We news folks tend to deal in fact – that is, what is reported and verified. Most of what you find on news sites (the good ones, anyway) is in this realm. Increasingly making an appearance in people’s news consumption habits are social media like Twitter and YouTube – that which may not be verified, but it is immediate and, for better or worse, largely unfiltered.
It is the desire to capture both actual and factual news that pushed Digital First Media to build the Social Media Wire, which made its public beta debut on the New Haven Register this week.
Combining selected local Twitter accounts, social searches, news feeds, blogs and videos, the Social Media Wire gives our readers a new way to find and interact with immediate local news from a variety of sources (yes, including competitors).
This concept was one that originally started back at TBD, where the community engagement team dreamed up a vision of a constantly-moving feed of local, social news called TBDNow. In the time since TBD’s original staff split up, many of us have tried to get TBDNow built. On my very first day at Digital First, I was told we were finally going to do it – and I just couldn’t wait to see it come to life.
CrowdyNews, a social news vendor out of the Netherlands, helped us to adapt the original TBDNow wish list into a tangible beta product. Is it perfect? No. We’ve got a lot of tweaking to do. But it’s a start.
We’ll learn, over time, exactly which keywords produce the best results in our neighborhood. We’ll find which blogs and news sites have crappy RSS feeds we should avoid – and which hidden gems might be most useful for our readers. We’ll see who has the most to offer on Twitter, and who could stand to be trimmed from our topic rolls.
There’s certainly work to be done on fine-tuning the user experience… and that’s where I hope you can come in. Please visit nhregister.com and click around our widgets on the home page and section fronts and spend a few minutes on the full-page Social Media Wire.
Let me know what you think could make the user experience better, which feeds should be added or removed, etc. in the comments, or contact me via Twitter, Facebook or email. As with any beta product, we need all the eyeballs and feedback we can get.
It looks like a cool start. Congratulations on getting a good idea to come to life!
It looks neat. Congratulations on getting a good idea to come to life!
I’m trying to make a habit of posting the same comment twice around here. More bang for your buck.
You make this site look well-trafficked, at least.
Love the idea. I think I’d prefer it to be one feed rather than broken into twitter, rss and video columns.
It is a combined feed on all the section fronts…but maybe something to consider for the full page, too. (That’s what TBDNow was going to be like)
I forgot to look at the section fronts. I like the look of that much better than the full page. Love that on the section fronts you can drill down to more specialized topics, like Olympics on the Sports page.
Cool. Great work. And from my hometown paper, no less. Now I can keep track of the buzz more easily from afar.
Glad you like it! Let me know if you run into any problems.
Patricio G Espinoza
Sounds like fun and ery useful. Is this now avail for others to use and test? I would love to use it for our TV newsroom, and perhaps a humble volunteer community hyperlocal.
The Social Media Wire is going to become a product our developer partner, CrowdyNews, will soon be selling to other clients. Stay tuned on that – and check out their site at crowdynews.com for more info.