Newsle is a relatively new tool that scans the Internet and notifies you about articles on “you, your friends and colleagues, and anyone else you care about.” The results are gathered and presented to you on your Newsle page and via email. Think Google Alerts meets Tumblr.
The site went live last year and was founded by two Harvard students. According to its website, Newsle scans the web continuously and uses a “disambiguation algorithm” to decide if the person named in the article is really the one you want it to scan for. It seems to have received positive reviews so far.
You can sign up using your email, Facebook account, or Linkedin account. This allows you to give Newsle access to your list of friends as well as politicians, celebrities, or anyone else you many want to follow. You then receive emails when a potential new article comes up allowing you confirmation.
Once I set up my own account and started following a few friends and celebrities, I found the Newsle site to have a nice look and feel. Articles show up in a tumblr-esque series of titles and the first few sentences of an article. I also really enjoy the “awesome” button (which is akin to “like” on Facebook). There is also a “submit article” button in case Newsle missed something.
As usual, our key question when a new tool emerges is — is Newsle worth your time? For me personally, Newsle doesn’t hold much value as I am not in the news and neither are my friends. If I want to find out information about a particular celebrity, I will just Google them. However, if you want to receive every tidbit of information on a celebrity or politician or if you find yourself in the news all the time, then Newsle may be for you.
From a PR and business perspective, the tool has some practical uses, but it doesn’t accomplish anything new.
Final take: Newsle has yet to “take off” (President Obama only has 1,386 followers), so while it is a fun tool that could be worth checking out personally, hold on investing your professional time quite yet.