This used to be a much more difficult thing to talk about. As more and more news sources moved online, it seemed like it was going to be pretty easy to find news that you wanted to read. However, what’s happening now is that you’re finding that some of your favorite sites are moving to a paid model. What this has done for me is taken me back to many of the news sources I used to check out before I got more specific with news.

I’m probably not the only one who looks at news online. Local news is also online, but I tend to want to watch that when it’s live. This is for all that other news, including news you never even thought you wanted to know about. And none of these sites cost you a thing; those are excluded. These aren’t necessarily the people who put out the news; just a place where you can go to get the news you want.

Excite is my favorite place to go for customized news for only this reason; it doesn’t require you to go to an extra page before you can see your news. At one point they had created a sales page that used to pop in before it took you to a news story but those days seem to be gone. You can select from tons of choices, select from hundreds of colors and backgrounds, and it’s a lot of fun. The best feature for me is the TV listings at the bottom, which no other news site, even my local sites, don’t give me. You can customize it based on the type of service you have, and then customize it to see only the channels you want to see; neat! The only gripe I have is that you can’t get rid of their own advertising content along the left side and at the top, but truthfully, I don’t even notice it anymore, and only noticed it when deciding to write this post.

My Yahoo is my number two source of customized news. It’s not the first place I go, but I love that it has more news sources to select from than Excite. It also has all the customization that Excite has. My one gripe is that many of the links you hover over have a plus sign come up, which means you’ll either have to click on that to go to a preview page and then the news, or you can hold down on control and click on it and go to the news story. It’s a small irritation, but one just the same.

CNN is always the first site I go to for my news. It’s clean, efficient, and at least the headlines are always up to date. I’ve customized Firefox so I see it differently than most people do. If I have a gripe, it’s that it doesn’t update the minor news stories as often as it updates everything else. Still, it’s quick and easy access to current news.

MSNBC is another great news source that allows for minor customization of where you get your news from. Very minor; for instance, the closest local news I get is about 30 minutes away. But they have lots of content and change it more often than CNN does.

Reuters is a great news choice and has lots of coverage of overseas issues, which for some of you makes it more valuable than my truly American slantings. Still, it looks like it customizes itself based on your location, which probably means I’m seeing a much different front page than someone would in another country. It also offers a different slant on the news that, for me, is sometimes enjoyed and hated at the same time, but always intriguing.

And there you go; now, go learn something!


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