Yahoo! NewsGlobe vs. Wii News Channel

Yahoo! launched the News Globe, which shows the top news stories of the day using a rotatable globe for navigation. The stories are depicted as red blocks stacked over geographic regions of the globe, with taller stacks indicating more stories. By default the interface will autoplay through the top stories, spinning the globe to get from story to story. Clicking a link to a news article jetisons you out of this otherworldly view of earth, and into text land on a separate page. It's a jarring experience.

This attempt at providing a way to visualize top published news activity is cute, but it's nowhere near as useful as the interface provided by the Wii. Check out the interaction with the Wii News Channel below:

There is something much more gratifying in the Wii News Channel experience, and I think the satisfaction I feel is due mostly to the fun of using the Wii remote to spin and navigate the globe. I have get a giddy feeling doing the same thing while I spin the globe in the Wii Weather Channel. But the other thing that makes the Wii experience much more useful is that the news stories are previewed seamlessly while the globe visualization persists. I never thought that reading the news on the TV would be a pleasurable experience, but the zoom and pan features for text is as interesting in the Wii as is the zoom feature on the iPhone.

Seems to me that the Yahoo! News Globe is an attempt to mimick the experience of news on the Wii, but it comes across feeling gimmicky and not very useful. The Wii News Channel makes reading news on a TV fluid. For reading news on a computer, I'll stick with organized lists of text, thanks.

View screenshot on Flickr