Making the News (more) Mobile
A new mobile news app called Circa has dedicated itself to aggregating content and slimming it down to the facts and nothing but — all to present bits of information from several sources on a mobile screen without exhausting its users.
Ben Huh of Cheezburger fame has a lot on his mind, news-wise, and he’s a co-founder. So are Matt Gilligan and Arsenio Santos, and the rest of the team and their investors can be found here.
It’s a fine idea, and the presentation fits mobile’s tiny screens. Some, however, may scratch their heads at it as they did at fellow newcomer Quartz for its reliance on aggregation.
Galligan and Huh believe to save journalism you need to kill the article. Instead, news from Circa is arranged on digital flash cards you page through on your mobile phone. “Stories” are simply facts strung together across these cards, and most of those facts link to a third party original source.
The art of creating a good Circa piece is in finding news and piecing it together, but there is no writing, per se. There is no analysis and there is no reporting either. Galligan’s view is there’s too much of that in the world. It’s original work in that the “stories” are written by Circa’s newsroom of about a dozen people, but the facts are all aggregated from elsewhere. There are no bylines, which isn’t a big surprise since the innovation here is sucking much of the reporting and writing out of journalism.