Signalnoi.se Tracks, Measures & Predicts Newsworthiness Through Social Media
Back when the earliest signs of civil unrest started developing and improvised protests sprouted around Tahrir square, al Jazeera, the region’s leading televised news, merely “dedicated 20% of its air time to cover the news." At the time, only few could realize that the Jan 25 revolution will probably go on to become a main highlight of any to be 21st century news reel and shape decades to come.
This is exactly why Mohamed Nanabhay, the Head of Online at Al Jazeera English, and Haroon Meer started Signalnoi.se, a social popularity measurement system for news stories so to say. In other words, Signalnoi.se provides actionable intelligence to publishers and editors by tracking social engagement with the news.
I had a chat with cofounder Haroon, who happens to be the founder of Thinkst and the technical guy at Signalnoi.se as he describes himself, and he explained to me how the revolution changed the media industry during that period. The first indication that traditional media wasn't getting it right any longer was when shaky amateurish videos posted on YouTube preceded any reporter in both timeliness and popularity. It was clear that the news rooms’ interest does not always reflect what people are looking for and that they are prone to fail in recognizing the magnitude of what was happening.
Their solution was a system that "guides you to what the market wants", he explains, by tracking which content was resonating with the audience on social networks. By tracking stories on social platforms and measuring audience engagement, the system would then be would be able to rank stories based on their popularity.
Additionally, Signalnoi.se can also keep tabs on what the competition is doing and keep you up to date with any story that you might have missed alerting you once one of your competitors' stories goes viral.
The technology behind Signalnoi.se is quite flexible and could well be used a number of ways across different industries, and the team has already received requests from various organizations, including the military, to use Signalnoi.se to track their online reputations, but as Haroon assured me, their focus will remain on their building the tools for news rooms for the time being.