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Personal News Curation: A Reference Guide To The Present, That's What Journalism Could Be

Personal News Curation: A Reference Guide To The Present, That's What Journalism Could Be | Curaduria de contenidos y Preservacion digital | Scoop.it

Robin Good: If you want to question your well-established assumptions about how we may want to satisfy our insatiable craving for news in the age of filters, algorithms and personalization, this is an article I highly recommend you to read.

 

Jonathan Stray, on NiemanLab, looks into a tough question: assuming we really need to keep ourselves updated via the news, in this age of superabundance of information, "who should see, what, when?".

 

In his effort, he does an excellent job of clarifying two very critical points, that both journalists and media tend to easily overlook when they try to look at the future of news journalism and its business models:

 

1) There is more than one audience.
The internet is not about broadcasting to a mass audience, but rather a medium to precisely intercept a group of people characterized by a common interest or by an issue that affects them.

 

2) The news isn't just what's new.

"...journalism came to believe that only new events deserved attention, and that consuming small, daily, incremental updates is the best way to stay informed about the world.

 

It’s not.

 

Piecemeal updates don’t work for complex stories.

 

Wikipedia rapidly filled the explanatory gap, and the journalism profession is now rediscovering the explainer and figuring out how to give people the context they need to understand the news."

 

Indeed the context and the level of personalization does determine the usefulness and value of any news service to its end users. Thus,

as he rightly writes, "Journalism could be a reference guide to the present, not just a stream of real-time events." and it is hard not to agree with such a vision.

 

Mr Stray suggests then the use of three specific criteria to identify which news we should be exposed to. He writes: "Three key words should determine who gets served what: Interest, effects, and agency" and then provides a detailed explanation of the "why" behind these.

 

Finally, he goes on to suggest that: "...we’ll need a combination of human curators, social media, and sophisticated filtering algorithms to make personalized feeds possible for everyone.


Yet the people working on news personalization systems have mostly been technologists who have viewed story selection as a sort of clickthrough-optimization problem.


If we believe that news has a civic role — that it is something at least somewhat distinct from entertainment and has purposes other than making money — then we need more principled answers to the question of who should see what when."

 

I agree wholeheartedly.

 

Must read. 9/10

 

Full article: http://www.niemanlab.org/2012/07/who-should-see-what-when-three-principles-for-personalized-news/

 

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

 

 


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Business Mapper's comment, April 12, 2013 7:45 AM
Thanks Robin, enjoed reading this!
Rescooped by Alejandro Tortolini from Content Curation World
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Algorithms Coupled with Human Curation Can Generate a Great User Experience: The Twitter #NASCAR Experiment

Algorithms Coupled with Human Curation Can Generate a Great User Experience: The Twitter #NASCAR Experiment | Curaduria de contenidos y Preservacion digital | Scoop.it

Robin Good: As you have probably already read somewhere else, this last weekend, Twitter launched a first-of-a-kind type of page.

 

The page, which you can see here: https://twitter.com/hashtag/nascar revolves around the last NASCAR car racing event, that took place last Sunday and it apparently aggregates interesting tweets and comments from a group of passionate NASCAR fans.

The interesting thing is that this page is in fact not an automatically aggregated page of tweets having a specific hashtag. There have been plenty of tweets in here with no hashtag at all, or not even mentioning explicitly NASCAR.

 

This is a human-curated page of tweets, selected from a curated list of relevant people for this topic.

 

This is the real news.

 

GigaOm writes about it: "The NASCAR page may not seem like anything to be concerned about, since it appears to be just a typical grouping of tweets collected by hashtag.

 

But there is editorial control behind it as well as algorithms, with an editor choosing which messages — including photos, videos and commentary from NASCAR insiders — were highlighted during the event, and which streamed by unacknowledged."

 

By mixing and matching technology-powered identification of relevant people and tweets for a specific topic, with an active layer of human curation allows Twitter to generate a page that's filled with value.

 

Here's what Twitter itself wrote on his blog before launching it: "...throughout the weekend – but especially during the race – a combination of algorithms and curation will surface the most interesting Tweets to bring you closer to all of the action happening around the track, from the garage to the victory lane."

 

And while this is only a first experiment from Twitter, I would bet that it will not be the last.

The value provided by adding a human curation layer, both to the selection of the sources as well as to the selection of the actual tweets, is huge.

What's your take?

Twitter NASCAR page: https://twitter.com/hashtag/nascar ;
 

Twitter blog announcement: http://blog.twitter.com/2012/06/off-to-races-with-nascar.html ;

 

Check also: http://rossneumann.tumblr.com/post/24960053871/twitter-wants-to-put-social-media-editors-out-of ;


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