Utne Reader, a magazine that highlights the best of independent and alternative presses, has launched Alt Wire, a socially curated digital magazine.
Using the R88R platform by Sociative Inc., Utne Reader staff selected a group of twenty core “influencers” to help determine the articles that will appear in Alt Wire. After this group was assembled, Utne Reader worked with Sociative to create an algorithm that pulls in sources the chosen influencers are themselves influenced by, and others they influence (which translates to those retweeting or commenting on influencers’ postings on Twitter).
“Certain information is deemed important by the algorithm, because of how many times it’s being focused on by other people who have been named influencers, and this is how an influencer rises in the chain of things,” says Alt Wire web editor David Doody. “The group keeps moving and growing; people will be added and will fall off.”
An initial estimate of those who “influence” the content posted on Alt Wire falls somewhere around the 3,000 mark.
Each article featured on Alt Wire shows how many times it’s been retweeted, and which influencers are sharing the selected content. Doody says that while it is likely articles from major sources such as The New Yorker will appear in Alt Wire, the majority of content shared will be from sites like Mother Jones and The Nation.