News.com's "What's Hot" Story Board
A recent visit to News.com to read an article related to a House vote on "Net neutrality" showed off a very cool feature the site offers. On the site's sidebar running down the right side of a story, along with many ads and sponsored links, you might be lucky enough to see a large "WHAT'S HOT" table that displays squares with a stories inside of varying sizes related to how popular that story is at the moment.
In the age where I mostly visit Digg.com and del.icio.us/popular to get the group consensus telling me what I should be interested in reading about, it's a no-brainer that I need a table like this to outline the most popular stories visually for me.
While I understand that this feature is nothing more than a tag cloud, I am still impressed by it's use here.
At the time of writing this, I can't get the News.com site to show me the "WHAT'S HOT" table, so I can only assume that it only displays during certain times of the day (maybe when traffic is heavy and they can easily gauge what is popular), or maybe they were just experimenting with it. I was so impressed when I originally saw it, I grabbed a screen shot, so you can all see what I am talking about.
News.com, I for one, definitely approve and hope you keep this around.