The news use case targets two end user groups: (a) news professionals (journalists, editors, analysts) that are interested in leveraging UGC in their work, (b) casual online and mobile news readers. With respect to professional usage, different scenarios will be supported, such as discovery of emerging trends and topics, aggregation of UGC with professional content, analysis of massive amounts of social data for new insights and profiling of news portal users and recommendation of relevant content.
The SocialSensor News prototype identifies key influencers in social networks who are active in sharing news or have demonstrated expertise in a particular field of interest. Information and data from these "news hounds" ensure that topics, trends and trust scores are useful for professional and general news users alike. Interfaces have been developed for web, mobile and tablet.
A SocialSensor News prototype has been developed which combines the discovery of topics with the aggregation of content from multiple networks: Experienced journalists from several media organisations as well as digital experts have successfully evaluated SocialSensor and confirmed the scientific and conceptual approach. Unlike other applications, the project's technology and interface focuses on the needs of modern multimedia newsrooms.
A mobile prototype (app) was also produced for an iPhone, which mirrored the key user journey journeys and added a few mobile specific features such as surfacing social media 'nearby'.
Casual news readers wil benefit from innovative new features, such as real-time discovery of news items, personalised to the user, proactive delivery (push) of relevant content to user based on their context, and socialisation of user with other news reader through ad hoc social networking. A new user interface has been designed for casual news readers, whose initial concept is shown in the figure below:
In general the response of evaluations' participants was positive. The application was considered useful, significantly different from other tools on the market and worth using every day, pending the modifications that the participants suggested. The following graph shows feedback on the overall experience, specifically about the ease of use of the whole interface, the organization of the content, the responsiveness of the interface, the advantage of the tools over Twitter (in terms of new content discovery or for general news browsing) and news portals, and the will of using the application on a day-by-day basis.
During the final year of the project, the SocialSensor team will focus on:
- Refining the news trends algorithm
- Identifying key influencers in social networks and improving individual trust scores
- Elaborating the SocialSensor mobile application.