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I am currently subscribed to Google News to stay up to date on current events. The problem is, from all 60 news-items I receive each day, there are typically only one or two that I care about. It is quite a time-sink. But I can't stop reading the news altogether. I still want to know the important stuff.

This is not about categories. I have specific feeds I use to stay up to date on my personal interests.

Some examples:

  • "The first human-made spacecraft lands on Mars"? --- I want to know.
  • "Police arrest drunk guy who exceeds the speed limit by 70km/h"? --- Don't care.
  • "Obama wins the elections"? --- Yes.
  • "Obama visits France"? --- No.

I am looking for a newsfeed or -app that can be filtered by importance. How is importance measured? Number of views? Number of tweets/likes/+1s? Front page vs. not? I'm not sure.

Preferably, I'd receive only... the 3 most important stories per day.

I've been searching for a while, but haven't found anything close. Google News has sliders to filter the frequency of news-items. But I believe those are only relative frequencies. Even with all the sliders turned down to their minimum the web-app still shows an infinite stream of news. So that's more like... sorting by importance. Also, the slider settings don't carry over to the RSS feed.

I've been Googling for other options, but always come up empty. There are many major news organizations with websites, but those are more about the news, not about filtering. Plus, using only one source may give me a biased view. A service that pulls from multiple sources would be better.

Does such an app / feed exist?

Ideally, it would even give me a location-aware filter. The closer to me it happened, the less important it needs to be. But that may be asking too much. I'll take what I can get.

About the relevance of my question:

I am aware that my question may be walking the line between on and off topic. But I believe it fits, since I am asking a specific question and I did the research (as specified in the FAQ). Still, if the mods still feel that my question is off topic, I'll understand.

I am aware of two questions that are very similar to this one:

The first was migrated from Superuser.com and it's possible no one ever saw it. The second was closed for being off topic. I suppose it is rather short and it's lacking the research, but it is well phrased and hits the nail right on the head.

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closed as off-topic by Eight Days of Malaise, Jacob Jan Tuinstra, Al E., Sathya Sep 9 '13 at 9:55

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

NewsBlur has an interesting take on filtering : it hides the stories you don't want to read based on tags, keywords, authors, etc.

From the app blog :

Intelligence classifiers are the phrases, tags, and authors that you like and dislike. Training your sites by choosing classifiers for each feed will automatically highlight the stories you want to read and hide the stories you don’t want to see.

The tidbit of the discussion regarding your issue of having multiple sources while hiding most of the news being :

This offers a neat trick to hide most stories from a feed, even in the yellow intelligence state, except for the few stories that you want to watch. Simply train the feed to dislike the feed itself, but give a thumbs up to the tags/authors/phrases in the stories you want to read. This will result in all stories being either red or green, which keeps the site out of your yellow intelligence setting.

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That looks like an interesting option. I'll look into it. Here, have +50 points, before they expire. ;-) Although, I'm not sure (yet) it's what I asked for, since I don't see a way to filter on any kind of 'importance' measure. – mhelvens Dec 11 '12 at 14:51
Mhelvens is correct. everything you said is correct about newsblur but it doesn't answer the question. – William Mar 26 '13 at 19:41

I don't know about filters but there is a very interesting new app called Summly that has a new outlook on news feeds. It only shows you important information. The app is to be acquired by Yahoo, Inc.

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