Guide to the LiveScience News Network
How do you decide which news sites you’re going to read? A lot of people choose to read just the main news sites like CNN or Yahoo! News. I’ve never really taken an interest in that type of general news. I mean, sure, I try to stay on top of the major headlines of what’s going on in the world but I can do that via Twitter and links from other sites so I don’t find it necessary to read the major news sites. Instead, I tend to really enjoy niche news sites, sites that post news about specific topics. For example, I read several tech news sites.
My favorite news site is LiveScience. This site focuses on science and technology news. What I love about this site is that it provides constant updates about what’s going on around the world using short-format news releases that link to longer articles that you can choose to read if you are so inclined. It has topics that are relevant to what is currently happening in the broader news world with a focus on the science aspects. It’s not written for scientists, though; it’s written for regular people. In fact, it’s sometimes dumbed down a bit too much, which would be my major complaint about it, but overall I find it to be a smart enough, easy-to-read site for science-based news.
The site is divided into eight general categories. I don’t actually read the news in all of these categories. In fact, I usually only read a few of the categories on any sort of regular basis, using the RSS feeds to get them via Google Reader. The site offers the opportunity to select the different topic-based feeds that interest you most so that you don’t have to subscribe to all of the site’s news if you don’t want to. It’s a fact that I appreciate about this blog.
The eight categories that the blog is divided into are:
1. Space. People who are interested in the science of what’s happening in space can learn all about it from this section of site. If it’s related to the stars, the sky and the Earth as a planet then it’s going to be featured here.
2. Animals. There is a lot of fascinating science news out there about animals. The site has general news information about what’s happening in the animal world. It also has “top ten” style articles about things like the cutest wild animals and the animals that have been used by society in wartime.
3. Health. A lot of people who are interested in science news are specifically interested in the heath and nutrition part of science. This is the part that affects a lot of people’s lives in a daily way. For that reason, this is a popular section of the LiveScience site. Information ranges from how to lose weight to what the latest news is for people suffering from dementia.
4. Environment. Green science is a crucial topic in the twenty first century. This is the section of the site where you can find information on global warming, greening your home and other hot eco-aware topics.
5. Technology. Science and technology go hand-in-hand so of course there’s a technology section on the site. This overlaps a bit with some of the other categories since there is obviously technology involved in space science and eco-science. There are also other important topics touched on here, though, such as the developing use of robots.
6. Culture. I find it really interesting that culture is considered to be a section of science. It actually makes a lot of sense when you think about it. All of the so-called soft sciences, like psychology, are related to society and culture and how people are and interact with one another. This is where you’ll find stories about girls and technology or science teachers who believe in creationism. It’s all about how science plays out in society.
7. History. This is another section that I think is interesting to see included. So many people think of science as only a cutting edge, forward-looking thing. In reality, though, the scientific advancements (and mistakes) made in the past are important because we can learn from them and expand on them if we know about them. The section looks at things like “history most overlooked mysteries” or the ancient art of healing.
8. Strange News. I have to confess that this is one of the LiveScience news feeds that I do follow. As the name suggests, it’s all about the really weird things that are discovered in the realm of science. Haunted places, bats that use carnivorous plants to go to the bathroom in and massive numbers of birds falling from the sky at once are examples of the types of things that I read about on this portion of the site.
In addition to these eight categories, there is a tab at the top of the LiveScience site that links to “video”. Many people prefer to get their news via video than to read it. This section allows you to do that. You can see videos related to all eight of the aforementioned topic. Alternatively, you can select just a single topic to explore on the video channel of the site.
I don’t often visit the actual LiveScience site since I use Google Reader to get the information from it. However, it’s worth noting that it’s a well-organized site. There is a “featured” section in each “channel” so you can see some of the hottest topics. There’s a scroll-through section of the site’s most recent articles in your topic. There is a “countdown” section on each channel with the “top ten” articles that are relevant to that topic. There is also a “trivia and quizzes” section, a video section and a set of image galleries for each channel.
Do you read the LiveScience site? Which topic is your favorite to follow?