Opinion: New Site “Trove” May Change Online News As We Know It

by Jon Gonzalez, Staff Writer 358 views0

Trove.com isn’t so much “video killed the radio star” as much as it’s “YouTube killed MTV.”

Trove, launched today by the Washington Post, is the latest creation in online journalism that promises to revolutionize the way you receive your news – but this isn’t your typical RSS feed.

Better yet, think of Pandora and Google News thrown in a blender on high, with a pinch of the cool and personalized aspects of Facebook sprinkled on top, and voila! You have Trove.com.

First announced by the Wall Street Journal in February, Trove.com provides more than 10,000 different news sources to users, who can then add whichever sources they like to channels on their Trove homepage. In fact, as of the first day’s launch, users can only log in if they have a Facebook account, as the site uses Facebook Connect to “borrow” information from the popular social networking site, such as pages they “Like.”

For instance, on Facebook, I “Like” the pages of California State University, Northridge (CSUN) and Google. After logging in to Trove, Google and CSUN are on my list of channels available to me. As updates come throughout the day, my channels change in a modern fashion that makes RSS feeds comparable to carrying around a Walkman.

Sorry, Sony.

In fact, you can carry it on your iPad and iPhone (coming soon) and it’s already available as an app for Blackberry and Android users. Plus, unlike rival sites like News.me, it’s completely free.

What’s most interesting about the launch of Trove may be the timing. Both the New York Times and Wall Street Journal recently announced new revenue-building ventures, including the Times’ attempt to charge users wanting to read most of the articles on their website. Even the WSJ bought iCurrent.com, another news aggregator similar to Trove that may or may not prove to be better. But Trove brings a “hip” factor that tries to appeal to the younger generations, and so far I’m impressed.

Shocking is also that The Washington Post is willing to go beyond their own publication to get users what they want. Paying for the New York Times online only gets you access to New York Times stories, which is generally high quality content, of course. But if I’ve learned one thing as an aspiring professional journalist, sticking to one news source may be as dangerous as not reading news at all.

How long Trove lasts remains to be seen, as once-promising MySpace and Yahoo! are now left hanging in the balance next to Facebook and Google. But it seems like the sky’s the limit in terms of upside for Trove, and it’s a Web 2.0 world out there, so log on and see it.