Using Feedwax.com to curate informationPosted: October 23, 2012
Picture illustrating feeds in action by francescopozzi on Flickr.
In among the new features launched with n0tice 2.0 is the platform’s first internal app - Feedwax.com.
It’s already attracted some attention from tech-savvy journalists like Sarah Marshall so how does it all work?
Essentially it’s a feed curator that geocodes the content. As others have pointed out in recent work in this area, the geo-tagging of content isn’t as commonplace as you might expect but, once geographical data has been attached to a piece of content, there’s a wealth of options available for the journalist or blogger to explore in delivering it to new platforms, services, tools or environments such as Augmented Reality.
Feedwax.com can help with this. Here’s a couple of scenarios to illustrate ways to use it:
1. Monitoring or tracking a feed of information
This could be for your own benefit as someone interested in a particular dataset or for live publication.
I’ve recently set up two such accounts one (PlanBot) which automatically publishes the planning applications from my local council and other one (HagueBot) which tracks my local MP’s constituency activity. The PlanBot provides an alternative to the local reporter’s unenviable task of wading through printed council papers and has the advantage of running in realtime rather than waiting for the local town hall to compile and distribute the details. Because the area being covered is geographically small I felt there was a benefit in letting all applications through but it is possible to add a staging-post and simply select those likely to be of most interest for your readers for publication in larger districts or if you want more selection control for editorial reasons.
The datasets to produce this feed can be found thanks to the hard work of OpenlyLocal.com here: http://openlylocal.com/councils/all
The second case (HagueBot) takes one feed (the RSS automatically created on the www.theyworkforyou.com site) but blends this with a feed created via Feedwax.com which searches twitter for the MP. Any combination of feed or search can be used across all the major social media platforms and again, it can be published direct or to an internally controlled list.
2. Creating a story map from activity on the internet
Because every piece of content is geo-tagged, the content being produced on n0tice.com can be easily mapped (lots of examples, and instruction on how to do that here – link) and now the feed curator gives anyone covering a topic another tool in gathering the required data from activity that’s already out there on the web ready to map.
To do this means setting up a noticeboard specifically for the story – it’s a process that takes about 1min – think of it as your project space for the story. Then select the searches you’d like to build feeds for eg. a specific hashtag on twitter and feed it into your noticeboard.
A sudden urge to capture the recent skydive from space shows this in action – the feed gathered some images from instagram and tweets with the hashtag during the few hours I left it running and automatically updated a noticeboard set up for the story here: http://livejump.n0tice.com/. It was just a test experiment and took me less than five minutes to set up and start running but shows the potential using data generated on the social web to create story maps.