PimpMyNews is a new, free service allowing you to hear the latest news from your personally selected mix of news sources and blogs. Anyone with an MP3 player and Internet access can use it. CEO John Atkinson will be speaking at the next Cincinnati Social Media Breakfast* so we did a quick Q&A with him to give some background on the event’s special guest.
1) PimpMyNews is a great name and service. What’s the inspiration behind each?
My Co-founder Roy Georgia and I used to always struggle to keep up with news and current events (editor’s note: John and Roy are pictured here to the right and left respectively). Before starting PimpMyNews, we were both "road warriors" in our previous jobs and we could never find the time to read newspapers, or to tune into scheduled TV or radio news broadcasts.
Using the Internet for news and blogs required us to be at computers- searching, sifting and reading. So, we came up with the idea of a service that would automatically find breaking stories from your favorite sources on the Internet and read them to you wherever you happen to be - kind of like TiVo for news and blogs.
Our users say that the strongest benefit is the "productivity benefit" of being able to get current on their favorite news and blogs by listening on-the-go, while they do other things like, drive, workout, ride the train and more.
After considering over 200 different names, we chose "PimpMyNews" because we feel that it conveys the "personalized news" aspect of the service - and because it seems to get people's attention ;)
2) How do you determine which news sources you cover?
We pride ourselves on PimpMyNews being a source of solid, trusted and obscure news and blog content.
There are so many news and blog sites out there that "information overload" is a real issue. Technorati reports that it tracks over 112 million blogs world-wide. To arrive at the roughly 1,200 sources we have in PimpMyNews, we reviewed tens of thousands of the world's most popular blogs and categorized the blogs that passed our editorial review into 59 unique categories.
So whether you're interested in Technology, Politics, Business, Sports, Entertainment or something else, there's a good chance you'll find it on PimpMyNews. We also receive a lot of suggestions from users. Anyone can suggest a blog by emailing Feeds AT PimpMyNews DOT com.
3) What's next for PimpMyNews? Scoble dubbed PimpMyNews as one of the best iPhone apps prior to the 3G release. Any plans to offer PimpMyNews as an application?
Because of the uniqueness of our service, we've received a lot of press, for which we're very thankful. Our current iPhone Web Application works on all iPhones and iPod Touch devices, including iPhone 3G. Anyone with a computer or an MP3 player can also use the service.
Our goal is to continually increase the mobile platforms we run on. In the near future, we'll be rolling out a native iPhone application that will be accessible through Apple's App Store, as well as applications for other mobile devices.
4) What do you think the news landscape will look like five years from now?
There's never been a more exciting time, or a more volatile time, in the news industry than right now. According to Pew Internet, nearly one-third of Americans now use the Internet for news. Ten years ago, only two percent of us used the Internet for news. The trend of people shifting from "traditional" news sources to "new media" sources will continue and accelerate. Personalized, mobile, social news is the new frontier, and we think that the smart phone explosion - sparked by the iPhone - will bring the market to a "tipping point" in the next couple of years.
Mobile "applications" (versus "sites") will instantly deliver the exact news you care about from thousands of sources - in the format you desire, no matter where you happen to be. Publishers who have great content and who embrace new digital distribution methods will thrive.
5) What are your personal favorite news sources? Same applies to gadgets (top 3 favorites).
I have the following sources in my PimpMyNews Playlist - I listen to them every day.
My number 1 favorite gadget is the iPhone - no surprise there. I'm curious about all of the alleged "iPhone-Killers" being rolled out by the wireless carriers. I'm also intrigued by the Amazon Kindle, but I haven't purchased one yet.
*The Cincinnati Social Media Breakfast is SOLD OUT. However you can get on the waiting list by sending me an email.