TC50: Two new ways to get the news
News sites are getting faster, and moving closer to real time. Here are two up-and-comers that bring in chatter from a variety of sources to shape what's on the front page.
SAN FRANCISCO--Two new companies are launching products designed to get the news to users faster--and from a wider variety of sources. Both are in private beta and not yet available to the general public but were demoed live at the TechCrunch50 conference.
Thoora is a new tool that clusters and aggregates news. It offers people a way to track the latest headlines with a simple ranking tool, ordering incoming stories by "Web reaction." It uses a mix of sources, including Twitter messages, blog posts, and breaking stories from more traditional news outlets. These stories are then filtered and pushed to a front page as well as Thoora's category pages.
One of the things that factors into what ends up on Thoora's front page is real-time chatter. The company tracks how many news-related tweets there have been about that topic in the last hour, as well as "Twitter impact," which is a percentage of density about that topic per 500 messages across all of Twitter over the past hour. It also tracks things like blog comments and linkbacks.
Insttant, on the other hand, cuts out traditional news sources entirely and uses Twitter's public stream instead. It takes these tweets and turns them into an interactive news page that covers people, places, and companies, including a way to track trending topics and user sentiment. All of this goes on a front page, which can be reordered and personalized with topics the user wants to see.
One of the service's more interesting tricks is that it automatically creates profile pages for people containing links and interests based on what they've shared in their tweets. This also happens for trending news topics, which makes for a more in-depth news-reading experience, since you can drill down on any topic and see things like recent mentions, related news and links, and a history of how popular it's been in the past few weeks.
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