Ask.com has just unveiled the latest addition to their line-up of features – BigNews. As you can probably figure out from the name, it’s a news-related product like Google News or Yahoo News. Except, Ask.com has put their own social media spin on it, and integrates something they call “BigFactor” to give you more telling information about the story. Ask.com also includes video, images, and blog posts related to each story, making it a more dynamic offering.
To access BigNews point your browser to news.ask.com. Bignews.com does not take you there! The domain is for sale through Sedo though, so I can’t help but wonder why Ask doesn’t just plunk down the money and buy it. You can bet the seller’s asking price has probably just jumped though.
The layout of BigNews is very clean and organized – something a library person like me really appreciates. The main page features a headline story on the left side, with large picture and links to related articles, blog posts, images, and videos, and then on the right side, there are some other top stories, albeit with small images. Below that, the news is divided up into categories. Next to each story, there’s also a BigFactor, which rates each story on for components:
This factor accounts for the timeliness and freshness of a story, giving more weight to breaking news.
This factor tracks a story’s impact across the Web, monitoring mentions in articles, multimedia and blogs.
This factor identifies the number of quality images and videos associated with stories, providing rich insight.
In a sense, the Web is like one big water cooler. This factor weighs the level of those discussions and which ones are making the most noise.
Clicking on “track” on the BigFactor box, you’ll be able to see how each story rates for each of the four components. The BigFactor score is an average of the scores.
Further down the main BigNews page, you’ll see a bunch of stories fed in from Digg. Personally, I think Ask could do without that part. If I want to go to Digg, I’ll go to Digg, I don’t need you to remind me to, and most of the stories shown are those without a single Digg! Either way though, it makes me wonder what kind of deal they’ve going on with Digg.
All in all, I really like BigNews so far. What I, and I am sure others, are most interested in is how to take advantage of this for my own website. How do you get your blog or news site on their list of sites that are included? This is what I’d like to find out. The more sources of traffic, the better!