News, And Tumbling Words

By | March 28, 2005

An interesting way of looking at news: 10×10 / 100 Words and Pictures that Define the Time / by Jonathan J. Harris:

Every hour, 10×10 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, 10×10 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.

It’s an intriguing, and surprisingly moving, glimpse of world events (especially if you look at something like the tsunami — the pictures, even as thumbnails, are harrowing, and the key words tumble down the right hand side of the screen like billboards at a wake.

It doesn’t help us learn the news very much, but it somehow puts it in perspective. And, with despite the large number of small thumbnails, you somehow know what it is you’re looking at. I don’t want to sound too arty here (too late — Ed) but I’m a fan of anything that makes us see the daily digest of depressing news in a way that cuts through our defences a little.

(Thanks, David. )

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