Naver lets users edit news page

Web 2.0 | 2008/07/03 18:13 | Web 2.0 Asia
Naver, Korea's top portal and the world's #5 search service, announced plans to let its users edit Naver's news main page.

The new project, dubbed "Open Cast", will allow logged-in users to customize Naver's news page by picking and choosing the user's favorite sources of news - be it personal blogs, traditional newspapers, or small online news sites.

So it's like a user customizable , or a user customizable Apple iTunes podcast directory - if there existed such things.

It's Naver's effort to fend off the conspiracy theory that the portal is manipulating the public opinion through editorial control over its main page, which is visited by some tens of millions of web users every day.

Well, if you are a portal site, you can't avoid having at least some level of editorial power, as there's only so much space on the portal's homepage where the most popular news can be displayed, and at the end of the day someone has to choose what news will appear there.

But there have been suspicions that Naver tried to balance the netizens' opinions with those of the government. Recently, for example, Naver was found to have blocked a search keyword "Afreeca", an online video company that became hugely popular after livecasting anti-government candlight protests. Naver said it was a simple mistake.

Anyway, Open Cast is Naver's answer to such suspicisions - it's like saying "if you don't like us to pick the front page news, then why don't you do it yourself?"
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