Where Africa and Technology Collide!

My Top 5 News Tools

This is the last of my 3 posts on useful websites and web applications. You might also be interested in my “Top 10 Web Tools for Bloggers” and “Top 5 Web Apps for (Web Savvy) Small Businesses“.

Information is the key to knowledge. However, in today’s world there is a glut of information and trying to weed through it is difficult. I use the following services to help me find news items that might interest me, and to cut down on the amount of time I have to search in order to find something intersting on any particular subject.

Newshutch RSS readerNewshutch is a newsreader, or RSS reader. If you follow a lot of different blogs, or even just a couple, you should try this tool out. Just enter in the blogs that you want to track, and whenever they are updated it will show in your Newshutch page. They provide a neat tool that you can drag to your toolbar that makes it easy to add a new blog to your Newshutch account without ever leaving the web site that you’re visiting. It’s great because it’s not based on what computer you’re on – check your feeds from any computer in the world.

RedditReddit is a social news site “for what’s new and popular”. At first glance it seems a lot like Digg, however that assumption would be deceiving, because Reddit actually learns what types of news items you like and don’t like. It then serves those genres of stories up to you more regularly. This is a daily read for me. (note: a close favorite of mine is Muti, which has African news, designed much like Reddit by my friend Neville Newey)

NewsvineIf you want to see what’s going on in the world, Newsvine is the place to go. They have succesfully married up traditional news feeds from Reuters with submissions by the general public. Newsvine is the future of web-based news, even though the news industry doesn’t realize it yet.

DiggBesides being a media darling, Digg is actually a great place to find out about breaking news as well as a way to get more attention for a particular story. It is a democratic process, where all the users “digg” stories (or not). The more they are dugg, the higher the chance that they’ll be pushed to the front page of the site and get hundreds of thousands of views. Digg has re-written the way news works, and it’s starting to filter out past the geeks and into ordinary people’s lives. Looking for a good blog story, take a look at Digg.

Muti - African News AggregatorMuti does what Reddit and Digg do, except for Africa. Recently highlighted in CNN’s Business 2.0 magazine as one of the most innovative startups around the world, Muti is on it’s way to greater things. Whether you’ve just found some interesting news about Africa, or are looking to find some, this is the place to come. Register and make your vote count for any of the stories. It’s the brainchild of my friend and collegue Neville Newey. Together we plan on taking it to the next level under the name Zangu.


  1. Asante for the new tools. I will take a look at newshute, it looks interesting.

    Take care and love to your ladies

  2. hash! I am wondering why i would want to change from bloglines for example to newshute ? I dont see what is the difference? MentalAcrobatics also recommended yet another newsreader, cant remember the name but I think his was a pc based one which isnt so great if travel. The thing with all these is that there are so many you could spend your whole time wondering from diggit to newsvine and back to reddit and wow the day has disapppppppeared!

  3. Good points Sokari. With all the different news services, which ones should you use and why? At the end of the day it will come down to personal tastes – just as deciding which TV news station to watch, or which newspaper to read.

    My suggestion is for you to test out the Diggs, Reddits and Newsvines of the web and see what best fits your style. You’re right, if you try and use all of them you’ll end up reading all day and get nothing meaningful done.

    You also asked why I suggest Newshutch over Bloglines or any other web-based news reader. Again, the answer is preference. Newshutch is dead simple to use and shows the stories the way I want them to show. Simple is important to me, not because I can’t figure out a more difficult one, but because I don’t want to.

    I usually suggest against using a computer-based news reader (as opposed to a web-based one), simply because it allows you to go anywhere in the world with an internet connection and you can access your news. You don’t need your computer.

  4. As a new convert (to Newshutchl thanks Hash), I have to agree with your comment back to Sokari. I just LIKE it better than Sage. It looks good, which, though shallow I admit, matters to me.
    Paul always says, “Preference is irrational.” Indeed.

  5. Humm…I’m trying out Newshutch. Pretty slick. I’ve got over 200 in Bloglines and one thing I’m missing already in newshutch is that I can’t email the post. Am I missing something?

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