Spending our time engrossed in the immediate tasks of our daily work responsibilities, it’s often easy to neglect that the person sitting beside us has a lifetime of stories and experiences that, either by chance or intention, brought them into the same open space office.
Yet there’s a comforting surprise to realizing, perhaps over a beer at the local pub, that Andrew from accounting is actually really cool. (more…)
Social media has exposed the the prejudices of traditional media. At least, the ones that weren’t obvious already.
With a live feed of first-hand reports, pictures and videos from important events, there’s little room for ambiguity. It is difficult to skew a story in your favor if your reader can watch it unfold, live, in another browser tab.
Many publications have responded by polarizing even further – if people are getting cold, hard facts from Twitter, why not fill our screens and pages with endless opinion?
A totally unbiased news source seems like an impossibility. 10 years ago, a free, comprehensive encyclopedia looked equally impossible – but then Wikipedia happened.
One of Wikipedia’s founding contributors, Larry Sanger, has now lifted the lid on Infobitt. In a Reddit ‘Ask Me Anything’, Sanger detailed his platform for unbiased, community-collated news.
To help you keep up with the torrent of discussion, these are key facts you need to know to talk about Infobitt at your next social analyst dinner party.
It’s made by one of Wikipedia’s eccentric co-founders.
Consulting the ‘about’ page on Larry Sanger’s blog will return a long list of his involvement with Wikipedia, organized in chronological order. His role in creating an open source encyclopedia dates back to 2001, founding Nupedia (the predecessor to Wikipedia) with Jimmy Wales.
Sanger played a big role is defining Wikipedia’s rules and neutrality policy in the early years. Due to differing opinions about the peer-review process and the platform’s accuracy, Sanger distanced himself from Wikipedia in 2002.
Since then, he went on to found Citizendium (the short-lived ‘Wikipedia for Academics’), and work with non-profit educational organisation WatchKnowLearn.
Stories come from multiple sources
News in Infobitt isn’t directly written by the users – WikiNews already exists for that.
The words are taken from all different types of publications – the right wing, the left wing, the bloggers and the tweeters. This is means that news is still held to professional journalistic standards, not amateur writers.
The community decides what news is important
Infobitt wants to organise the news, not just repeat it.
Much like Reddit, Digg or any other aggregator site, the ‘front page’ will change depending on the preferences of the community.
If you stick your head into /r/news (but stay away from the comments), you’ll see this idea in action already. Timely news, sorted by the community.
Infobitt has one major difference though…
Stories are built from bite-sized facts…
A story in Infobitt is made from 200-character facts, submitted by users from other publications. It strips out opinion, speculation and (hopefully) outright lies.
The result is a well-rounded, unbiased story which Infobitt calls a bitt.
… and you decide the order.
By dragging and dropping, users sort the facts in a story by importance. It’s a simple drag and drop interface that makes organisation of stories incredibly quick.
There will be 100,000 facts at launch
Infobitt has already launched to a small community of beta testers, and has been tweeting links to the (currently unviewable) content since November.
To launch in earnest, Infobitt is running a pledge drive. But, instead of money, Sanger is asking us to pledge facts. He think that 100,000 sourced facts will be enough to launch a comprehensive crowdsourced news homepage.
It’s already too popular for its own good
Even though it’s soliciting sign ups on the homepage, very few people are getting their login details.
Since hitting the front page with the IAmA thread, the Infobitt servers have been groaning, and a “we’re experiencing high traffic levels, please be patient!” banner has been thrown across the homepage.
This doesn’t bode well for the platform’s future. Hopefully Sanger’s team will be able to scale the site rapidly, in light of his comments in the Reddit thread stating: “You’ll be rushing to Infobitt to include the latest news in the way you now do on Twitter, Facebook, or Reddit.”
With so many stories being shared across the web, we can already use social media listening to determine what’s hot. InfoBitt strays from big data for a more personable approach – it wants to find worthy news, not simply hot topics.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Yes indeed! It’s reached the point in December where I move from being slightly hyper and annoying to mildly hysterical.
To say that there is excitement about the holidays in the Brandwatch offices is a slight understatement.
Dig around in strange parts of Twitter long enough, and you’ll be bound to stumble across accounts that aren’t quite human.
Twitter robots are unmanned accounts that compose tweets with the help of clever programming. The bot behind @everyword completed its seven year task in June, tweeting every word in the English language.
So, you have your online and social media marketing plan all wrapped up tightly. You’re going to look like the coolest, most interesting, most AWESOME seller of your product on a near superhuman level.
As you might already know, last week we launched a new Brandwatch feature: Minute-by-minute charting. Now, for the first time, you can understand buzz on a moment-by-moment basis, showing the exact moments provoking peaks in conversation, sentiment and topic changes and shining a light on new audiences to engage with.
This can prove particularly useful for analysing buzz around TV shows, live events and advert slots.
Last week we launched our newest feature, minute-by-minute charting, and we just can’t stop talking about it and all the cool things it can do!
Being able to track the hype right down to a specific moment certainly has many advantages and one of the most exciting for us is the ability to choose exactly when you want to dive into the data. (more…)
Recently we’ve seen an explosion of interest around long-standing Asian-themed restaurant P.F. Chang’s, leaving us all scratching our heads in wonder.
Chang’s Spicy Chicken is as spicy as ever and the Ginger Chicken with Broccoli is characteristically neglected. Let’s not even talk about the cold green tea noodles. It’s too early for that.
I just want to state, for the record, that I have not been bribed or coerced into writing my next sentence.
I love working at Brandwatch and one of the main reasons why is the people!
But, it’s not only the staff that love Brandwatchers, our clients like us a little bit too.