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5 Ways to Aggregate Your News (And Why You Must)




Why Develop a News Obsession?

Not only is having your finger on the pulse of the news a good idea because it is blog inspiration, but it helps you steer the big ship that is your business. Staying on top of relevant news is the best way to know what’s coming next. There are several ways to gather news (and of course ways to mesh several of these tools).

Five Ways

(1) NewsMap visualizes global news by category. It’s a modern visualization of a newspaper, so you’ll hone in on the information relevant to you the same way you do with a newspaper (by ignoring the parts that don’t matter to you). I love this tool because it is stimulating and gives me a broad view of today’s headlines and it updates itself frequently.

(2) TheClozing is the “real estate watercooler,” aggregating real estate headlines from news sources as well as blogs. Founder Joe Ferrara said the idea was conceived on a napkin at a NY diner ironically named “Joe’s.” The Clozing is great for the real estate industry because the algorithm updates related articles from around the blogiverse and helps agents keep their finger on the pulse of critical information.

(3) Alltop aggregates RSS feeds of many real estate blogs and is an easy non-committal way to read industry blogs without subscribing to them. A quick look at the overall picture can give you a sense of the current sentiment as you can see several hundred headlines on a single page.

(4) Guzzle allows you to customize search terms as well as see current headlines. This is a great alternative to subscribing to a lot of search terms that come to your email inbox and it is easy to delete topics, add topics and it’s cool that it is combing non-traditionally in some of the social networks rather than strictly google.

(5) iGoogle is a landing page for all of your google activities- you can have your calendar, tasks, docs, digg activity and (most importantly for this article) your RSS feed reader. Completely customizable, iGoogle is a well organized way to see the RSS feeds you’ve subscribed to along with the rest of your pertinent information.

What is your favorite way to aggregate your news? is not affiliated with NewsMap, theClozing, Alltop, Guzzle or Google.

Lani is the Chief Operating Officer at The American Genius - she has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH and Austin Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

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  1. Todd Carpenter

    July 15, 2009 at 10:49 am

    I use a feed reader. But instead of subscribing to rss feeds from specific blogs, I subscribe to rss feeds from specific google blog searches. I also use google news alerts, smart brief, and there’s internal staff here at NAR that monitor the web.

    But the main tool I use to find interesting posts, is Twitter. That’s how I found this post.

  2. Ryan Jones

    July 15, 2009 at 10:55 am

    Great links Lani. I agree it is very important to stay on top of the news if you are going to consider yourself a professional and a market leader. Which I hope we are all striving to be. Thanks again!

  3. tomferry

    July 15, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    Hey Lani- Thx for the share with TheClozing Great site …. yours and Linsey’s blogs are right there front and center.


  4. jf.sellsius.theclozing

    July 15, 2009 at 5:30 pm

    @Tomferry– thanks for the support, Tom.

    Lani, Thanks for mentioning

    I use a feedreader. It regularly gets backed up and I have to run through 400+ sites– arrgh. So we decided to funnel a hand-picked feedreader thru an algorithm to pull real estate news and organize it in one place. We also added a human editor. The result– a fast, easy digest of news from mainstream and social media, regularly updated, like a ticker tape. We will be aggregating more social media news in the future.

    IMO the feedreader is not very useful for real estate professionals who are working– it’s a time suck and it gets backed up very quickly, discouraging use. The majority of agents don’t even have one.

    (I know we’re onto something because my wife is a regular visitor. She doesn’t have a feedreader. )

    Besides the sites you mention, there is BreakingNews, which pulls hyperlocal Twitter tweets (I’m working with Pat Kitano & Kevin Boer on this project).

    For current keyword mentions (news ?) I use Tweetbeep; Monitter, and Backtype, as well as Google alerts. (there are other stealth means)

    The trend is definitely toward current news, thanks to Twitter. Even search engines are getting into the act of searching current news– take a look at Collecta.

    That’s enough babbling. Thanks again.
    PS: My partner in theClozing is Anthony Barba

  5. Shane

    July 15, 2009 at 7:14 pm

    Thanks for the great news sites. Google does have a great feed reader.

  6. jf.sellsius.theclozing

    July 15, 2009 at 9:47 pm

    BTW, I found this post on theClozing.

  7. Jim Rake

    July 16, 2009 at 9:03 am

    Another reminder of why I keep coming back for more. Thanks!

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Social Media

*New* TikTok Insights launch: Content creators finally get audience analytics

(SOCIAL MEDIA) The popular short-form app, TikTok, finally launches the anticipated Insights feature, where content creators can view target audience data.



Two girls filming on TikTok.

Marketers searching for the zeitgeist which means TikTok scrollers pause to watch their content and then click through to buy a product have a new tool to help make that happen.

  • TikTok Insights offers marketers bite-size bits of user demographic information that will help build content that leads to sales.
  • With TikTok Insights you can learn more about your audience’s behavior, their interests, and their general sentiment toward brands.
  • TikTok Insights is free to use. Marketers can find TikTok user demographics by using filters to determine what they’re looking for.

The demographic info can be age-focused, focused on specific types of marketing, or even as specific as holiday or event marketing.

This is a step in the direction marketers have been asking for as they create content for the TikTok platform; however, creators looking for detailed analytics like they get from meta need to wait. Insights doesn’t offer that for now.

Like TikTok says in its own analytic information,

“While analytics are helpful in understanding the performance of your videos, you don’t need to create future videos based primarily around them. It’s best to consider the bigger picture, lean lightly on analytics, and use them as a source for insight rather than strategy.”

Marketers trying to key into reaching TikTok’s billion users worldwide are left, right now, searching for the magic that leads to consumers making the jump from the platform to using their purchasing power.

For marketers that means keeping things creative and collaborative, two key factors in TikTok’s success. And that success is huge. Users spend an average of 52 minutes on the platform when they log in and a staggering 90% of users say they log on every day.

TikTok Insights will help marketers find ways to connect, but the content TikTok is looking for is authentic.

And while entrepreneurs can bid for advertising like other social media platforms, they need to remember when planning that spend, that most TikTok marketing success stories are more accidental than planned. Have fun with that knowledge. Instead of pressure to create the perfect plan, TikTok Insights allows marketers to keep it creative and to find a way to tie it into what they enjoy about the platform.

Like all other social media marketing, focus on creating content that stops the consumer from their continual scroll. Make it a challenge and keep it real.

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Social Media

Grindr got busted for selling users’ data locations to advertisers

(SOCIAL MEDIA) User data has been a hot topic in the tech world. It’s often shared haphazardly or not protected, and the app Grindr, follows suit.



Grindr on phone in man's hands

If you’re like me, you probably get spam calls a lot. Information is no longer private in this day and age; companies will buy and sell whatever information they can get their hands on for a quick buck. Which is annoying, but not necessarily outright dangerous, right?


Grindr has admitted to selling their user’s data, however, they are specifically selling the location of their users without regard for liability concerns. Grindr, a gay hook-up app, is an app where a marginalized community is revealing their location to find a person to connect to. Sure, Grindr claims they have been doing this less and less since 2020, but the issue still remains: they have been selling the location of people who are in a marginalized community – a community that has faced a huge amount of oppression in the past and is still facing it to this day.

Who in their right mind thought this was okay? Grindr initially did so to create “real-time ad exchanges” for their users, to find places super close to their location. Which makes sense, sort of. The root of the issue is that the LGBTQAI+ community is a community at risk. How does Grindr know if all of their users are out? Do they know exactly who they’re selling this information to? How do they know that those who bought the information are going to use it properly?

They don’t have any way of knowing this and they put all of their users at risk by selling their location data. And the data is still commercially available! Historical data could still be obtained and the information was able to be purchased in 2017. Even if somebody stopped using Grindr in, say, 2019, the fact they used Grindr is still out there. And yeah, the data that’s been released has anonymized, Grindr claims, but it’s really easy to reverse that and pin a specific person to a specific location and time.

This is such a huge violation of privacy and it puts people in real, actual danger. It would be so easy for bigots to get that information and use it for something other than ads. It would be so easy for people to out others who aren’t ready to come out. It’s ridiculous and, yeah, Grindr claims they’re doing it less, but the knowledge of what they have done is still out there. There’s still that question of “what if they do it again” and, with how the world is right now, it’s really messed up and problematic.

If somebody is attacked because of the data that Grindr sold, is Grindr complicit in that hate crime, legally or otherwise?

So, moral of the story?

Yeah, selling data can get you a quick buck, but don’t do it.

You have no idea who you’re putting at risk by selling that data and, if people find out you’ve done it, chances are your customers (and employees) will lose trust in you and could potentially leave you to find something else. Don’t risk it!

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Social Media

BeReal: Youngsters are flocking in droves to this Instagram competitor app

(SOCIAL MEDIA) As Instagram loses steam due to its standards of “perfection posting,” users are drawn to a similar app with a different approach, BeReal.



social media - bereal app

BeReal is one of several “Real” apps exploding in growth with young users who crave real connections with people they know in real life.

According to, BeReal ranks 4th by downloads in the US, the UK, and France for Q1 2022 to date, behind only Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest.

BeReal flies in the face of what social media has become. Instead of curated looks that focus on the beautiful parts of life, BeReal users showcase what they’re doing at the moment and share those real photos with their friends. Their real friends.

It’s real. And real is different for a generation of social media users who have been raised on influencers and filters.

As the app says when you go to its page:

Be Real.

Your Friends

for Real.

Every day at a different time, BeReal users are notified simultaneously to capture and share a Photo in 2 Minutes.

A new and unique way to discover who your friends really are in their daily life.

BeReal app

The app has seen monthly users increase by more than 315% according to Apptopia, which tracks and analyzes app performance.

“Push notifications are sent around the world simultaneously at different times each day,” the company said in a statement. “It’s a secret on how the time is chosen every day, it’s not random.”

The app allows no edits and no filters. They want users to show a “slice of their lives.”

Today’s social media users have seen their lives online inundated with ultra-curated social media. The pandemic led to more time spent online than ever. Social media became a way to escape. Reality was ugly. Social media was funny, pretty, and exciting.

And fake.

Enter BeReal where users are asked to share two moments of real life on a surprise schedule. New apps are fun often because they’re new. However, the huge growth in the use of BeReal by college-aged users points to something more than the new factor.

For the past several years, experts have warned that social media was dangerous to our mental health. The dopamine hits of likes and shares are based on photos and videos filled with second and third takes, lens changes, lighting improvements, and filters. Constant comparisons are the norm. And even though we know the world we present on our social pages isn’t exactly an honest portrayal of life, we can’t help but experience FOMO when we see our friends and followers and those we follow having the times of their lives, buying their new it thing, trying the new perfect product, playing in their Pinterest-worthy decorated spaces we wish we could have.

None of what we see is actually real on our apps. We delete our media that isn’t what we want to portray and try again from a different angle and shoot second and third and forth takes that make us look just a little better.

We spend hours flipping through videos on our For You walls and Instagram stories picked by algorithms that know us better than we know ourselves.

BeReal is the opposite of that. It’s simple, fast, and real. It’s community and fun, but it’s a moment instead of turning into the time-sink of our usual social media that, while fun, is also meant to ultimately sell stuff, including all our data.

It will be interesting to watch BeReal and see if it continues down its promised path and whether the growth continues. People are looking for something. Maybe reality is that answer.

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