The Drudge Report is the undisputed champion of news aggregate sites, and has been since the Clinton years. It’s iconic and people are comfortable with it. But it’s also filled with a lot of the cultural garbage that is irrelevant to many right-leaning readers, uses sensationalized headlines and includes just too much of the weird alien nonsense for those who are simply looking to stay on top of current events.
Staying on top of events as a conservative without some type of aggregator is almost impossible because of the innate and well-deserved distrust conservatives have for the mainstream media. Fortunately, there is an emerging treasure trove of conservative sites. But most people don’t have the time to wade through them all.
That’s where Whatfinger.com comes in. The relatively young conservative aggregator site is already nearing the 13,000 rank in Alexa among all web sites in the United States, quickly making it a player in the space. And there is a reason. It is chock full of links to mostly conservative sites with news and commentary, but organized into top stories, hot tweets, Trump news, political commentary, U.S. news, world news and more. The headlines and linking site are clearly delineated so you don’t click a link and get assaulted by a surprise site. There is even a section with a slate of stories and links to liberal/mainstream media sites under “Fake News Quarantine Section.”
The editors say they purposely include those “opposing views for specific issues (such as MSNBC vs FOX). This is how you get to the truth, by digesting all points of view and then coming to your own opinion and conclusion. In other words…freedom to think and feel and learn without censorship.”
The Whatfinger name comes from the simple concept of thumbs up, thumbs down or, of course, the middle finger. The site is founded and run by former members of the military who are unapologetic lovers of America but keep their personal identities under wraps for understandable reasons.
They have one, basic goal with the site, found on their “about” page: “You could say, we are in a relentless pursuit of creating the greatest go-to link news site ever.”
That’s a tough hill that means dethroning the Drudge Report from the current position. Not easy. Drudge still takes a good pulse on the news, but it includes so many ancillary click-baity stuff that it is not great for serious news consumers. In conversations with the editors, they say that once people find Whatfinger, they generally continue to use it instead of returning to Drudge or lesser aggregators.
The editors seem to have a good instinct for what right-leaning Americans want to read, leading to their rapid growth that has been entirely fueled by word of mouth — quite amazing in this age where political space is crowded with endless options. But in part, that crowded field is leading to Whatfinger’s usefulness: The editors cull the best stories from the Web for easy use with headlines typically taken from the stories — not over sensationalized.
We took a look at Whatfinger when we saw a bump in traffic from the site. We had not heard of it. But it’s quickly become a new favorite. Consider this digital word of mouth.
Rod Thomson is an author, TV talking head and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act.
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