Where is the Innovation?
We believe that there is still room for innovation in news, in particular with "late breaking" news. The advent of Twitter is the start of what is possible - not the end. Yet all major news media are doing the same basic thing - they tweet, and tweet, and tweet - just like everyone else.
The AP has been particularly disappointing. It used to be the case that the AP was the source for everyone to turn to to be aware of what was breaking and for summaries, but the AP has not taken a leadership role in any kind of global, news-tracking system to help the world manage news as it happens or to give a well-defined, chronological archival system. In terms of late breaking news, no media company has stepped up to take a true leadership role.
Making more effective use of all those smartphones out there is a key element. Its not enough to passively wait for people to send you stories; the Crowd can help us in many other ways. People are seeing things, hearing things, talking about things... these are resources that have not yet been fully utilized. No news media company has yet made full use of the crowd. It is a vast, untapped resource just waiting to be more fully utilized.
Technology is the key driver of all this. We need to make a more effective use of technology, for real-time collection, summary, and broadcast of news. Technology also enables machine-translation in real time, making if possible for someone in any part of the world to have the same, equal access to late breaking news. Not one news media company has committed to a truly universal news resource, regardless of your natural language.
We have all gotten a little spoiled by the easy access to information, using search engines. The problem is that there is no verification of facts on the web. When you search, there is no way to know that what you are seeing, is accurate - or even the current information. For example when following a natural disaster, it can be vitally important to have the latest information and not something that might be outdated - and affect decisions adversely. The real issue is that there is no global tracking system for news. What we need is a 'token' or 'news bar code' that followed a story. Whomever breaks a story first, would register it with some kind of global news repository. From then on, anyone can report on that news story and the story would be tracked by its own, unique identifier. This when would enable much better tools to see the story as it evolves. This would reduce duplicate reporting, and would enable future historians a much better way to study the past. A news-tracking system would be of great use to future historians (and students). Yet, no media company has yet created any kind of definitive, global news-tracking system.
The challenge is on for news media companies to be more innovative, to create structures for tracking and archival that will stand the test of time, and for someone to truly give us accurate, late breaking news. The major news media can solve this now, or wait for some startup to appear and add even more competition in news.
IPO Nears, and Hires Vivian Schiller to Head Twitter News
Twitter will soon have its IPO. Forecast for its valuation is in the $20B range. Twitter has over 200 million users but has yet to find a way to monetize Twitter.
Twitter has hired Vivian Schiller, from NBC, to head its division on News Partnerships. It was quite fitting when she tweeted, "Excited to join @Twitter as Head of News in January. Leaving @NBCNews at year's end. Grateful to my beloved colleagues for 2+ great years." One of her roles is to be the Liaison between Twitter and news organizations.
Twitter has a news experiment running called @EventParrent, and that experiment and others expected show that Twitter wants to be a news broadcaster and not just a social network.
Another Twitter experiment is called Magic Recs; Magic Recs looks at people and popular tweets and reacts if they all tweet something similar, or if they all follow someone. So its about detecting trends in groups.
Twitter is expected to add more local knowledge over time, so a breaking news service would include an option to have more local news in the stream.
It remains to be seen if the major news media will improve the reporting they do through Twitter or not. On the one hand, the news media does not make enough use of Twitter and the feeds can be boring at times. On the other hands, the news media does not want to see Twitter get too big; the last thing they will want is to be helping create a new competitor.
Seeking Curation Partner
We have upgraded the search terms on the home page, that find tweets form the public about news.
If you spend some time on the home page you will get a feel for how the two news approaches differ. The media stream, which combines many of the major news media into one stream, is factual, but not enough activity; its a little boring. Tweets from the public, in the right hand column, are less focused but its more interesting - more frequent updates, more pictures, and some interesting comments.
We would like a method to do more 'Curation' on the public's tweets, to reduce the off-topic tweets. We are seeking a Curation partner that has some experience in this area. And on the left column, for the major news media sources, we would to also do some curation to remove duplicate entries - for when two different news organizations report the same news item (and in the same way).
Please Contact Us if you can help us Curate the results.
LateBreakingNews.com is exploring different ways of finding, and presenting, timely late-breaking news; part of the Arkacia.com global network.