The site displays the newest headlines from a selection of the most popular blogs on a variety of topics. The first few lines of each post are displayed when you hover over a headline. New items since the last time you viewed the page are highlighted in read. That makes it very easy to pop over to OriginalSignal throughout the day and see if the selected blogs have been updated without even reading the headlines.
To be clear, I’ve been one of those lazy people using OriginalSignal for months now, instead of taking the time to compile my own startpage to supplement my feed reader. With today’s relaunch though, OriginalSignal brings more to the table than ever.
The first page was on Web 2.0, then several others were added over the past few months and today the site has added pages on Science, Games, 15 Blogs, Apple, World news, Politics, Sports, Finance, Marketing, Movies and Video. There’s a “most popular” section for each page, divided by the day, week and month.
In addition to new topical pages, the site now includes search provided by Yahoo!, the ability to resize fonts in the display, change the order of the feeds shown, grab a widget to display a page’s feeds on your blog and perhaps most importantly, view a river of news version of each page on a mobile phone. There are several other feature updates in addition to these and the site looks quite different now as well.
The video page displays screen captures from the most recently added videos on YouTube, MySpace Video, Yahoo Video, Google Video, iFilm, Metacafe, Break.com, Dailymotion and Grouper. If porn offends you, you’re liable to see something you don’t like on the video page at any given time.
Start pages like Netvibes, Pageflakes or Webwag still provide more flexibility and full fledged RSS readers are essential – but OriginalSignal is a handy, quick aggregation tool that offers some content and some functionality for almost everyone. It’s an easy way to familiarize yourself with a handful of popular blogs. I expect the new version of the site will be an even bigger hit than the first.