goes down the Google News path

Blog directory has relaunched as a Google News style service.

The new, described as a “news portal for the rest of us” offers a hand-picked selection (yes, manual, I queried this to be sure) of compelling stories and organizes them by relevant categories including tech, business, entertainment, sports, politics, etc.

The blog directory isn’t going away, even if the front of looks different. The company is also offering automatic matching and recommendations of new blogs through an a strategic alliance with MatchMine.

I had the chance to test the service prior to today’s launch. My main observation: it’s different. Not different in a bad way, but the results are different then what you’d usually get from a news style site. The lead stories on the tech page as I write this post are about YouTube videos on Orkut and a story about MySpace proxies. Not exactly leading news stories, but different. The sources were all new to me as well, so they aren’t just linking to the same old blogs. Even Australia’s own social communities expert Laurel Papworth gets a link on the front page. The risk of course with anything made by hand is that the results can quickly become stale, and there usually isn’t staff around to update the site 24/7, but for now we’ll see how it goes post launch.

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