With increasing constraints on our time coupled with a constantly-mushrooming supply of content sources, it’s a huge, constant challenge to separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to consuming news.
By news I mean not just the latest in business, world politics, significant events, the economy and the like, but also what’s trending on the Internet which, on an average day, could include everything from a surprise studio album drop from a megastar to a goofy dad masquerading as Batman.
Luckily, at least when it comes to cutting through the noise on Twitter, there may be an answer.
Stenius and Sundberg’s awesome tool Latest.is delivers a real-time top 10 list of the most-linked headlines on Twitter.
So at any given moment, you can see at a glance the most popular topics across the entire Twitterverse. No annoying hashtags, promoted trends, or irrelevant topics.
Here’s how it works:
“We automatically collect the links posted by a bunch of the most interesting people on Twitter. You know the people that always tweet the best links – first. We take all the links they tweet and compile a real-time updated list of the 10 most popular links right now. Plus, all links are automatically posted to our Twitter feed too. Pretty useful, right?”
You can also turn on notifications to get pinged in your browser when a new topic surfaces.
But the list strips out the tweet integration so that you click directly over to the website or article linked to rather than seeing any tweets, or even who was tweeting about it.
And that “who” is kind of ambiguous, according to Fast Company, who has it from the creators that “Latest.is pulls the most popular tweets from a completely anonymous, ~1,000 person creative incrowd of Stenius and Sundberg’s devising (all they would divulge was that their list includes a few agencies, but it’s mostly individuals).”
But as long as the content being served up is great, who cares what the makeup of the source pool is? I actually like the very human component of the product in that a computer can only go so far in gauging what’s interesting.
How amazing would this curation-slash-algorithm technology be in application to not just your Twitter stream, but also your Facebook news feed, your email inbox, your book-length list of to-do’s?
Of course, the list is more a curation of interesting, high-quality, relevant topics than necessarily the be-all of breaking news of the moment. But that’s what New York Times news alerts are for.