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47News, the regional newspaper aggregation site December 25, 2006

Posted by fukumimi in Internet, Japan, Media.
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47News, a new news portal which aggregates content from 52 local and regional newspapers from around Japan and national news from Kyodo News, launched on Christmas Eve. The company behind the site is Press Net Japan, which includes 47 of the newspapers as shareholders.

The site design is generally poor. There is a smattering of “Web 2.0″ish features like a bit of javascript and tag clouds and such. They also have a vaguely interesting map based feature (using the Zenrin map API) which shows the locations of the various news events. No RSS though (which is criminal. If these people want regional news to be seen and read, the best thing is to make it more accessible Stop worring about on-site CPM advertising so much…. So clueless….).

So typical of Japanese old school firms to take an opportunity to make a real change and just let it go begging.

Speaking of no RSS, the Japanese media seem to be slow in picking up on that, none of the big newspapers (Nikkei, Yomiuri, Asahi, Sankei, Mainichi) have RSS feeds on their sites. (Kyodo News does – though it isn’t a model of user friendly RSS implementation, and iza, the Sankei group’s social media portal does too, as does MSN-Mainichi albeit not separated out into news catagories apart from MDN which is the English language portion of the site which is given its own feed)

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Comments»

1. Adamu - December 25, 2006

Asahi DOES have RSS – you just have to go to the site map page to find it. Here’s the URL:

http://www.asahi.com/information/service/rss.html

They only have “breaking news headlines” though and not a selection of what sections or features you might like to focus on.

I feel exactly the same way that Japanese news sites and many other sites NEED rss feeds very badly. The government sites could use them too, for example.

2. kenji mori - December 25, 2006

I’d suppose no RSS respresents, at worst, top down mentality and, at best, ignorance. Nontherless RSS adoptioin rate in Japan would not not be so high at this moment (very few of my colleagues are fully aware of it.)

3. Scott - December 26, 2006

I’ve used Feed43 (www.feed43.com) to create feeds for sites that don’t have them. It solves the problem on a personal level anyway.

4. fukumimi - December 27, 2006

Adamu,

Thanks for the tip on Asahi.
I wholeheartedly agree with your comment that government (national and local) should make use of this technology.

More generally, I was speaking to a colleague in the office about this issue, and she said that various system integrators (large and small) are quoting prices of several million yen for a RSS engine (with SI costs separate, of course). It would seem many potential users may be detered by the pricing. If the users knew any better, they’d be able to find alternative ways of getting RSS on their sites, but they don’t…..


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