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November 02, 2010

Lazyscope: An Immersive Twitter Desktop News Experience

As Twitter becomes an increasingly valuable resource for consuming new content online, replacing RSS for many and augmenting it for others, new and inventive ways to visually deliver this content are being developed, including the ability to "unpack" URLs to provide a preview and excerpt of the shared link - and in some cases, the option to display the entire article altogether. The #NewTwitter release introduced the concept of a rich media pane to the Web. Today, the team behind Lazyfeed releases Lazyscope, a full-fledged Twitter consumption app to help you read all the news in one place. And as a kicker, you can even use it as a full-fledged client.

Lazyfeed made its name initially as an intuitive Web-based RSS client that followed real-time streams to discover keywords you had selected to follow. Its latest release introduced social features to help people follow collections of items and discover what your friends thought were cool. With Lazyscope, the team has extended its reach to the world of Twitter and has developed a cool and immersive way to find content from your stream as it comes in.

Lazyscope Displaying News from Links In Line

Like most desktop Twitter clients, Lazyscope delivers new tweets in a column format, first delivered by TweetDeck. The newest tweets are at the top, with oldest chronologically below. Every tweet that contains a link offers an unpacked long URL, the headline of the article and the first paragraph of that piece. Clicking on the tweet itself displays the full content of the page, including imagery or video, in the right hand pane.

As new updates come in, they await your command to approve as they stack up, just like on the regular Twitter Web site. (2 new updates, 19 new updates, etc.) Also, a notification in the bottom right hand corner alerts you to new entries that may catch your eye. Like the original LazyFeed, the flow itself is addictive.

Lazyscope Makes Reading Twitter News Easy

While the objective of Lazyscope is primarily as a consumption tool, the developers, led by Ethan Gahng (@ethpresso) have included the option for you to post updates from Lazyscope, check mentions by hitting the @ symbol, or check direct messages with the small envelope in the top left corner. You can also select lists to which you are subscribed from the bar next to your avatar.

Alerts from Lazyscope as You Read

But the fun's not done with just Twitter. If you want, you can add subscriptions to RSS feeds within LazyScope, either by subscribing to the news source in the right hand pane, or clicking the + sign in the top right and entering a valid URL. Lazyscope will do the rest, and provide updates from that feed in your column, just like any other news source.

Subscribe to Any Feed Within Lazyscope

In a world when most Twitter clients are quite similar, Lazyscope is one of the coolest and most innovative options I have seen in a long time. This seems to bridge the gap, like Flipboard did on the iPad, to bring a true reading experience to the desktop.

You can find Lazyscope at http://www.lazyscope.com/. They are on Twitter at @lazys.