NewsCred, the news aggregator that ranks stories by the credibility of their source, has launched to the public. Instead of relying on popularity as many social news sites do, NewsCred instead allows users to rate each story, author, and publication’s credibility, which is then plugged into an algorithm to determine the site’s prominent headlines.
We originally introduced the site last May when it launched in private alpha. Since then, NewsCred has implemented a number of new features, including a more thorough search, topic-specific pages, and a section for breaking news.
My biggest criticism when I first reviewed the site was the apparently weak implementation of the credibility algorithm, or even the viability of creating one in the first place. Credibility is very difficult to measure, and can often be misleading. News organizations that break news may be less accurate, as tips aren’t always reliable. But is a news source that simply rehashes established information really a better alternative? The site has responded to these issues, among others, by implementing its breaking news section and tweaking its algorithm, but it is still a work in progress.
Because the site has remained private until now, the credibility scores at launch aren’t particularly meaningful, which makes it hard to judge how effective the system will be. But even if the credibility rankings turn out to be ineffective, NewsCred could still be a success. The site offers a clean and intuitive news aggregator that will appeal to users who may not be fond of traditional RSS readers. Similar offerings (that rely on different recommendation systems) include Regator and Socialmedian.