Callum Borchers' Blog

Sociologically significant sports (and class assignments)

Taking a whack at the Pinyadda

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It’s a mediocre idea, and at the moment, it’s not well executed. That’s my take on Pinyadda, which calls itself a social news RSS reader.

To be fair, I’ve never used an RSS reader consistently anyway, so my lukewarm appraisal may reflect a broader sentiment. As we watched “The Power of Pinyadda” in class, I just couldn’t buy into this notion that it’s “too much work” to visit multiple news sites individually, that I need some kind of aggregator to simplify my life by bringing the news to me in one, central location.

But, even if I suspend my own opinion for a moment and go along with this argument, I’m not sure Pinyadda is the service I’d choose. While the site presents stories “pinned” by folks I follow in a Facebook-esque news feed, it still navigates to other sites when I click on headlines. By contrast, I can read full-length stories in Google Reader without ever leaving that site. If I’m going to be lazy, I want to be really lazy.

Then there’s the juvenile badge system, which makes me feel more like a gamer than a news consumer. Frankly, I have no interest in becoming a curator or a maven — or bearing any digital status symbol, for that matter.

And I don’t find Pinyadda to be very intuitive. For example, I think it’s slightly odd that I can’t comment on a story by clicking on a story. I have to click on a tiny comment bubble below a story, or the name of the last person to comment on a story, to leave my own thoughts.

These are fairly minor flaws, but my point is this: A website that isn’t a bare necessity must attract uses by being super convenient. And, right now, Pinyadda doesn’t fit that description. That doesn’t mean it won’t get there, but it probably won’t be my thing, even if it does.


Written by callumborchers

December 9, 2010 at 4:16 am

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