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Interface Final Project: Stage 3 – Narrative Description

November 26, 2007

My project will be a news media aggregator that will be divided into two categories of news feeds including subcategories of “real”/”important” news and the category of “frivolous”/celebrity gossip-type news. This aggregator only concentrates on American media coverage and will be a visual interpretation that studies the culture of American media and media coverage that will be available to everyone. It will have a similar interface design to Instant Messenger or a Mac widget in that it will be simple and user-friendly, and will not take up too much room on the computer’s desktop. One part of the interface will display a variety of news stories being reported in real-time which can be filtered by subcategory or topic chosen by the user, and the other part will solely concentrate on celebrity gossip media. It will act similarly to an RSS reader in that it will constantly update as stories are posted to the web (the actual news sources that will be aggregated is yet to be determined, but most likely it will be pulled from Google news and another news source). I would like each news story being fed to the interface to be able to visually show how many news sources are reporting on that particular story’s topic in addition to somehow displaying an estimated number of people reading or clicking on that particular news story.

This project is designed for media culture and technology “junkies” or anyone who regularly subscribes and reads RSS feeds, blogs, and is always up-to-date on the latest news stories for work or pleasure purposes. It will be useful to anyone who spends most hours of the day in front of a computer screen and enjoys exploring web applications and widgets for receiving a variety of news content and information.

It will be based within the realm of web technology and will also involve programming (the specific type is to be determined in later research) for aggregating the news sources for the live feeds, and for calculating the amount of news sources reporting each story and the readership for each story.

Outside of the classroom, people will be able to see my project not far from their own desktops! It will be a free download (just like AOL Instant Messanger) and will available to anyone who wants to have a running news feed on their computer desktops at their fingertips without having to open a browser window or search the internet for specific categories of news stories.

Through this project, I hope people gain a perception of how our news media culture works, with regards to identifying what American news media culture reports, doesn’t report and should, or reports unnecessarily and too often. I also hope to spark an interest for users to keep up with important news more regularly if they did not before, and to recognize the importance of staying educated and up-to-date on important topics that could impact our lives, thus, to become more culturally aware citizens.

Other related images/projects:

Maramushi Newsmap:

maramushi newsmap

Google News:

google news

Dapper:

dappers

Dapper is a program that allows anyone to create content feeds by extracting and reusing content from any website into a variety of different formats such as RSS feeds, widgets, HTML, Google gadgets, etc.

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