Storyful’s Art and Science of Real-Time Discovery – Feedly

Storyful’s Art and Science of Real-Time Discovery – Feedly

“We discover and verify the content from social media using our own technology and open source technology [editor’s note: including feedly!], monitoring the social web in real time,” explained Derek Bowler, Storyful senior journalist and special projects lead, who also helps lead the company’s internal work flows, processes, and tools.

Storyful’s ability to work together across timezones and continents is central to the value that they create. They have global offices in Ireland, Hong Kong, Australia, and New York, and each team works together in real time. “Collaboration is at the core of Storyful,” says Bowler.

Organize what you are monitoring into feedly Collection.

Storyful creates a feedly Collection for every story they monitor like 2016 Decision, funny videos, cat videos, ISIS, and more. It’s an easy way for them to follow multiple sources on the same topic in one place. And when they seem a Collection updating with many new articles, it often means that a new story might be breaking.

Create a diverse mix of sources with your Collections

When Storyful creates a topic to monitor, they carefully hand pick sources that include as many known YouTube accounts from that particular location, Facebook feeds from active posters, key Twitter accounts, and any relevant sub-reddits. They ensure that they have at least one feed from each channel, often many more.

“That’s a one-stop shop because a lot of things we see happening in social media are encompassed in those channels,” says Bowler. “We knew a year ago that if we were monitoring those four major social platforms effectively, we were not able to monitor the topic effectively. The best thing about feedly is that it allows you to bring it all to one place.”

When Storyful editors start to see some feeds updating with increasing velocity, they know that something big is breaking.

Create an archive

One way Storyful uses feedly is a bit unconventional: They use it as a YouTube archive that is easy for them to search through. They have over a thousand YouTube videos that they monitor. By connecting the YouTube feed to their feedly, it becomes easy for them see what is breaking, but also use search terms to find a relevant video.

In particular, Storyful likes to use:

  • FB-RSS – This tool creates feeds from Facebook pages.
  • IFTTT + Slack – Storyful relies on Slack for their team communication. So, they create Google Alerts that they import into feedly. And from feedly, they use IFTTT to push breaking articles into their Slack.

What do you use to monitor every day news?
Are their tools, tips, or tricks that you or your organization use to be the first to know something?

You Don’t Have to Keep Up With Everything — Science of Us

You Don’t Have to Keep Up With Everything — Science of Us

“It’s like a different flavor of FOMO … It’s fear of missing out, but missing out on content — and on knowledge. With limited time and mental resources, there’s no way to get through it all.”

This thing has a name: infomania. Infomania was first pointed out as an issue in 1984 by the author Elizabeth Ferrarini. Email had just been invented, and Ferrarini foresaw the desire to constantly scroll through intraweb company messages and answer them now, other priorities be damned. This behavior inspired her book, aptly titled Confessions of an Infomaniac. But infomania remained an artifact of the 1980s until 2005, when Hewlett-Packard repopularized the term by sponsoring a widely criticized study describing infomania’s effects on the human psyche, claiming that it was “worse than marijuana” in its power to reduce IQ.

Again, that research was disputed and discredited; still, most of us can relate to the feeling Zomorodi and her listener describe of being trapped in an infomania loop. The thing is, we don’t quite know how to fight against infomania besides the impractical, drastic solution of tossing our phones into a toilet. Perhaps Zomorodi said it best, when she writes about reframing society’s scorn about not knowing what’s trending right now on whatever hip social-media feed is demanding our attention.