Content Aggregation Tools
The internet has more content generated everyday than you could read through in a lifetime (or two!). Fortunately, we have tools designed to help you filter through the noise and give you just what you are looking for. Interested in the latest tech news? Want to become more politically aware? Need to see what's new with education? The tools below have you covered. Each has the ability to bring you what you are interested in, and some even let you save and share stories with others.
Nuzzel sells itself as "News from Friends and Influences". You sign into the app and connect it to your Facebook and/or Twitter accounts. Nuzzel then looks through your feeds and identifies stories that have been linked to and shared by your friends. It learns what you like and then presents those stories in both the app AND in a great newsletter that is emailed to you. I enjoy the service tremendously and have found many interesting articles I would have otherwise scrolled past in my busy social media feeds. Best of all? It's FREE! Check it out on the App Store or at online at http://nuzzel.com
"Your Personal magazine!" Flipboard is an app based magazine for the iPad. When you start Flipboard, you are asked to indicate topics that are interesting to you. It then searches the internet, finding stories that fit those topics and then presents them to you in a magazine format. If you see an article you don’t like, just tap on the thumbs down and you won't see it again. Flipboard learns what you like and customizes your feed to your tastes. Flipboard also allows you to PUBLISH a magazine feed. You can create a magazine made up of articles YOU select and then others can follow. You can find Flipboard in the App store for free.
Pocket was launched as a 'Read it Later' service, and it does a great job at it! As you surf the internet on your computer, phone or tablet, you can send articles and webpages to Pocket and it keeps them all together for you go to back and read later. You don't even need an internet connection! Pocket also can send out a 'Best of Pocket' email with stories that have been popular with other users. You can download Pocket from the App Store on both Mac and iOS and it is free.
Google Alerts takes the power of Google and applies it to things you are interested in. When you create a Google Alert, you select topics or search terms you are interested in. It then searches the web and anytime it finds something new, it sends you an email. For example, I have an alert set up for "Westside High School." Anytime an article is published with "Westside High School" in the title, I receive an email update at the end of the day with links to those stories. It's a great way to stay up to date on things! Go to https://www.google.com/alertsto create alerts for yourself. Like the other apps, this too is free. Note: You need to sign in with a Google account (personal or Westside) to create an alert. To learn more about Google Alerts, check out Google's support page here.