Utne Reader Launches Social Media Curated Magazine
Alt Wire acts as real-time reflector of influential alternative sources.
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 âinfluencersâ to help determine the articles that will appear in Alt Wire. Influencers include past âvisionariesâ, individuals who were featured in Utne Readerâs annual âVisionaryâ issue, as well as those recognized in Utneâs Independent Press Awards. After compiling a list of possible names, editorial staff honed a group of influencers prominent in media, environment, mind & body, arts & culture, politics and science & technology categories.
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 influencersâ postings on Twitter).
This initial group is constantly fluctuating, according to Alt Wire web editor David Doody, as it reflects the cycle of content and conversation on the web, âCertain information is deemed important by the algorithm, because of how many times itâs being focused on by other people who have been named influencers, and this is how an influencer rises in the chain of things. The group keeps moving and growing; people will be added and will fall off.â
An initial estimate of those who âinfluenceâ the content posted on Alt Wire falls somewhere around the 3,000 mark.
Each article featured on Alt Wire shows how many times itâs 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 York Times and The New Yorker will appear in Alt Wire, the majority of content shared will be born of the alternative press realm, from sites like Mother Jones and The Nation.
Alt Wire is intended as a complement to Utne Reader, its website, social media presence and corresponding blogs. âWe donât editorialize in our content. If we write about something, weâre attempting to shine the light on another alternative source,â says Doody, âItâs an extension of our mission to show whatâs happening with the alternative press and to share stories that would otherwise be missed.â