How do you keep track of topics of interest on the Internet? Do you visit news site, subscribe to RSS feeds, email newsletters, Google Alerts, Twitter? Many Internet users are overwhelmed by the information at their disposal.
Montage is a new online service by Microsoft Fuse Labs that allows everyone to create visual web albums of topics of interest. The information can be supplied from a variety of sources including RSS feeds, Youtube, Twitter or Bing. To make it better, they are also updated in realtime to always displays the latest and greatest.
You get started by visiting the Montage website and entering a topic of interest. This can be anything, from your favorite blog to a sports team, celebrity, brand or hobby.
Montage automatically pulls information from various sources and displays a first suggestion to the user.
It is possible to try different layouts. Once an initial layout has been selected it can be edited before it gets published. The layout is divided into widgets that can be removed or split either horizontally or vertically.
Contents can be edited or added easily by selecting the option and performing a search. Searches currently available include text, video and image searches but also Twitter, Bing Twitter Maps, Facebook Comments, News and RSS.
Its flexibility is one of the strength of Montage. It is possible to use realtime updates or select a specific element that should always be displayed on the page. Even better, it is possible to combine information from different websites in one montage.
Montages can be saved and published. This requires a Twitter, Facebook or Windows Live account. TheMontage gallery lists already published Montages by users grouped into categories such as technology, business, news or sports. The gallery can be used to take a closer look at the online service which is especially helpful for users who are not sure yet if they should create their own montage.