61Fresh Aggregates Boston-Related News, As Tweeted By Boston Residents

Created by the Boston Globe’s R&D group and funded by a Knight Foundation grant, 61Fresh is a crowd-driven news aggregator that uniquely utilizes Bostonians’ tweets to source and rank stories by popularity.

Dan McLaughlin, from the @globelab team, told Twitter,

“Our primary goal is to highlight Boston news that Bostonians are talking about. So we follow Twitter users in the Boston metro area, and look at the links they’re tweeting.”

61Fresh draws from 500+ Boston-area news sources to publish a real-time picture of the latest in the Boston region. But what distinguishes the project from other citizen news aggregators is that it uses Boston citizens’ tweets to determine what stories should rise to the top of the page.

The tweets that get the most mentions, including tweets and retweets, determine the order of news that readers receive.

To find the Boston Twitter accounts to follow and measure, the Globe team identified an initial group of 250,000 apt local Twitter users and has added to it since then.

The 61Fresh Twitter account auto-retweets top news from 61fresh.com.

Visitors to the site can also filter news by topic, sort by hashtag, and see the most-tweeted domains from the last 24 hours (bostonglobe.com, boston.com, myfoxboston.com, etc.).

If you don’t live in Boston, would you want a site like 61Fresh in your area?

(Source: Twitter. Boston image via md91180 / Flickr.)