ZNet Labs
Good Noows

Good Noows, an elegant RSS reader with big social plans

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Good Noows, from ZNet Labs, is described as a personal news stream. And like Netvibes and others before it, is another attempt to take RSS mainstream.

In its first incarnation the product offers a simple but elegant RSS reader, with various newspaper-like page layouts and pre-defined content bundles. Moving forward, however, ZNet Labs founder and ex-Googler Daniel Franz has more ambitious plans.

He aims to develop the product into a news-centered social network that makes “XML-exchanged news content better accessible for the average consumer.” But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, here’s what Good Noows offers today.

To get started users can sign in via Twitter, Facebook or create a Good Noows account. They are then asked to configure news sources for various categories e.g. Sport, Politics, Business, Science and Technology etc. Within each category there are pe-defined lists of sources – the RSS feeds of well known main stream media and blogs – and users can check or uncheck any of these sources as they customize their news reader. Categories can be hidden or new ones added, and there is also the option to import additional RSS feeds. Finally, various different page layouts are offered, which can be changed on the fly via a drop down menu.

As for the content itself, each feed is offered as an excerpt, clicking on the headline or text opens a new web page with the original source. There are also a number of sharing options, including Twitter, Facebook and email. Interestingly, a web-based IM client is also available in the bottom right hand corner of the reader, powered by Meebo.

However, ZNet Labs is planning to evolve Good Noows into a niche social network around news content, connecting readers with publishers, journalists and politicians to foster debate. “We’d like it to become the one point of access for discussing contemporary news topics – beyond the limits of single publishers, regional borders, or devices”, says Franz.

He concedes that the news aggregator space is very crowded and includes traditional RSS readers, start pages, and the likes of Google News but feels that there is still “enough room for differentiation and innovation.” Of course, whether or not the world needs another social network is certainly debatable.

In terms of revenue, Franz sees lots of potential streams, such as charging for a mobile app, a freemium model with different features, and “lead generation and revenue sharing for publisher subscription payments”. As publishers erect “uncoordinated” paywalls, there could be the need for an aggregator that also centralises billing.

Munich-based ZNet Labs/Good Noows is currently self-funded (family and friends), although Franz says they are seeking seed funding from VCs or Angels.

  • http://www.scamregister.co.uk A Rin

    I always wonder, am I allowed to copy some contents from the website and put them on my website http://www.scamregister.co.uk . I went through with their policies and I could not find any info regarding this. Oh offcourse I will mention source of that part. Any help?

  • http://favit.com/infographs Marfi

    Neat! I totally like the different reading views! Monetizing on mobile is a logical step, I gladly subscribed for a NewsRoom for Android paid App. Speaking about what the service most looks like I would have to mention Lazy Feed.

    They have a bold plan I hope they can deliver!

  • verycool

    I really like the clean look of the site. Will they be able to displace sites like digg and socialnews.biz?

  • Alain

    Clean look yes, but impossible to read full news from website, just excerpt who redirect to these website. So bored to open every site in new tab… just testing but bye bye Good Noows now…

    • Scott

      thats not the point. its a feed reader. a filter. and where are they supposed to get the full texts from?

  • http://infornography.kpoxa.org/personal/s/log/2010/06/25/%d0%bb%d0%b0%d0%b2%d0%b8%d0%bd%d0%b0/ .log : лавина

    […] вот еще один газетный интерфейс (особенно, если вам не понравился первый): Good Noows, from ZNet […]

  • David

    Looks a lot like feedly to me, minus the firefox plugin (wich is nice) minus sync to google reader (not so nice) plus social networking capabilities (what the heck would I need those for while reading news? – Most Facebookies have a FB tab open at all times anyway).

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  • http://twitter.com/GurizadaBlog Gilmarzinho

    Two months of use. Uncountable online-time saved.

    The best reader I’ve found.


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