Tapping Into the Realtime Content Stream
A new service from Publish2 curates and publishes trending tweets.
Publish2, a Reston, Virginia-based social networking site and newslink aggregator created by and for journalists, has launched a new tool that allows the site’s members to curate and collect content published in realtime.
The feature, called Social Journalism, springs out of functionality already germane to the Publish2 platform—saving, organizing and publishing links to news stories that compliment a
writer’s story. The key to Social Journalism, however, is its realtime
nature and its ability to automate a process that collects content
being published by a brand’s audience.
The term "realtime" has evolved into a characteristic unique to status updates and Twitter tweets—microblogging and other forms of
ultra-short, instantaneous publishing that happens on a faster cycle
than breaking news.
Google and a number of other search startups have been building
functionality to search realtime content as it gets published.
Publish2, however, is interested in realtime content as another way to
enhance or develop stories.
Newsrooms and editorial departments are already harnessing the power of Twitter #hashtags to monitor breaking news and trends as they’re happening.
The#hashtag is a function used within Twitter tweets to isolate a topic, trend or news event and makes all those tweets easily searchable. #iranelection, for example, quickly demonstrated this power to reporters in June.
"The Iran election is the watershed example," says Scott Karp, CEO
and founder of Publish2 [pictured]. "It was an instance where there
were no journalists on the scene. The only source of actual raw
information that makes for reporting was from people there experiencing
it. A number of journalists dove into the breach there and said that
while they couldn’t verify it, they’d try to piece together as best
they could a picture of what was happening."
That value of realtime content generation ranges from international
events, which have a higher threshold for verification, to smaller
local events, which, says Karp, simply require picking out the
interesting comments—a job reporters already do when they solicit
comments from bystanders, for example.
The social journalism tool automates the process of collecting and
saving tweets associated with a #hashtag. Writers and editors can
select the tweets they want, aggregate them, and append them to a
story. "It converts all the things that are in the tweet to links and
saves them into our system," says Karp. "Then they can be published to
another site through our existing system, and can be integrated into a
news aggregator that newsrooms already have, or they can create
separate or social media-specific roundups."
Simply publishing a raw Twitter feed, says Karp, tends to overload
the reader. "When there’s a trending topic on Twitter most times
there’s another hundred results before you read the first three."
The Social Journalism function, adds Karp, allows the publisher to cull only the best tweets.