Monday, 8 November 2004

10x10 and 100 words of current news

via Furl- The Alan Levine Archive

Every hour, 10x10 scans the RSS feeds of several leading international news sources, and performs an elaborate process of weighted linguistic analysis on the text contained in their top news stories. After this process, conclusions are automatically drawn about the hour's most important words. The top 100 words are chosen, along with 100 corresponding images, culled from the source news stories. At the end of each day, month, and year, 10x10 looks back through its archives to conclude the top 100 words for the given time period. In this way, a constantly evolving record of our world is formed, based on prominent world events, without any human input. - from 10x10 website

This is a very clever idea and interface is well designed to match the objective.

The current data is gathered from 3 western news feeds. We know that news sources are not free from political bias. See for example: A Tale of Two Osamas. Obviously as the source of news feeds expands, the web-site will reflect a more balanced world view.

I also noticed that there are many repeats of the same image. Without checking the news sources, I cannot accurately describe the issue here. I guess, this may be the result of :
  • the news sources are using each other's photograph, or

  • the pictures are driven by the frequency of the words extracted from the news.

  • If it is the latter case, I hope 10x10 can improve by removing such duplications. Yes, at the moment, with only 3 news feeds, 100 pictures with 100 words may be an over-representation of the key issue at this historical time. Again, this may be easily overcome by a wider selection of news feeds.

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