built in flash media player. You will find at the top of every article a set of small buttons (that don’t stand out too well, in my opinion). These buttons are for (in order) chatting, voting, commenting, and lastly, reporting if an article is inappropriate. The vote button uses Ajax to easily add 1 to the articles vote count and has a nice little upward movement animation when clicking on it. Above these buttons you will see the tags. You can tag any article you read or write and add more at any time. Also remember that when you vote or comment on an article, you will be able to go back to it again by viewing your accounts history.

Every user also gets their own profile and column. The profile allows you to fill in basic information for your visitors to see and the column is actually like your own blog that you even get your own address for (you.newsvine.com). The profile is where you go to write, manage articles and comments, edit your user information, and also to view your history of article activity (what you see above). The columns that users get are really neat. Every article your write and every link that you seed can be seen through your column. It is like a blog for your Newsvine activity. Viewers can get an overview of your submitted content, view your profile, and even contact you through a contact form. They can also subscribe to your column with the provided RSS Feeds.

When submitting an article to Newsvine, you have two options. You can create a post or a seed (what you see above). Writing a post is just like you would write on a normal content management system or blog. You fill in the title and the body of the post along with option fields for tags, location, and category. You can then decide to submit the article or save it as a draft to continue working on later. One thing that I didn’t see though were instructions for formatting content because a WYSIWYG Editor is not used. I mentioned that you can also seed a link. You have two methods of doing this. You can get an address for the site you want to link and manually paste it into the “Seed a Link” section, or you can add the Newsvine bookmarklet to your favorites so you can easily seed a site that you are currently viewing. Submitted content can then be commented and voted on and if you receive enough votes, hopefully will make it to the front page or make you a featured writer of Newsvine.

You may be thinking, a large percentage of articles submitted are going to be user generated. What is in it for you? For one, getting your writing viewed by thousands, and secondly, money. Newsvine is stepping things up a bit by actually allowing their users to generate revenue by writing and submitting seeds. How is this done? Newsvine will soon have some advertisements throughout the site and will be visible on your user column (your Newsvine sub-domain) and ad earnings are based on based on traffic to your articles and seeds. So how much do you get out of it? Surprisingly 90% of the earnings! Where does the other 10% go? To the user that referred you to signup to Newsvine and if no one referred you, then the 10% will go to Newsvine to support bandwidth and site improvements. Maybe it would be a good idea to promote your columns to drive more traffic to it! During the beta, no revenue can be made by the users as ads are not active yet. It is unknown on how much one could earn from Newsvine, but either way it is definitely great to see a service paying their users for user-generated content.

As I have said, Newsvine has a large amount of functionality. One of my favorite features is the Watchlist. When viewing any tag, category, location, or member column, you will see a button at the top left that says, “Watch.” Clicking this button will add that source to the left navigation’s Watchlist giving you easy access to it at any time. What is even better about it though is that when a new item has been added to the source, you will see the amount of new articles next to the name on the watchlist, so it acts like a mini aggregator. And speaking of aggregation, Newsvine also provides RSS Feeds on what seems like every page. You can subscribe to tags, columns, and categories. You can also decide if you want the feed to include Wire and Vine articles or just one of them individually. Feeds for user columns include feeds for posts and links. Another feature worth mentioning are the user-friendly URL’s. For example, if you are interested in Google or Ajax, you can simply browse to newsvine.com/ajax and it will bring up all articles under that tag. Even permanent links to news items have clean addresses that have the date and title in them. The last feature I want to mention is the location setting. At the top right of Newsvine is a dropdown box that lets you select a region, like San Francisco. Selecting a region will then filter all news throughout Newsvine to only be related to that region. If I am interested in seeing news on Technology in the San Francisco area, I can easily do so.

Newsvine is going to change the way we read news on the web. As I said earlier, I have never enjoyed reading the news as much as I do now using Newsvine. The environment, community, and interaction makes it unlike any other news site. I have been stuck in the zone of reading about news through services like Digg, Memeorandum, and Blogs, but I never make time to read the actual news online, but not anymore. To sum it all up, Newsvine allows you to read news by sources like the Associated Press and user submitted news. You can vote, comment, tag, and even chat to interact with the news and users of Newsvine. You are also given your own news column (along with sub-domain) that you can write to and hopefully will make it as a story on the front page if enough visitors vote for it. Even more, you can also earn revenue by Newsvine advertisements placed on your column.

Just one last note that Newsvine is currently in Private Beta and invites are now available to be sent out by Newsvine users. Hope you will enjoy it as much as I am!

Excellent work to the Newsvine Team and best of luck!

View Newsvine – Get Smarter Here. – Like this post? Digg it!


74 Comments on “Newsvine – Seeding the Vine. First Look!”

  1. Hypergene MediaBlog » Heard it on the Newsvine: First impressions says:

    [...] the kinds of news people will get but their relationship to it. Related: Solution Watch has done an excellent first-take of Newsvine here.

    Posted on Ja [...]

  2. Kashif says:

    Is it possible to get an invite of it?

  3. Pakpromo :: Brands, Blogs, Social Networks, SEO, RSS says:

    Newsvine: Seeding the Vine

    Newsvine is a news media site that presents news, like MSNBC or CNN, but in a much more attractiv…

  4. Richard Dunlop-Walters says:

    For some reason, I’d never heard of this until today, and now it’s all I’m hearing. It looks pretty interesting, can’t wait to give it a shot.

    Nice entry on it, as usual.

  5. Ken says:

    Can’t wait until it’s released — looks excellent. This will probably change news like digg.com did

  6. Corante Web Hub says:

    Newsvine Seeds Private Beta Invitations

    Contributor Emily Chang writes about two Web 2.0 applications that challenge the status quo – one of them is Newsvine, currently in private beta. Emily has some details on the new service: “Newsvine highlights three key interactions with the site:…

  7. Jeff says:

    CommonTimes is a social network for news that’s live and open today.

  8. Newsvine Beta at jarkolicious says:

    [...] ry 7th, 2006 Tags: Asides, beta, newsvine. Newsvine just opened up its beta and is a really interesting service. I got an invit [...]

  9. Dennis Hartwige says:

    You might also want to have a look at other news aggregators such as reddit.com and http://www.nulltag.com. This field is getting pretty hot lately.

  10. Ben Barren says:

    I had a play with newsvine yday. I agree design was great, and i think business model is great. Like the mainstream meets blogs positioning. The only issue I had was (lets use entertainment as an example) the sources of content were all generic / mainstream / not the specialists you want to read in that category eg entertainment – perezhilton, socialites life, gawker, wwtdd.com, idontlikeyouinthatway, greasemonkey etc… The way the “digg” this story was done for mass market was very good but needs better content sources. Or am i missing something… re the content owners of newsvine.. thx very interested http://benbarren.blogspot.com

  11. gimplonius says:

    I, too, would appreciate an invite. It sounds very intriguing.

  12. Paul Stamatiou says:

    Spot on, as usual Brian. I’ve linked to you on my site.

  13. Jeff says:

    If anyone has a spare invite I would love to try this out.

    Thanks

  14. dan says:

    Looks great – but seeing is believing.
    let’s wait for the real stuff. Kind of waste of time to read a long article from an admirer of the site.
    thanks, dan

  15. Robert says:

    The comment about ads is one to take with a grain of salt – as they’ve said, upon launch (or so), there will be ads – that will the primary source of revenue for the site/members, so it’s probably not one to be gleeful about the lack of just yet …

  16. directorblue says:

    One of the problems I think these folks will encounter (which is occurring at NowPublic) is that many news stories have political “spin” to them. The NY Times generally spins coverage to the left. Fox News generally spins coverage to the right. Unless this site elegantly handles the war between left- and right-leaning users, they’ll completely lose one side or the other. Thus, it will lose half its potential audience right off the bat.

  17. Blog name says:

    This sounds interesting – Newsvine

    Solutionwatch has a walk-through of a new site/service I have not heard about before – Newsvine. It sounds very interesting, and I have signed up for the private beta list :

    Newsvine – Seeding the Vine. First Look! » Solution Watch:
    If you have …

  18. Dennis says:

    Excellent post Brian. I cant wait to see this opened up. Thanks…..

  19. Doug Ross @ Journal says:

    The future of News? Not quite yet.

    Here’s the central problem that [Digg-style] news sites will encounter…

    Many news stories have a political “spin” to them. Most would agree that the NY Times generally spins its coverage to the left. Likewise, consensus would indicate Fox News …

  20. Drugi dom » Blog Archive » links for 2006-01-07 says:

    [...] ian Unlimited Technology | Technology | Behind the magic curtain (tags: apple stevejobs) Newsvine – Seeding the Vine. First Look! » Solution Watch (tags: news newsvine web2. [...]

  21. Yannick says:

    I definitely love it and agree with you that it’s the most fun I’ve had reading the news online.

  22. Joys says:

    would love an invite

  23. damien says:

    I really would like one too

  24. Mike Davidson says:

    Newsvine: First Day Traffic, Reviews, and More

    Friday was Newsvine’s first full day in widespread private use, and I’m happy to say that we hit 104,655 page views right off the bat. I don’t ever remember making any predictions about what traffic would be like, but I certainly didn’t expect six …

  25. Allyn says:

    If any one has an extra invite floating around, I would sure love to receive one.

  26. andy says:

    I have a couple of invites still available, if you want one, just drop me a line blogvp at gmail dot com.

  27. Jesse says:

    hi. could i have an invite? thank you.

    my email is as such:

    jesselperry@gmail.com (i dont care about spam)

  28. Newsvine review at Brian Pinard says:

    [...] s, Reviews Brian Benzinger has written a very comprehensive review of Newsvine, a new social news site. Readers can tag, vote on, and chat about [...]

  29. josh says:

    please let me know if anyone could help me to arrange to be a part of the testing. thanks!

  30. Archimboldo says:

    Hopefully it will attract thoughtful users, avoiding a Yahoo LCD. I’d also appreciate an invite.

  31. Moris says:

    I’m really curious and searching an invite…
    My mail : amazinghook(at]yahoo.fr
    Thanks a lot. Great post

  32. Raj Viswanathan says:

    I am also very interested in trying it out. Can I have an invite as well.

  33. I heard it through the Newsvine » 9rules featured says:

    [...] ’ I don’t know what does. 9ruler Brian Benzinger from solutionwatch.com wrote a very nice (p)review article on Newsvine with screenshots and explanation on what Ne [...]

  34. David Cheong says:

    Wow, Newsvine website sure looks nice. Interesting Site.

  35. David Cheong says:

    But one thing is, looks like it need invitation, anyone in it can invite me? Sure looking forward to browse around. Thx

  36. JimboJones says:

    Um, maybe you’re not really aware of this, but if you go to news.yahoo.com, you’ll get the same thing. It’s really not that amazing. NewsVine is just another clone it seems.

  37. ‘The Social Newsroom’, Newsvine - First Impressions at BenBishop.me.uk says:

    [...] Newsvine at the moment as there are great introductions available such as the one over at SolutionWatch. Mike Davidson is CEO of Newsvine and introduced Newsvine officially la [...]

  38. Billy Warhol says:

    trying to keep track of all the news & make time to read it is somewhat frustrating these days!

    thx Brian for yer useful info on some of these recent tools!

    Cheers!! Billy ;))

  39. cjhlas says:

    I’m always looking for innovative, news-related sites, so this sounds enticing. If anyone has an invite available, I’d appreciate it.

  40. The Beach Bum says:

    I am suprised i didnt get an invite to this.
    I am usually first on the list.

  41. Daniel says:

    i now have 20 invites to give. anyone who wants one: email me at dan428@gmail.com :)

  42. Rusty: Unbalanced » Blog Archive » Newsvine.com: Citizen Journalism Meets Mainstream News says:

    [...] ublic beta. Brian Benzinger of SolutionsWatch has an excellent and very detailed review in The First Look at Newsvine. Om Malik gives some interesting company history on his b [...]

  43. Greendale.tk says:

    Newsvine

    Was happy to get a mail this morning for the new newssite Newsvine. It looks really good so far, my news can be found at schoneveld.newsvine.com…

  44. Christophe Ducamp says:

    Thanks Brian. Your post is now translated/adapted in french on my small wikiblog. Your writings are a really huge and pleasant resource for french amateurs ;) Thanks. – xtof

  45. Newsvine at B-O-K says:

    [...] e written better (to make an understatement), heh-heh! [...]

  46. SuMikael » Newsvine Invites says:

    [...] mation, please visit Newsvine’s About Us page.  For other great articles about Newsvine: http://www.solutionwatch.com/305/newsvine-seeding-the-vine/ http://gigaom.com/2005/11/09/introducing-newsvine/  http://www.techcrunch.com/2005/11 [...]

  47. guboogi.com says:

    [...] eatured Writer” on the front page of the site. If you’re interested, check out a more in-depth description of Newsvine.

    There’s no doubt th [...]

  48. Chad says:

    If ANYONE has an invite, I would love one.

    My email: sirchadlington@gmail.com

    This news site looks amazing, and I can’t wait to test drive it.

    Thanks in advance!

  49. PICTR: A Progressive ICT Review » Visualizing Community News says:

    [...] ty input, both by linking and commenting. Here’s an extract from a larger rundown at Solutionwatch: One of the main frustrations of reading normal news sites for me is [...]

  50. LukeLabern.com says:

    [...] hless for me to explain all about it, but here’s some links: Get ready for newsvine Seeding the vine. http://technorati.com/tags/newsvine [...]

  51. lee says:

    please, send an invite of the newsvine ….. iseek@joins.com

  52. Rick says:

    Any extra invites, please? This looks great, and a Digg alternative.

    iriesummer2005@yahoo.com

  53. Jeremy says:

    Please invite me :( jmcantrell@gmail.com

  54. Joe Anderson says:

    I don’t see the big deal, at all. It’s just a copy of Digg.

  55. hterry says:

    Looking for an invite of this as well hterrygeo@gmail.com tks

  56. CalvinTang.com » Seeking Newsvine Engineer says:

    [...] Soloutionwatch [...]

  57. Chad Dawson says:

    i wold like an invite please, I would like to review this site and see what it offers. c.dawson25@gmail.com Thank You.

  58. News and New Media » Blog Archive » Cash for citizen journalists says:

    [...] I’m still covering Online Journalism Review and although there isn’t anything new on the main page since I posted last week, I did find an interesting article about citizen journalims sites.  I know we’ve discussed these before but this article talks specifically about the site newsvine.  I’m not linking to Newsvine because the site is currently in beta testing and is only accesible with a password.  However a description of the site is available here. [...]

  59. Newsvine: Private Beta Review · made in costa rica says:

    [...] Here’s a more in depth review of Newsvine. [...]

  60. notes ~ by craig zheng » Blog Archive » The Question of Social News says:

    [...] My current preferred social news site is Newsvine (which you can read about here, here, or here). So far, I think it does the best job of meeting my personal needs and I think it handles the challenges of the social news model in creative and effective ways. Another site I like is CommonTimes.org. Other social news sites include the aforementioned The News is Now Public, the well-known and largely tech-focused digg, and memeorandum (which has specialized sites focusing on technology and politics). There are also sites that function more like aggregators, such as Rojo, reddit.com, newsgarbage, and Shoutwire; and blog aggregators like Tailrank, Blogniscient, and Wobble. [...]

  61. Woeba says:

    Digg killer Newsvine…

    Newsvine is apparently going to pay users 90% of the profits from advertising on the stories they submit.
    It’s a better model than what Ciao and DooYoo used to have, where they paid users a fixed amount and then couldn’t sustain it, but th…

  62. Woeba says:

    Digg killer Newsvine…

    Newsvine is apparently going to pay users 90% of the profits from advertising on the stories they submit.
    It’s a better model than what Ciao and DooYoo used to have, where they paid users a fixed amount and then couldn’t sustain it, but th…

  63. ANDREAS’ BLOG OF JUST EVERYTHING » Blog Archive » Back to School with the Class of Web 2.0: Part 1 says:

    [...] Newsvine: I could have picked any ol’ news site for this post, but Newsvine is, in my opinion, the best news source for students. It’s a clean and friendly social news site containing articles from the Associated Press, ESPN, and New Scientist as well as user contributions. Students can browse the site comfortably, rate news articles, participate in article discussion, and even start their own news column where they can write and publish articles. More on Newsvine. [...]

  64. Ian says:

    Sounds very interesting. I would welcome an invite. iandavis04@yahoo.com

    Thanks!

  65. ?????? » ?????web2.0???????? says:

    [...] Newsvine???????????????????????Newsvine??????????????????????????????????????ESPN?New Scientist???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? [...]

  66. web live :: Back to School with the Class of Web2.0: Part 1 :: January :: 2007 says:

    [...] Newsvine: I could have picked any ol’ news site for this post, but Newsvine is, in my opinion, the best news source for students. It’s a clean and friendly social news site containing articles from the Associated Press, ESPN, and New Scientist as well as user contributions. Students can browse the site comfortably, rate news articles, participate in article discussion, and even start their own news column where they can write and publish articles. More on Newsvine. [...]

  67. GramBorder says:

    Hi

    I want to all of you know, World is mine, and yoursite good

    Bye

  68. morganusvitus says:

    The site looks great ! Thanks for all your help ( past, present and future !)

  69. alex says:

    hi nice site.

  70. anatol says:

    Nise site!

  71. Technotes - Learning and Research - Newsvine | Crossroads of Learning Journal says:

    [...] June 4, 2007Technotes – Learning and Research – Newsvine Newsvine: I could have picked any ol’ news site for this post, but Newsvine is, in my opinion, the best news source for students. It’s a clean and friendly social news site containing articles from the Associated Press, ESPN, and New Scientist as well as user contributions. Students can browse the site comfortably, rate news articles, participate in article discussion, and even start their own news column where they can write and publish articles. More on Newsvine. [...]

  72. andrea bowen josh henderson says:

    andrea bowen josh henderson…

  73. Gorod says:

    Sehr guten site. Alles arbeitet deutlich, schon eben storungsfrei. Wer machte? Vielleicht vom Weg?

  74. Internet Website Design says:

    it looks like its out of beta now – one of your talking points was the lack of ads – well its got a couple banners now – soon itll have those irritating flash floating banners.. ehhh