This morning, when I was checking Planet Atheism, as I always do (like I've always said, I created it mostly for selfish reasons: I love reading what other atheist bloggers write, in a convenient place :)), I found a couple of references to ChallengeReligion.com. What's this, I thought? A new competitor?
So, naturally, I checked. Here are my first impressions: ChallengeReligion (CR from now on) is an interesting mix of a Digg, a Technorati, and a normal aggregator such as PA. It's like Digg because posts are ranked by popularity, like Technorati because it measures "popularity" according to incoming links from other blogs (unlike Digg, where people vote), and like an aggregator because you can then read posts from there -- though they only publish excerpts. I believe they do the latter because, unlike PA, they didn't ask permission from the bloggers; since they just publish excerpts, it's OK, I guess.
Oh, and it looks quite good, which is no surprise, as they have a whole team behind it... and many others. Yes, CR is just one of many Digg/Technorati/aggregators; they have others, about many different subjects. More power to them. :) I could create PA clones in minutes, too (though it would take time to get member blogs, since I prefer full aggregation, and that implies asking first).
It may be useful as a source of extra traffic, but it's not useful to me, because... "all together now..." I like to read blogs in a convenient place. :) Also, while the posts populary feature is interesting, it may also have its drawbacks; for instance, what if a blogger is publishing a series of posts, the first appears there, but the next ones aren't linked enough, and therefore never appear?
Note that I'm not actually criticizing CR or saying that there's something wrong with the concept; I just prefer a normal aggregator, which to me works like the "morning newspaper" (or afternoon, or evening, or whenever I open the page :)).