New Yahoo News goes into beta

Also: Yahoo highlights that it has a pretty blue-and-red election map just like everybody else.

Caroline McCarthy Former Staff writer, CNET News
Caroline McCarthy, a CNET News staff writer, is a downtown Manhattanite happily addicted to social-media tools and restaurant blogs. Her pre-CNET resume includes interning at an IT security firm and brewing cappuccinos.
Caroline McCarthy
The new Yahoo News beta. Yahoo

Yahoo News has realized that there's a lot of information out there on the Web and that people just don't have time for all of it. That's why the new opt-in beta of a revamped Yahoo News, which went live on Thursday, tries to cut to the chase.

"Essentially, we've found that news consumers want only the first few paragraphs of a news story, and then they move on," an e-mail from Yahoo representatives explained. "Given the short attention span of today's audience, we modified the site to present only the first five paragraphs, and we're now offering relevant links to other stories much higher on the page."

The interface of the new Yahoo News is also wider, fitting in more without the need to start scrolling. And in anticipation of the upcoming election, Yahoo has enhanced its "political dashboard" for 2008 election news headlines and poll tracking. As with many current politics sites, the centerpiece is a red-and-blue electoral college map--and Yahoo users can create their own scenarios. The latest update allows a given candidate's poll performance to be tracked over time.

In February, Yahoo debuted its Buzz social news site, which propels the most popular headlines to the main Yahoo News page. The main Yahoo News site has more than 40 million users, the company said.

This post was updated to clarify what's new with the Political Dashboard.