With the vast amount of information now available on the world wide web, it’s no wonder that people are feeling overwhelmed and bombarded with information. How can a person possibly go about sorting it all out? One possible solution is to use good Google search terms, and narrow your searches so that only the exact information you need will appear. But even so, how can you be sure that the information coming your way is up-to-date, contains quality content, is accurate or even relevant etc.? Also, with so much information out there, how can you be sure that you’re not missing the “good bits”?
Below you will find a list of several of the most popular aggregator sites on the net, many of which are my favourites. By no means is it intended to be exhaustive, but perhaps you’ll discover one you’ve never seen or used before!
Web-based News Aggregators:
Probably the most common and original type of aggregator, these sites gather breaking news articles from various sources and present them in one convenient place.
Alltop – The Online Magazine Rack
Alltop – The Online Magazine Rack
- An online “magazine rack” of popular topics
- Stories are updated every hour
- Allows you to search by topic
- A new feature allows you to create your own personalized “magazine rack”
- Google’s solution to news aggregation
- Excellent recommendations and easy to add feeds
- no download needed
- Google Trends and iGoogle integration
Other popular web-based aggregators:
Application-based News Aggregators:
These are news aggregators which require the installation of software on your CPU
Cooliris provides an
- A visual experience that takes you beyond what a standard browser can deliver
- Browse through videos, photos, news stories faster than ever before
- Shop, explore, and research tool all in one beautifully designed package
- Available as an “add on” for most major browsers
Open source at its absolute best
- Mozilla Thunderbird is a free open source email and RSS feed reader all in one
- The fact that it’s open source means that you’ll have the most up-to-date version at all times
Search Term Aggregators and Analytics:
Google Insights gives you the whole story behind popular search terms
- There is so much fun to be had by all with this one! Enter in a search term to produce a graph of interest in that search term over time (scroll your cursor along the graph to get date information). A bar chart graph is also displayed which shows interest in that search term by country.
- Over at the top right in the Filter section, you can use the Worldwide drop down menu to select a country, and see what search terms are popular by country.
- Note that Google Insights is an extension of Google Trends. www.google.com/trends
Twitter Search gives you the most up-to-date scoop on unfolding news events
- Twitter search allows you to search Twitter conversations in real time. For example, you could enter in a search term such as eLearning to bring up hits of conversations about that topic as recently as a few hours ago.
- Discover what people are saying about a unfolding news event in real time
- See this blog post for more info on this new and powerful search tool
Aggregator of Aggregators:
Popurls is an aggregators of aggregators, bringing you the latest in web buzz from Digg, Reddit, Delicious and copious other sources.
Book and Journal Article Aggregators:
Google Scholar allows you to search millions of published academic journals, books and articles
- Are you a scholar, or are you not? It doesn’t matter! With this spectacular Google service you can find and read all of the latest research articles. In some cases a journal subscription may be required to read the full article, but in many cases it is not.
Media Review Aggregators:
Metacritic aggregates reviews on media from around the internet and gives media (movies, music, video games) a score based upon those reviews
- Aggregates reviews of music albums, games, movies, TV shows, DVDs, and books. Gives a numerical score for each review with a color coding.
Rotten Tomatoes – the premier movie review aggregator
- Rotten Tomatoes is a movie review aggregator, that gives movies a binary rating of “fresh” or “rotten”
- Actual humans decide whether or not the reviews are positive or negative, then tabulate the fresh reviews as a percentage of the total number reviewed. 60% positive reviews will get the movie a rating of fresh.
- Rotten Tomatoes is one of the most popular movie review websites on the net
Job Site Aggregators:
WowJobs.ca brings Canadian job listings under one roof
- WowJobs is a job posting aggregator for job postings all across Canada. This service will pick up postings from all the major employments sites such as Monster and Workopolis, in addition to postings from individual company sites and organizations.
Blog Posting Aggregators:
Technorati is the internet’s largest blog aggregator
- A web-based search engine for blogs with an easy to navigate categorical database of hundreds of thousands of blogs
Browse popular blog postings from all areas of the net
Find me on Twitter: @jacbird and @masitblog
Do you have any suggestions of some less popular aggregators not mentioned here? Send me your comments and I’ll include them in my next installment!