Twitter works as the alarm bell for journalists. Journalists follow for example hashtags like #disaster or #breaking, and receive tweets about an earthquake, a plane crash or riots in a certain city. These tweets puts them on the story.
Most newspapers/media are already crowd sourcing; that is using content from the public. They ask for example the public to send photograph or story ideas. The Guardian has an app for that: guardian eyewitness app. Let's take this one step further and use a selected twitter feed for adding the latest news to stories; like automatic additional content. A software program selects items based on keywords from the Twitter feed or other social media, and adds this content to news stories. That is the business of Crowdynews, a Dutch start-up founded by Edwin Kuipers, an academic working at the University of Groningen in the field of artificial intelligence. The goal of Crowdymedia is: “to improve stories with the best content of the social web”. The business model is not based on selling software or a license. Crowdynews cooperates with the publisher, and is sharing the income of the page views with the publisher.
The Crowdynews has different widgets: Standard, Breaking Burner and Tweetmap. In general the widget is placed alongside any article. “It will display tweets directly related to the subject matter of the article. Instead of selecting content that just happens to match your keywords, we analyze the content and process language to bring relevant opinion and background”.
Jim Brady, Editor-in-Chief of Digital First Media says: “The collaboration with Crowdynews to develop the Social Media Wire allows us to bring a new dimension of urgency, communication and access to social media channels for our audience. The Social Media Wire brings more voices, more sources to our sites.”. Other media like MercuryNews.com or Chicago Tribune are already exploring the possibilities.
Crowdynews will soon be available in South Africa. Tech Report on eNCA News dedicated an item to Crowdynews and also KykNET’s Dagbreek covered the story.