Saturday, October 29, 2005

A new visualization of news

I don't know if you guys have noticed this, but CNet is showcasing a new way of following news links. Here's what happens - when you read a CNet story (this one, for example), there's a section on the right which shows you the article in some kind of "article-topic space", also viewable in full-screen mode.

This view has three types of objects - articles, topics and companies, with links between objects that connect - for example, all articles related to Oracle Corp will be connected to Oracle and most of them will be connected to databases. Some of them might be connected to, say security or open-source, depending on the content of the article. Each topic, say databases, is also linked to other articles on databases (which may deal with MySQL for example). This is already nice enough given that I can follow the topics in the news around an article.

Whats better is that you can switch focus to any other object in the space. Shifting focus from our article, we can go to Security, which can lead us to Microsoft - and so on to any other article on the site. Which, I think, is a supremely cool idea! Here's what CNet have to say about this feature.