MyTimes. MyPost. MyThis, MyThat.
Without getting too far into slagging existing products for duplicating RSS readers or an iGoogle or MyYahoo or NetVibes personalized home page, let’s jump straight into a proposition:
If your newspaper makes me register and login to read stories, or participate in polls, or (important one here) add comments to stories, you’re going to need to give me something in return.
It’s a simple matter of give and take. I give you my personal information — even if it’s just an e-mail address — and you give me something — other than access, which I can get with BugMeNot if I really want it — in return.
And now, to the chase.
Here’s what I want:
I want to save my favorite stories, right here, at your newspaper.com. Because really, what’s the sense in Digging a story about my neighborhood? There’s no value in that, and it’s pushing it to say that Delicious or Reddit or any of the other social bookmarking tools we offer to readers have any real value to them at all — perhaps excluding Facebook.
When I share a local news story, I want to share it with my neighborhood. Hence, Facebook might still be useful to me to get a local news link in front of a classmate or a colleague or a friend from around the corner.
So why don’t newspapers offer something like a Digg profile, that keeps track of the stories that I save.
Then, instead of using a clumsy ‘e-mail this story’ function or copy/pasting an elaborate URL, I could just click the [save this story] button and point my friends to an URL like “newspaper.com/readers/gort581.”
Consider this a feature request, developers.