TechCrunch Reveals Advances in Realtime News Technology

by Steve O'Keefe on March 1, 2011

The “24-hour news cycle” must be on a New Year’s diet, because it’s down to about 24 minutes now. That’s about how long it takes for a breaking news story to circle the globe and get filed away.

Technology trends are fueling the every-shrinking news cycle to match the ever-shrinking attention span of the always-online news addicts. If I haven’t lost you already by exceeding 140 characters, let me quickly show you a couple of tech trends that are feeding the instant news beast.

Instagram Instant Photos

Foodspotting Screen Capture -- Texas ToastLast Thursday (I realize that’s a long time ago), image-sharing app Instagram made its application program interface (API) available to developers to facilitate the instant sharing of photos taken by iPhone cameras. Now you can snap a picture, apply a hashtag, and upload it. Anyone watching that hashtag, or the location where you took the photo, can instantly see the new image.

The image above shows how the Instagram API works on the website, Foodspotting. Type in a location (i.e., Texas) and a dish (i.e., toast), and Foodspotting will show you all the pictures tagged “toast” that are geotagged from Texas. While this may seem trivial when searching for Texas toast, imagine the same search, updated in realtime by a news portal, for “protest” and “Middle East,” and you begin to get an appreciation for how fast the news is moving.

Equentia Instant News

Earlier this month (the Stone Age in realnews time), Erick Schonfeld, co-editor of TechCrunch, who has been writing about technology since pre-history (before the Web), wrote an update on Equentia, a realtime news service:

[Equentia] indexes 100,000 articles a day across blogs and news sites, puts them through a semantic engine to categorize them into every topic imaginable, and [then looks] at how much social attention each article is getting.

You can customize the search results, of course, by applying filters such as geographical regions, companies you want to follow, preferred news sources, time-span covered, product names and brand names, etc. And the news results are delivered to you along with a Twitter crawl for related subjects.

Instant Updates on Web Pages

Childhood Obesity News -- Twitter CrawlSpeaking of Twitter crawls, widgets that allow you to show your latest Tweets and Facebook Updates have brought realtime news to plain old Web pages (you remember what those are, don’t you?).

The image above shows a Twitter crawl from the Childhood Obesity News blog. You can almost see the kids getting bigger in realtime.

Web developer extraordinaire, Glen Stansberry, provides a tutorial on 10 ways to integrate Twitter into your website at Tuts+. His tutorial is old news, I realize, but not all of us are hip to the 24-second news cycle yet.

News Editor, Minitrends Blog

Source: “Instagram Unveils Realtime API With Foodspotting, Fancy, Momento, Flipboard, And Others,” TechCrunch, Feb. 24, 2011
Source: “Experiments In Realtime News: The Eqentia Streams,” TechCrunch, Feb. 14, 2011
Source: “10 Awesome Ways to Integrate Twitter With Your Website,” Tuts+, Jan. 23, 2009
Images of Foodspotting and Childhood Obesity News are used under Fair Use: Commentary.

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One Response to “TechCrunch Reveals Advances in Realtime News Technology”

  1. realtime on July 21st, 2014 5:45 am

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