Popurls has quickly grown to be one of my favorite websites helping me keep track what’s buzzing around the web. It’s a simple site that aggregates popular social services and websites such as Digg, Del.icio.us, Reddit, Flickr, and more. Each site gets its own area on the page listing the latest items and users can hover over items to get a summary. It’s great because it gives you a quick glimpse at what’s buzzing around the web and beats having to subscribe to all of the sites.
It’s clear people like these kind of sites and Popurls has seemed to start a chain or a class of these sites carrying on the concept. I’m not exactly sure what to call these sites as they are basically one page feed aggregators, but I suppose it’s safe to say they present the links, media, and search in a portal like fashion. So, I am going to call these sites “portals” throughout the post rather then saying, “Single Page Aggregator.” Please, if you know of a better name to call these sites, feel free to add your input.
There are two portals that I check up on numerous times a day: Popurls and Digg View. Popurls for the latest buzz and Digg View for an easy to read overview of activity at Digg. Just recently a new portal popped up called Original Signal and Steve Rubel had mentioned in a post on the new portal, “There seems to be a new emerging class of sites like these that aggregate feeds for you.” I started thinking about it and agree that there are quite a bit of these sites now, some covering buzz and others specific topics, and so I decided to take a look around and see what I can find.
After compiling a list of portals, I grouped them into categories and decided to share them with you. Hopefully there will be at least one that will be of interest to you. You can find in my list of portals: Tracking Buzz and News (Digg, Del.icio.us, etc.), Tracking Web 2.0, Specialty Topics (Gaming, Tech Deals, Apple, etc.), Design Related News and Showcase, Media Aggregators, Build Your Own, and lastly, Tag Search Engines.
My Two Top Picks
Popurls: Most of you are probably familiar with this one. Popurls has the goal of bringing you the latest buzz around the web aggregating popular social services and websites and display them all on one page. Viewers can view popular headlines from sites such as Digg, Del.icio.us, Reddit, Newsvine, and TailRank as well as keep up on media from Flickr, Youtube, Odeo, iFilm, and more. If your trying to find what’s new and buzzing on the web, Popurls is the place to be and most definitely takes place on my Firefox toolbar.
Digg View: I’m a big fan of Digg and try to keep up with the latest popular headlines as much as possible. I come across many helpful articles because of Digg relating to Web 2.0, web programming, database optimization, and other tech related topics, but I also use Digg to keep up with videos and gaming. However, rather then using Digg’s website to track popular headlines, I use Digg View. Digg View offers a one page overview of the seven Digg categories showing popular headlines during different time-frames of the day. The site makes it very easy to keep up with what’s popular on Digg and also marks stories that you haven’t seen in orange. I love it. I sit here all day refreshing the page over and over waiting for new orange headlines to appear so I can view the latest popular story on Digg.
Tracking Buzz (What’s Hot) and News
The following portals include the latest popular links and news from various social bookmarking sites, blogs, and news sources. You can expect to see these portals aggregating sites like Digg, Del.icio.us, and Reddit. Personally, I’ll be sticking with Popurls, but maybe you prefer different.
- TheWebList: “A digest of the latest links other web users are visiting right now!” It’s basically the same thing as Popurls, but without the media. It provides bookmarking and search options and summaries when hovering headlines.
- popfeeds: popfeeds is a very clean and simple overview of popular feeds. If it weren’t for Popurls, this would probably be the one I would use because it’s very fast loading and gets straight to the point.
- ViralBabble: Although it isn’t all that pretty, one feature that I like about ViralBabble is archiving. Navigating to the bottom of the page will be a link to an archive section where you can actually view snapshots of previous days. So if you were out of the house yesterday and wanted to see what was buzzing, you can easily do so with ViralBabble.
- PopFeedo: By the makers of Feedo Style and powered by Feedo Style, PopFeedo aggregates and displays six popular feeds including Digg, Del.icio.us, Wired Technology, Reddit, Slashdot, and Yahoo’s Top News.
- 01b (Source): I probably shouldn’t be mentioning this one as it will probably be shutting down any day now, but 01b is Thomas Marben’s first creation that aggregates sites similar to his now popular, Popurls. Except this one aggregates a whole lot more sources, some in German.
You may be thinking, “Alright, why are you writing a post about these portals? Don’t they all show the same thing?” No! There are actually portals built for specific topics, such as gaming and photography. If you have an interest in a certain topic, maybe one of these can help you stay on top of relating news. If not, head down to the “Build Your Own,” area of this post.
- WiiNintendo: Nintendo fans, this one is for you. Excited about the new Nintendo Wii? If so, bookmark WiiNintendo to keep up with the latest news from Nintendo, The Wiire, Joystiq, and 1UP as well as videos on Wii from YouTube.
- Mashfot: Mashfot is all about photography. With Mashfot, users can find the latest news and popular links relating to photography and view the latest photographs from various photo sharing websites. View photos from Flickr and 23, news from Digg and Blogs, and links from Del.icious and Blinklist.
- PopDeal: Here is one for all of you tech-savvy individuals that want to save a buck or two on tech hardware. PopDeals brings you the latest tech deals from around the web by aggregating numerous websites specifically meant for deals on products, including DealNews, TechBargains, DealCatcher, and more.
- Don’t Meet Your Heroes: “Compilation of CSS and Web Standards related resources and news feeds from sources around the net.” The site claims to aggregate CSS and Web Standard sites only, although you will see a mix of other sources relating to Web 2.0, programming, Ajax, and more. Nice and simple page.
- MacScour: By the makers of Don’t Meet Your Heroes, MacScour scours the web for Apple news and Mac software updates. Keep up with latest news, software updates, rumors, reviews, and more.
- BozPages: Alex Bosworth of SourceLabs has created a neat site that basically allows you to make your own Popurls like page, or as he calls them, “simple one-off pages of RSS feeds.” He also provides some that he has created that aggregates feeds relating to Gaming, Web 2.0, Movies, Ajax, Google, and more. Only problem is that the pages seem to run a bit slow at times.
- Update: Original Signal Gadgets: Just as I published this post, Original Signal has created another site built to aggregate gadget related sites. The site includes Gizmondo, Engadget, CNET’s Gadget Blog, CrunchGear, and more.
Tracking Web 2.0
You’ve probably guessed this category was coming. The following portals aggregate blogs covering Web 2.0. If you like keeping up with all the new startups and products but don’t like subscribing to so many feeds, you may want to keep track of one of these sites. My personal favorite is Original Signal.
- Original Signal: Launched this month, Original Signal aggregates 15 Web 2.0 blogs showing recent posts and summaries. What’s also neat is that if you have visited the site before, new posts will stand out in bold the next time you visit. Original Signal is also by the makers of Digg View.
- Web 2.0 Workgroup: The Web 2.0 Workgroup is a small network of sites covering Web 2.0, which thankfully Solution Watch is a part of, and has a main page that displays each site aggregating three latest posts.
- Web 2.0 Reference: Web 2.0 Reference aggregates feeds relating to Web 2.0 and organizes them neatly on one page where you can sort them by Source or Category.
Design Related News and Showcase
Even though I am a web programmer, I’m definitely a sucker for anything design. I’ve known about a couple of these portals, but I grabbed my brother, Tim Benzinger, who is a graphic designer (also designed this blog), and had him help me gather some more for you.
- Most Inspired: Need inspiration? Check out Most Inspired, a portal that aggregates design galleries and showcases designs by hovering over each headline. I can spend my whole day on this site looking through all of the excellent design work.
- Enure Feeds: Enure includes feeds from popular design sites including k10k, lounge72, australian INfront, News Today, and more. Enure does not necessarily aggregate its sources but includes them using iframes. Nevertheless, it’s a nice portal that has some high profile design sources.
- Design Feeds: Design Feeds is a new one to me and I love it. It has many sources displayed in iframes, some that are galleries with visuals, others that are news relating to design and web development. The owner did a nice job at aggregating each source in individual frames styled to the sources appearance. I’m sure any designer can appreciate this site.
- Linkgrab: Linkgrab is a simple site that allows you to pick three design related websites and retrieve links from each. You can change the feeds at anytime and keep checking back. It would be nice if it allowed you to display more then three on a page.
For those of you that are interested in keeping up with popular videos, these portals may be for you. They are one page sites that display popular videos, with thumbnails, from video sharing sites. Warning, it is easy to waste hours of your free time watching videos ;-).
- The Internet TV Charts: “The Internet TV charts tracks the most popular online video clips each week from four leading Internet TV sites. All the best video clips, on one page.” Simple site showing popular Google and YouTube videos as well as links to Digg (video topic) and Videosift.
- vdiddy: Neat site that allows you to view videos from 12 different video sources. You can select a site and then watch the videos directly in vdiddy.
- Magg: Created with recently launched Dapper, Magg aggregates the latest and greatest movies from various video sharing sites. You can also search through the aggregated sites for videos.
Build Your Own!
Haven’t found any portals that caught your interest? Then build your own! I have three methods for you. You can use services offering one page aggregators, use your favorite start page site (ie: Netvibes), or use a simple Tag Search site and bookmark it for later reference.
- One Page Aggregators: I know of two services that can help you make your own portal in a matter of minutes. The first is SpeedyFeed (Example: Popular) and it basically allows you to import your favorite feeds and have them all displayed on one page in a similar format to Popurls. The second option is BozPages, which I had mentioned earlier. Simply head over to the website and add your favorite feeds to get a one page aggregator.
- Start Pages: You can also make your own by using a start page. I personally like to use Netvibes, but any start page will do. 3spots has an extensive list of start pages worth checking out. Also, if you are a Netvibes user, don’t forget about the Netvibes Ecosystem. You can add tabs on various topics to your account in a single click.
- Tag Search: The last method I am aware of is by using tag search sites. Now, it can’t be just any tag search site (well, it can if you want), but one that allows you to bookmark and retrieve results from multiple sources, preferably blog searches and social services. My favorite one is Newzpile. You can also use TagJag and the recently released, TagFetch. Just make a search, bookmark the page, and check back later for more recent headlines.
That concludes my findings! Hope you have found a portal that interests you. If you know of any other similar sites, feel free to comment below. And again, my two top picks are: Popurls and Digg View. Popurls provides me with more then enough of the latest buzz around the web and Digg View compliments Digg so well making it easy to keep up with popular headlines. If I had to choose a third, I would have to go with Most Inspired because it provides tons of inspirational work to browse through.
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